The Build – Buffing & sanding the firewall

In this episode, Rob Baker will take us through sanding the firewall and dashboard to rid the restomod of orange peel and/or dirt that may have gotten into the clear coat.

When they buff it out, it will provide that perfect showroom shine. Rob will use 2000 grit sandpaper just to give it a really smooth coat and eliminate any initial items in the clear coat, as the clear laid extremely well.

sanding the firewall

The buffer will now be used, after the 2000 grit sandpaper has completely sanded the firewall and dashboard. This will assist in bringing the shine back out with just a tiny amount of compound.

65 Chevy Malibu firewall buffing

When using the buffer, either the foam pads or the wool pads, be very careful around any edges or corners, as it will burn through.

65 Malibu Firewall - Buffing

Now that the firewall and dashboard have been sanded and buffed, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make sure to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector car on our Facebook page too!

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible Coupe

Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. The Chrysler was initially a six-cylinder automobile, but Walter steered them towards a full line offering, including everything from trucks to luxury cars. This period of great success earned Chrysler a place at the table in Detroit known as the Big Three.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country  engine

 

  • 323.5 ci Inline 8 cylinder L-head engine,
  • 135 HP,
  • Fluid Drive automatic transmission,
  • independent front coil-spring suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • 127.5” wheelbase

 
Many of the cars that brought Chrysler through the war years and beyond were designed by Raymond H. Dietrich with the aid of Chrysler’s Art and Color Department. As swiftly as the production of civilian cars came to an abrupt halt at the onset of World War II, it was resumed at nearly twice the speed in 1946. The Big Three scrambled to meet the imminent demand of excited new car buyers; however, Chrysler did so with a bit more creative gusto that helped institute immediate demand for some of their new models. The height of luxury at the time was the Town and Country convertible.
 
One of the most memorable post-war Chryslers ever built, the Town and Country’s steel front end was all Town and the White Ash wooden-bodied rear was all Country, and these elegant automobiles were equally at home in Manhattan or on your country estate.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country front

This fine automobile is freshly finished in the correct Chrysler Blue, with excellent chrome and trim throughout. The presentation of the car is top shelf from any angle. The 1948 Town and Country is highly sought after for CCCA Tours, as it is one of the most elegant and easy to drive Full Classics you can find. This car will earn the lucky new owner an entrance into any of their events, and would be a hit at the National Woodie Club shows as well.

The car features lovely new blue and cream leather upholstery that complements the new cut-pile carpeting throughout the spacious cabin. The elegant interior includes the fully original dashboard, which is one of the great designs of the era, complete with the factory heater, clock and AM radio. It’s all topped off by a new matching Haartz cloth top that is beautifully fitted and power operated, and even the trunk is restored in the correct materials, with the factory jack and spare.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Conv  rear

The original woodwork is spectacular on this car, with ash slats that are neatly finger joined, and expertly refinished with just the right amount of gloss. All of the inserts are new, with the correct Di-Noc red mahogany being used, and the impact of the craftsmanship is immediate when you see the car.

The 323.5 ci L-head 8 cylinder engine readily finds a quiet idle upon starting and is very clean and nicely detailed, and mated to the innovative semi-automatic Fluid Drive transmission, the car runs and drives as new. The wide whitewall tires and hubcaps are all in fine condition, making it obvious to anyone that this is a beautifully sorted luxury car that is fully capable on modern roads.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country door

With only 8,368 built in 1948 and far fewer surviving, these big Chryslers have long been a top tier collector car, and that long history of increasing values is a testament to the Town and Country’s lasting appeal among enthusiasts who recognize post-war elegance at its best.

Barrett Jackson Palm Beach

The spring 2015 Barrett Jackson auction in West Palm Beach, Florida was one for the books. With over 500 “no reserve” cars going across the block, it was an exciting weekend. I had the privilege to work with TDC Agency, a Barrett Jackson endorsed insurance provider.

Truck

As far as the auction goes, the trends continue. High-quality restorations and high-quality modified cars are bringing good money. Muscle cars make up a pretty good chunk of what went across the block. Because of the multiple generations that adore them, they are always a hot seller.

Convertible

There were also plenty of deals to be had. Don’t let the auction intimidate you. Lots of cars sold for under $20,000. I met a lot of first time auction buyers. The excitement they had bidding and winning their dream cars is second to none. There is literally something for everybody. High end luxury cars like Bentleys, custom street rods, muscle cars, both stock and modified, and a long list of unique old cars that fit perfectly in the collector car hobby.

