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Frankenstein- 62 Daytona r2 Skytop project

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  • Frankenstein- 62 Daytona r2 Skytop project

    Most of you know the history of this project; thumbnail sketch:

    This is a project to build just what I wanted: 62 Daytona 2 dr. HT, r2/Tremec 5-speed, Skytop folding roof. My vision of it is to have Turner disc brakes, electronic ignition, chrome accessories under the hood, and hidden stereo; but appear bone-stock, down to the original full wheel covers. I have a totally rusted 6 cyl. Skytop donor car with a very good roof, a 62 Daytona 289 4-spd. donor car, rusty but very complete; and best of all- fresh, complete r2 engine done by JDP.

    FWIW, here's a pic (not much to look at!):



    I bought it from Brad Daugherty in Applegate, MI. He also sold me NOS front fenders, NOS hood and deck lid, new taillights, glove box, NOS trim, grille and surround, scripts, etc.

    I got a few hours to mess with it Sat., and a couple tonight. The snow finally melted down so I could get it out of storage and into the garage. Saturday I pulled the seats, belts, headliner, and carpet. Trunk was full of parts; cleared that all out and put into storage; then swept out the interior and trunk. Cleaned up and called it a day.

    Tonight I got it up on 4 stands and pulled the front clip. The cowl is solid top to bottom. Several taps with a small wrecking bar knocked off all the brittle undercoating, revealing shiny paint. Removed the hood release cable, wipers, vent lever, and a hand choke cable. Pulled the harness loose from all the clips in the engine area.

    I wanted to get a look at the roof seam to get an idea of what it will take to R&R the roof, so I decided to pull the LR fender. The quarter window regulators are already out (replacements were in a box in the trunk) so it was just a matter of unbolting the pivot and track and snaking the window out. Pulled the taillight and backup light assemblies; then it was just a matter of pulling the bolts, and off it came. I was a little shocked at how poorly designed the inner quarter/wheelwell is designed from a rust-avoidance standpoint; but again, not an issue with this car (whew!). Looks like the roof swap won't be too bad (as roof swaps go).

    That's it for tonight. I'll update as more is done.



    Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
    Parish, central NY 13131

    "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

    "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"




  • #2
    I sorry i made a mistake on the skytop,i guess i should not
    belive every thing i hear,real nice car.Matthew if i get all
    my pictures on the computer tomorrow can you post them for me.

    Lenny
    Atlanta Ga.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Bob
      Sounds like your making some progress.I saw a Sky top at
      the South Georgia Meet,i heard it also was a transplant.Somebody
      did a real nice job of it,i think the Skytops are real neat.

      Lenny
      Atlanta Ga.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Lenny. Ben's Skytop is the real deal. He drove it to South Bend last summer from Jacksonville, FL, and has put over 30K miles on it in the last year. [^]



        Bob, I like your plans for that one. Those R2s are really somethin'!

        Matthew Burnette

        Comment


        • #5
          Sure Lenny, email all the pics you want.

          Matthew Burnette

          Comment


          • #6
            I've been getting a tad more shop time lately, so here's what I've done recently:

            Finished pulling the rear quarter window trim and hardware. Rather than fix the regulators, someone drilled holes in the wide outer stainless trim and rammed screws into the window to hold them up There is a nice undamaged set on the parts car.

            Pushed out the front and rear windshields as well. They came out by just laying on my back and pushing with my feet. NOTE: The windshield was already cracked, so no problem- but it's not recommended if you want to save it. No worries on the tempered rear window, though. The stainless had some damage, but again the parts cars have a full, clean set. Pulled the RR fender too.

            Finished pulling the wiring harness and pulled the dash assembly. Cut the wiring harness at the firewall for ease of removal since I'm rewiring anyway. It was a little tough to cut since it's so brittle. Pulled the radio and dash pad. I'll take that to Jim Lawrence when I get my new one, as he needs the metal for a core.

            Pulled the wiper motor and trans. Had to drill one mounting screw head out, and the nut on one of the wiper shafts. Got out the shop vac and cleaned that area- it was almost full of debris, amazingly all dry! So no rust. Pulled the master cylinder, and took the scraper to various areas on the frame and steering box; pretty clean for the age of it.

            I briefly thought about not putting the Skytop roof on, but got over that. I've cleaned up and gotten a good look at the seams; will be easier to do than the average, as in the rear it seams flat because it's under the fender- easy to measure and reference. As always, the critical area is in the front. I scraped there a little, and it appears the seam there is leaded. So I'll have to grind a little, and if it is lead I'll melt it out and see what I've got.

            I've got some decent tires to mount on stock rims; I'll do that and install, then pull the rest of the heater box out and that'll be it for now. I'll move it out to the old barn and put the removed and marked parts into storage. The next step will be to bring in the Skytop donor, strip it, and remove the roof. Catalogue and store the unneeded parts, drag the corpse out back, and bring the subject car back in.

            These are stressful times in business. I find that working in the garage at night with the TV on and my hands filthy from a Studebaker is good therapy.

            I've also learned that the front frame horn of a Lark is just perfect for opening bottles of Mexican beer



            Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
            Parish, central NY 13131

            "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

            "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"



            Comment


            • #7
              Huh.... What brand of Mexican beer? I kinda like Pacifica.

