Part 11: Body and Paint
After the frame was tacked together, I proceeded to cut and mount the FRP body panels. The plan was to have the body inset into the tubing for a partial exoskeletal look. I needed to make tabs to weld to the inside edges of the tubing for the panels to attach to. I used screws to attach the panels as I wanted them to be removable for service and access to items underneath.
The panels are:
2 side panels
2 rear firewall panels
3 dash panels
2 upper front side panels
3 rear panels/tank surround
3 piece radiator shroud
All panels are flat except the four side panels are installed with bends in them. These four side panels are also not removable as I ended up doing some body work/filler with these panels in place.
After the body was pre-cut and fitted, I disassembled everything. But not without going for a drive first. That was last spring! It was running and driving almost a year ago. That means I was almost done, right? Well, yes and no. Finish welding, grinding, body and paint, along with final assembly and dozens of other small details all took their toll in time and energy. I also got sidetracked with several other projects.
After finalizing the welding it was time to paint the frame. I finally decided on a black, urethane two stage for the steel, and blue for the body. It turned out pretty good, except the blue was not as dark as I thought it was going to be. It's already got a couple nicks in it, as well as a 4-inch long scratch on the rear deck when my screwdriver slipped.
I made the front fenders from fiberglass using steel trailer fenders for a mold. These were mounted to the spindles with brackets I fabbed up.
What's left? Registration and Insurance, onboard storage, windshield, reverse, some videos?