Bentley

If you’re not in the market to buy, just going to an auction as a spectator is worth it. It is as much of a car show as it is an auction. A Barrett Jackson auction should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Shelby

1952 Buick Super Estate Wagon

The 1952 Buick Estate Wagon was the most expensive of all the Buicks built that year, and with such a steep base price, only 1,830 customers were able to give one a home.  It was a desirable choice for affluent moms with growing families across the country. The Estate Wagons were sent to Ionia, Michigan partially completed for the fabrication of the wood components. The car would then be mounted on a jig and assembled on a small production line. When finished, they were shipped back to Buick in Flint for final assembly.  It was a slow process but those craftsmen were able to create some amazingly beautiful cars that remain incredibly desirable today.

1952 Buick Super Estate Woodie Wagon left side

A beautiful “woodie” such as this is not only a fine investment, but also an attention getting statement of quality and style wherever it is driven.  The 1952 Estate Wagon makes a wonderfully useful classic that harkens back to an era of fine craftsmanship, yet it is able to perform admirably on modern roads at highway speeds.

1952 Buick Super Estate Woodie Wagon engine

 

  • 263 ci inline eight cylinder Dynaflash engine,
  • 120 HP,
  • automatic transmission,
  • independent front coil spring suspension,
  • live rear axle,
  • four-wheel power assist hydraulic brakes,
  • 129” wheelbase

1952 Buick Super Estate Woodie Wagon trunk

Buick began with a standard chassis and incorporated styling inspired by Harley Earl’s concept and Motorama cars, and the stylish Estate Wagons began as a limited production rolling tribute to all the design inspirations from General Motors that had transpired in the prior years.  Under the hood of this beauty is the original 263 cubic inch straight eight Dynaflash engine mated to a reliable Dynaflow automatic transmission. The engine was a proven power plant, which drove the horsepower to a sprightly 120.

1952 Buick Super Estate Woodie Wagon emblem

The end of the production of the Buick Estate Wagon in 1953 meant the end of the mass-produced wood-bodied station wagon in the United States for good.

 

 

1972 Jaguar XK E Roadster

Originally designed for Jaguar by Malcolm Sayer as a replacement for the legendry D-Type, the E-Type would soon be known as one of the most desirable automotive designs ever. None other than Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful automobile in the world”, and nothing could touch its performance throughout the late 60’s.

After years of testing and development, the company introduced its first production V-12 to the market in 1971. The new 5.3-liter V-12 was the first mass-produced V-12 to come to market in over 20 years and Jaguar’s first new engine since the début of the post-war XK120 in 1948. The new motor was offered in roadster and 2+2 configurations only, with the longer 105” wheelbase chassis introduced in 1966. Jaguar also widened the front and rear track to accommodate the more powerful motor, which also necessitated a longer hood with a low mounted air intake and larger grille. Flared wheel arches accommodate larger tires necessary to handle the increase in power. The “Big Cat” could easily reach 145 MPH, and could achieve 0-60 MPH in less than 7 seconds.

1972 Jaguar XKE Edwards

The new E-type’s debut was at the New York Auto Show on March 25, 1971. Known to aficionados as a Series III, the V-12 was offered from 1971–1974. During the four-year production run, a total of 15,287 examples were produced, including 1,718 roadsters in 1972. Painted a classic combination of Old English White over dark blue, this lovely E-Type is wearing the color scheme with which it was born, and 95% of the paint is original, save a few minor paint chip repairs in 1990. It has never been restored, and the engine has never been out of the car. It was photographed today with just 6,400 original miles.

1972 Jaguar XKE Edwards 11

1972 represents a great year for the E-Type, as the worst period smog restrictions were not yet in place, and the US Safety regulations did not yet require the large bumpers that would appear in 1973. With its longer wheelbase, the Series III E-Type features more legroom and luxury than ever, and is one of the great Grand Touring autos of all time. In any condition, a V12 E-Type represents an amazing entry into the world of 12-cylinder motoring, and in this case, it’s an example that has literally never been altered.

1992 Acura NSX

Every so often a car manufacturer builds a car that is so outside of its normal range that the whole automotive world stops and stares at it. Such was the case with the Acura NSX. Beginning as early as 1984, Honda had Ferrari squarely in its sights as it prepared to enter he world supercar market. Their benchmark vehicles were the world-class Italian sports cars of the day, and Acura even commissioned Pininfarina to design the first prototypes, with direction that the car needed to be as fast as anything coming out of Italy or Germany, but with superior reliability and a lower price point.

1992 Acura NSX rear

Much like high-performance aircraft or racing hydroplanes, the NSX’s cab-forward design with the power plant behind the driver optimizes visibility and at the same time, allows a very low center of gravity, great weight distribution, and thus, impressive high-speed stability. Much of the technology was derived from Honda’s successful F1 Motorsports program, including the all-aluminum engine’s ability to gloriously rev to 8,000 RPMs.

