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Thread: Sue's 59 Corvette project....

  1. #1
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Sue's 59 Corvette project....

    OK.. we DO have a forum for 'Non-trifive Chevy Projects', so Over the next days/weeks I'm going to try to pick up with this project thread and get it off the ground. We'll begin with when the bought the car in October 2017. This was the day she returned from trailering the car back from Ohio where it was purchased, and here it is resting after being driven into the shop. Sue's desire for a 'older Corvette' began after she and TrifiveRichard had collaborated on his '56 Chevy HT, and when it was finished she wanted to DRIVE it a lot more than Richard wanted it to be driven (He may want to comment on this part!)..

    Here they are posing in front of the '56 HT just after completion...
    IMG_1288.JPG

    She wanted an older car which was updated with all the modern conveniences along with 6-spd manual trans and modern HP engine, and after some consideration she decided it needed to be a 1st gen Corvette, so their search culminated in the purchase of this car.

    0- Sues '59-as purchased.JPG
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 09-11-2021 at 07:03 AM.

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    If others on this forum are interested in following the corvette build progress, ok by me too.

    Any comments?

  3. #3
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Sue wanted to drive/enjoy it for awhile before we began ripping it apart, so she did... up until it stranded her one day while driving thru town! At that point (June 2018), she and Richard decided it was 'time' to begin disassembly and after a few days it looked like this...
    DSC02192 (Copy).JPG
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    Another day or so of stripping more parts and it was nearly ready for a 'degreasing'...
    DSC02202 (Copy).JPG
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    Last edited by BamaNomad; 09-10-2021 at 03:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Administrator 567chevys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrifiveRichard View Post
    If others on this forum are interested in following the corvette build progress, ok by me too.

    Any comments?
    Yes Please do


    Thanks Sid

    1955 2 DR Post
    1937 Chevy Coupe
    2019 Ford Super Duty F350
    2018 Ford Explorer
    1955 Chevy Nomad
    1935 Ford 2dr Slant back I have 4

  5. #5
    Registered Member carls 56's Avatar
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    so cool, nice progress.-------->you know what's coming!!!!!!!!!!!! what you do after lunch?
    ARMY NAM VET, very proud!

    56 210 4dr

    drive and enjoy them while you work on them, life is to short.

  6. #6
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    We completed the disassembly and then applied some degreaser to the greasy/nasty parts and then pressure washed the body to prepare it for stripping the old paint..

    DSC02203 (Copy).JPG
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    DSC02216 (Copy).JPG

  7. #7
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Stripping the old paint...

    After assessing the fiberglass and seeing some old (not so good) repairs to the front clip, Richard and Sue decided they wanted to replace some/most of the front clip, but the rear portion mostly seemed good, so we first chemically stripped the top layers of paint and got it nearly down to the fiberglass, then they had a local 'bead blasting' (or soda blasting?) company to come and strip the remainder of the paint off the rear clip..

    DSC02255 (Copy).JPG
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    Richard had already ordered the needed fiberglass parts from Sermersheim's Fiberglass. Sermersheim has changed names (https://scorvette.com/) as a result of the original founder/owner passing away, but they have done the best and most correct fiberglass parts for early corvettes for many many years, using the correct formulation and press molding the parts just as Chevy did in the 50's. Richard and Sue knew they wanted the best fiberglass people doing the fiberglass work, so they had the parts shipped to Masterworks Automotive (http://www.mwauto.com/aboutus.php) in Madison Heights, MI as they would be taking the car there for the fiberglass work.
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 09-11-2021 at 07:29 AM.

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Some more 'catching up'...

    Right after purchase of the '59 Corvette Richard ordered a chassis from Corvette Corrections in Seguin TX so that it would be ready when they needed it. Richard had experience with Art Morrison as he put one of their chassis (with 9" F rear) under his '56 Hardtop, but Richard had also gone with me to Seguin, TX when I retreived my Corvette Corrections chassis for my Nomad, and he got to see how their chassis are built and met with Billy Dawson and his wife Sherry and their crew there in Seguin and he chose their chassis for the '59. To get the chassis a little sooner, it was agreed that Billy would build their chassis in time for the large NCRS show in Florida which is held in January each year, he would use their chassis for 'display' during that show, and we would meet him in Mobile AL on their way back to Texas, which we did. We met Billy in a hotel/restaurant parking lot very early one morning and unloaded the chassis from his big enclosed trailer to our open trailer (after changing out Billy's tires/wheels for some 'rollers' we'd taken with us).
    The following photos show Billy's dual rail custom frame mounting the C4 Corvette front cross member/suspension and RnP steering, brakes and rear suspension/diff. Richard chose the Dana44 option for his rear and got the 3.45:1 rear Posi gearing. The final photo shows the chassis loaded on our trailer ready for the 350mi trek back to Huntsville.
    https://www.corvettecorrection.com/c-1-frames/

    Billys '54 in trailer (Copy).JPG
    Billys wheels from 59 chassis (Copy).JPG
    Dana44 rear in chassis (Copy).JPG
    front suspension and engine mounts (Copy).JPG
    Emergency brake routing (Copy).JPG
    On trailer ready to go home (Copy).JPG
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 09-11-2021 at 08:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Before the '59 Corvette was transported to michigan for the fiberglass work, Richard and I discussed whether it should go on the 'original '59 Corvette chassis', OR the new custom Corvette Corrections chassis. I was concerned about the effect of doing fiberglass work atop the 'new' chassis and I felt that Billy's custom chassis would match up to the Corvette body just fine. But of course Richard had the decision to make and he wanted the body repair and adjustment to be made atop the chassis it would live on. So we mounted the body atop the new chassis before it went to Michigan... Here are some photos showing the body mods necessary to fit to the Custom Chassis, which were limited to a removal of the front of the spare tire carrier (to clear the Dana 44 IRS differential) and some trimming of the inner fenders to clear the new C4 front suspension.

    The original frame was in good condition with the only significant rust being the 'battery tray'. If anyone needs a good early chassis (frame, suspension, etc) contact Richard and he would probably deal on it. Richard also has a decent chassis that came from his '56 HT (California car), and also a front subframe/suspension from his '69 Camaro that are all occupying space in the side yard of his shop...

    Original '59 Corvette chassis...
    Orig 59 Corvette chassis (Copy).JPG

    Adjustment to the spare tire well to clear the rear differential IRS
    spare tire well trimmed (Copy).JPG

    Trimming of the front inner fenders to clear the front C4 A arms...
    Inner fenders trimmed (Copy).JPG
    trimmed inner fender (Copy).JPG

    And now the body is ready to be sat down upon the Corvette Corrections chassis.
    Body trimmed and on CC chassis (Copy).JPG
    Orig front clip (Copy).JPG

    We adjusted the shims for the mount positions and bolted the body down to the new chassis for the trip north. Richard addressed the concern of keeping the new chassis clean by covering it with a plastic sheet before final body mounting.
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 09-11-2021 at 12:32 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    A couple of months later the fiberglass replacement and repair was complete by Masterworks, and Richard and Sue made another trip north to retrieve the car. Here are a few photos of the finished fiberglass repair and replacement.

    DSC02615 (Copy).JPG
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    As is viewable from the last photos, Richard had the shop *recess* the body for the front/rear emblems rather than have them sit atop the body.

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