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Chucks Stude

                Huh.... What brand of Mexican beer? I kinda like Pacifica.
                I buy the variety packs they sell here locally. My favorite is Dos Equis, but I like trying all the different brands.



                Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                Parish, central NY 13131

                "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"



                Comment


                • #9
                  A couple pics:

                  How it looks now:







                  Here's the Skytop donor car:







                  The Skytop is REALLY rusted from end to end... still, I'm not keen on junking it But it really is the best use of it. Also has buckets and console in really good condition, just need JP's new upholstery. Also has the foot operated windshield washer, which works, and lots of good pieces. I'll completely strip the interior, remove the roof, bumpers, and fenders, plus the steering box and column to upgrade my 59. The rest, including the knocking 6 banger, will go out back for future parts donations.

                  See the album if you want:

                  http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...ona/?start=all



                  Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                  Parish, central NY 13131

                  "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                  "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looks like a Skyfront, too. I'd forgotten all about the foot operated windshield washers. Our '64 Daytona had that.

                    '50 Champion, 1 family owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bob, if I were going to attempt transferring the Skytop unit from one car to another, I think what I'd do is cut the roof of the donor car about 2" outside the perimeter of the Skytop, the exact amount being determined by any braces or whatever might exist on the underside, of course.

                      Then cut a slightly smaller hole, properly located, of course, in the roof of the recipient car. How much smaller? Determine exactly how wide of a flange is made by your panel-flanging tool of choice, and cut the hole so that, once it's flanged, there's about 1/8" wiggle room to shift the Skytop section around within the flanged area. Use a few pop rivets or sheet metal screws (to be removed later) to center the donor section in the opening, and then continuous-weld the donor section into the flanged opening. Work a bit here, then a bit there, until the whole perimeter is welded.

                      Done right, you should have very little grinding to do, and the stiffening of the roof caused by the flanging should hold heat warpage to a minimum. Needless to say, one should grind all paint off the parts to be joined before doing the flanging, so it will weld easily.

                      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds like a 2 year project. Bob you would be surprised how nice the roof will clean up with sand blasting. If you have someone who is very good and careful, it will come out very nice. Best of luck

                        58 Packard Wgn (Parade Red)
                        58 Packard Wgn (Park Green)
                        58 Packard Sdn (Shadowtone Red)
                        62 Daytona (White)
                        63 R2 Lark (Super Red)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've done this type of work many times over the years, as I had a collision shop for 20 years. It won't be all that bad of a job for me.

                          Gord, I did briefly consider what you said... but my experience is it's almost impossible to control warpage in this type of situation. In normal collision repair, a roof skin is never sectioned, but cut at the perimeter and a new skin installed.

                          In this case, it will be much easier- and safer, from a welding standpoint- to R&R the whole roof. In the rear the seams are completely visible with the fenders off and headliner out. Just a matter of drilling out a bunch of spot welds. The front is almost as easy; just need to grind out the filler used to finish the seam where it joins the cowl (probably lead). When it comes time to remove the roof of the subject car and install the Skytop roof, I'll weld bracing from the cowl to the rear package shelf and leave the doors on and locked to be sure there's no flex when the roof is removed. After the new top is completely welded, the braces come back out. Along the way there will be plenty of measurement and glass test-fit breaks. I'll be taking tons of pictures along the way, and will chronicle the progress here. I like doing this kind of work; where I get bored is the finish work[|)]

                          As for the 2 year estimate, you're probably right. Might be more, or less; a lot will depend on my schedule as a postal employee, and a business owner. But working in my home shop on Studebakers is good therapy when I need it; so I'll be getting time in whenever I can.

                          Thank you all for any comments and suggestions; not only are they appreciated, they are encouraging!



                          Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                          Parish, central NY 13131

                          "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                          "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is how an experienced body man would tackle this one: Instead of separating the roof at the factory seams, which introduces various complexities, carefully measure and mark the 4 posts, about at the midpoint in the window openings, and splice the top on. Be sure to use an antirust spray on the interior of the posts. I'd recommend leaving 3/16" more length(total) in the top and body posts, to account for shrinkage and allow for grinding to fit. This way, with the posts matching up, you are right where you need to be, because They are your reference point. Cutting a panel off at the factory seam may SOUND ideal to the enthusiast, but in reality it is just inviting trouble.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              THE END OF A SKYTOP

                              This week I got into stripping the Skytop as planned, finishing up today. I was in awe at the extent of the rust, and it totally cured my qualms about junking it[xx(] With the roof off, there was maybe a couple inches of A-pillar left attatched on each side. The rust was accelerated by several remakes with fiberglas, bondo, and floor linoleum. I'll post a new thread with pictures showing why to NEVER fix metal with fiberglas[V]

                              The car yielded the top, decent dash (except pad), and two VERY re-usable front fenders, as well as lots of good trim and bits, and glass, including a nice windshield. Bumpers are fair, but good cores, including guards and extensions. Contrary to many others, this will get the front bumper back on

                              Here's the top, off the car:



                              Here's the Skytop corpse:




                              RIP old girl, and thanks for the parts[:X]

                              After the filthy job of stripping two cars, the next step will be a major shop cleaning; then we'll get the shell back in and start planning and prep for the top R&R.




                              Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                              Parish, central NY 13131

                              "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                              "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"



                              Comment

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