1992 Acura NSX front hood

3.0 Liter DOHC Aluminum V-6 engine,
270 HP,
5-speed manual gearbox,
4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension,
99.6” wheelbase

1992 Acura NSX engine

The NSX was the first production car to feature an all-aluminum monocoque body, incorporating a revolutionary extruded aluminum alloy frame and suspension. The use of aluminum in the body alone saved nearly 440 lbs. in weight over the steel equivalent, while the aluminum suspension saved an additional 44 lbs. Other notable performance features include an independent 4-channel anti-lock disc brake system, titanium connecting rods in the engine to permit reliable high-rpm operation, an electric power steering system, and Honda’s proprietary VTEC variable valve timing system. Chassis and suspension input came from the top, with no less that Formula One Champion Ayrton Senna and Indy 500 Champion Bobby Rahal lending their considerable race car experience to create the ultimate handling road car.

1992 Acura NSX left door

The proof of their success came in several forms. With a recorded 0 – 60 time of 5.03 and a very quick 13.47 in the quarter mile, the NSX is undeniably world-class fast. Second, the NSX has proven to be one of the most reliable and easy to service supercars of all time, with many examples able to exceed 200,000 miles of active driving before major engine service is requited. Third, numerous industry awards followed, including the coveted Automobile of the Year from Automobile Magazine and rave performance reviews from Motor Trend after the NSX stood out above the 911s and Corvettes of the day on the track.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

Beginning in 1961, Elwood Engle’s striking modern design for the newly named Lincoln Continental began an immensely successful decade for the big Lincoln flagship.  It was one of the last vehicles to be completely designed by one man, and soon, every other car manufacturer was imitating its cohesive style.  Certain features like the distinctive grille and front opening rear doors became Lincoln trademarks throughout the entire decade.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible front

462 ci V-8 engine,
340 HP,
3-speed automatic transmission,
independent front suspension,
semi-elliptic rear suspension,
front disc and rear drum brakes,
126” wheelbase

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible engine

By 1964, the wheelbase was extended 3 inches, and in 1966, the first 2-door Lincoln since 1960 was launched.  The V-8 engine was pumped up from 430 to 462 cubic inches, and the car was also given all-new exterior sheet metal and a stylish new interior design. Parking lights and front turn signals went back into the front bumper, and tail lights were set inside the rear bumper for the first time.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible interior

The 1966 convertibles were improved with select technical changes related to lowering and raising the top. Lincoln engineers separated the hydraulics for the top and rear deck lid by adding a second pump and eliminating the hydraulic solenoids. A glass rear window replaced the previous years’ plastic windows. Sales increased to 54,755 units for the model year, but just 6% of those were the 4-door convertibles.  By 1967, the Lincoln Continental 4-door convertible was gone, the last 4-door fully open car available in the US.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible right side

The 1966 Lincoln Continentals were fresh, powerful, quiet, and smooth, and represent everything a luxury car buyer could have possibly wanted in 1966, and they remain just as popular among Lincoln enthusiasts and collectors today.

 

1956 Ferrari 290MM

The sheer volume of truly significant automobiles at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours is breathtaking, but none were more significant to me than the display of race cars owned and driven by Sir Stirling Moss at the far end of the Ritz Carlton’s 18th fairway. The 1956 Ferrari 290MM car was presented in impeccable condition out of the Pierrey Collection in London.

Sir Stirling Moss with the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

The Ferrari 290 MM displayed at the 20th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was restored by the Classiche Department at Ferrari in 2014, was awarded the “The Chairman’s Choice Trophy for the Car Found Most Appealing by the Chairman”, simply confirming for us Bill Warner’s impeccable taste. Final approval for the award came from Honorary Chairman Sir Stirling Moss himself, who played a big role in the Ferrari’s impressive race history.

1956 Ferarri 290MM Sir Stirling

Built in 1956 to take part in sports prototype competitions, this 290 MM (chassis 0628M) actually started life as an 860 Monza powered by a large-displacement 4-cylinder. Its maiden race was the Mille Miglia in which it competed as an official works car, finishing second overall at the hands of Englishman Peter Collins. Photographer Louis Klemantaski served as co-driver, documenting the 1000-mile race with his camera along the way.

56 Ferarri 290MM  Sir Stirling

In that same year, the Ferrari also came second in the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti with Olivier Gendebien and Jacques Washer as well as third in the Targa Florio, with Hans Herrmann and Gendebien and in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo in the hands of Italian driver, Umberto Maglioli.

1956 Ferarri 290MM

At the end of 1956, however, Enzo Ferrari decided to replace the 4-cylinder engine with a 12-cylinder and the car was renamed the 290 MM. It made its debut at the Buenos Aires 1000 Kilometres in January during which Wolfgang Von Trips, Peter Collins and Eugenio Castellotti drove it to third position.

Late in the 1957 season Stirling Moss raced this Ferrari twice for the Temple Buell team at the fourth Bahamas Speed Week in Nassau, winning the 100-mile Nassau Trophy and the 250-mile Governor’s Trophy. The races were significant as Moss’ first drives in a V-12 Ferrari sports racing car. The following year, Dan Gurney delivered a second-place finish in the 290 MM at the International Formula Libre Grand Prix at Watkins Glen and 0628M continued racing until 1961.

1956 Ferarri 290MM Sir Stirling interior

Years later, the 290 MM embarked on a second career, competing in the classic car races like the Mille Miglia Retrospective and Monterey Historics, in addition to honored spots at both the Pebble Beach Concours and Cavallino Classic. Chassis 0628M through the years underwent major modifications after an accident, but eventually it was sent directly to the Classiche Department for restoration to its original form. It appeared at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2015 wearing its number from the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours, as raced by Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Contrary to popular belief, the Chevrolet Camaro was designed from the outset as a more conventional replacement for the rear-engine Corvair and not a belated General Motors response to Ford’s wildly successful Mustang. From its debut in late 1966, the Camaro was value-priced from just $2,466 for the basic 6-cylinder hardtop coupe and available with a wide range of option packages. Best of all for performance fans, the Camaro’s engine bay was able to accommodate virtually the entire Chevrolet passenger-car engine range from thrifty sixes and lightweight small-blocks all the way up to the fire-breathing Mark IV big-blocks.

67 Chevrolet Camaro left side front

  • 302 cid V-8 engine
  • 290 HP
  • 4-speed manual transmission
  • independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms
  • coil springs
  • anti-roll bar
  • live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
  • front disc and rear drum hydraulic brakes
  • 108” wheelbase

67 Chevrolet Camaro interior

The Camaro proved to be an extremely successful gamble for Chevrolet, with total production for the 1967 model year reaching nearly 221,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford Mustang sales began to stall, reflecting the greater variety of competitors in an increasingly crowded market for sporty personal cars in America. Both would take their showroom battle to the track and their duels would quickly become the stuff of racing legends.

67 Chevrolet Camaro right side

Conceived and built with development spearheaded by Chevrolet’s Vince Piggins as the GM Division’s new SCCA Trans-Am racing contender, the thoroughly engineered RPO (Regular Production Option) Z/28 option package was quietly introduced for the Camaro in 1967 to homologate the car for racing. At its heart, the Z/28 featured a high-winding and tough small-block V-8 engine, combining the basic dimensions of the 327-cylinder block and 283 crankshaft to yield 302 cubic inches. Highly developed underpinnings and other race-bred tweaks maximized the Z/28’s power output, and many generations of race car drivers know how well balanced the 302 equipped Z/28s have always been.

67 Chevrolet Camaro engine bay

All-out racing versions were most successfully campaigned by Penske Racing and piloted by star driver Mark Donohue to back-to-back SCCA Trans-Am championships in 1968 and 1969 against ferocious competition from the Bud Moore and Shelby-prepped Mustangs. Despite its road-racing intent, the Z/28 was also quite formidable on the drag strip. According to period magazine road tests, the Z/28 was a solid 14-second car in stock trim with low-13s easily achieved with narrow slicks, lower rear-end gears (3.73:1 standard), open headers, and expert tuning. Dave Strickler’s famous Bill Jenkins-prepped “Old Reliable” Z/28 ran 11.70s in full-on Super Stock trim, capturing the 1968 NHRA Super Stock World Championship and confirming the vast potential of the Z/28’s small but mighty 302.

For many, the rare first-year 1967 Z/28 represents the pinnacle of the first-generation Camaro series, with features, styling cues, and race-inspired performance that makes it one of the most desirable Camaro models ever.

The Build – Bolting the engine to the frame

The 396 Big Block is mounted to the engine stand. Now it’s all about fine-tuning and tweaking. Watch as the team attaches a chain around the engine to hoist it up, unbolt it from the stand, and drop it back down into the engine bay of the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS:

As they are getting ready to drop the engine in place, the team hits a tiny speed bump. The Hooker headers are a tight squeeze, so they were removed before dropping the engine down onto the frame.

65 Malibu Hooker headers

Also, as it is right now, the alternator would hit the bracket for the rack-and-pinion system that they have in place, so they will need to remove the alternator, do a little fabrication to the brackets and re-install it a little higher after the engine is in place.

65 Malibu alternator

Now that the motor is bolted in, with two bolts to the motor mounts, Paul Naber and the team will need to remove the bell housing so they can install the clutch. They will then put the bell housing back on and bolt the transmission up with the cross-member to place the engine where it needs to be.

65 Malibu transmission

As they prepare to install the Muncie transmission and attach it to the bell housing, the clutch is in place so the only thing left is setting it in and putting the bolts in. The driveshaft is lined up and put in place. Getting ready to move the rolling chassis onto the lift to re-install and fit the headers, and then do a little work on the alternator.

65 Malibu engine block

Now that the 396 big block engine has been bolted back onto the frame, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!