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ATTN all hot rod and custom builders; I got a few questions on building a convertible...

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
    The Lincoln convertibles started with heavy plating the length of the rockers. There are several strategically placed braces of different sizes throughout. It's obvious expert engineers did a lot of designing, and it paid off; those slabside convertibles are remarkably sturdy, with no cowl shudder common to most convertibles. Of course, these are unibody cars to start with, which helps.

    I had several of those cars, some in beautiful condition. Some of the classiest cars ever made, and near the top of my list. I sold them all a couple years ago save for a couple parts cars.
    Not to hijack the thread.. But what's a solid, decent, turn key driver one go for? I've always loved those slab sided ragtops.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by mbstude View Post
      Not to hijack the thread.. But what's a solid, decent, turn key driver one go for? I've always loved those slab sided ragtops.
      For an average driver in decent shape but needing cosmetics, you can get one now for about $12-15K. Freshened ones can do $25-40K. Couple years ago they were higher.

      Biggest concern is the top operation. It's an art form just to keep them working right with all the pumps, switches, solenoids, and relays. John Cashman travels the country in a motorhome with a trailer fixing them in your shop. Last I knew he charged $95/hr. which was cheap; he's an expert, and you pay for repair time, not head-scratching or telephone/internet part search time. Great guy to boot, and is a blessing to the Lincoln world.

      Also there's Baker's in Putnam, CT, Lincoln specialists. One can call and get the owner, Steve Ouellette on the phone in person. Saved me many times.

      Divas or not, I sure do miss my Lincolns... here's my most prized one, at the PO's in TX:

      Proud NON-CASO

      I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

      If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

      GOD BLESS AMERICA

      Ephesians 6:10-17
      Romans 15:13
      Deuteronomy 31:6
      Proverbs 28:1

      Illegitimi non carborundum

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      • #18
        There are several 60s era Continental 'verts on EBay right now. Prices range from $10k to $50k+
        Pat Dilling
        Olivehurst, CA
        Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


        LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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        • #19
          Mr.Andrews, out of curiousity, who bought that red one? I don't know what color my friends is, but his is in Texas right now as well!
          Dylan Wills
          Everett, Wa.


          1961 Lark 4 door wagon
          1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
          1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
          1914 Ford Model T

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          • #20
            Dylan -

            Yes, as I mentioned earlier, you should be able to make up a "hat" section or two per side that will fit..unseen by the outside of the car people that will hide behind the rocker panel.

            Maybe even easier thAn building hat sections, you can get some steel tubing (or have some rolled into half sections), trim it to fit the floor shape and weld in two per side.
            I'd go from the firewall all the way to the floor kickup at the rear axle.
            I'd start with about a 2" or 2-1/2" diameter half section. Then start trimming so it touches the floor all the way...front to back. Then start welding.
            I'd tack it in just a coupla places, then start in the center of the car and work to both ends. That is, weld a little on the back side of center...then on the front side of center...back and forth until complete.

            Remember a piece or round tubing is as strong as your gonna get as far as bending strength...in more than one direction...!

            Mike

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            • #21
              Sweet, glad to know I was on the right track! Now, I was thinking, would it help to weld in additional supports on the inner rear fender panels? Or, since that all sits above the rear axle, is that area not a critical issue?
              Dylan Wills
              Everett, Wa.


              1961 Lark 4 door wagon
              1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
              1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
              1914 Ford Model T

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by silverhawk View Post
                Mr.Andrews, out of curiousity, who bought that red one? I don't know what color my friends is, but his is in Texas right now as well!
                A guy in Ohio bought it. He owns a couple show-quality Olds 442s and wanted it just for family and parade use. They're giving it good use- and care.

                BTW, 'Bob' is fine.
                Proud NON-CASO

                I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                GOD BLESS AMERICA

                Ephesians 6:10-17
                Romans 15:13
                Deuteronomy 31:6
                Proverbs 28:1

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #23
                  Some excellent advice here. If I were to tackle this project, the first thing I'd do is find a donor car for the convertible top mechanism. Studebakers are narrower than full-size cars from the Big 3. I believe a couple of convertible C/K s were made using Plymouth Valiant top bows. Mustang or Camaro top bows might work, too. Measure your car, and then measure top bows from potential donor cars, and shop accordingly.

                  Second, you want to make the car shorter, so that it matches the installed length of the top. It's hard to alter the length of the top, and still have it fold properly. You may be able to alter the front-most section by an inch or two, but that's about it.

                  What I would do is shorten the body in the "B" pillar area, getting rid of the "B" pillar altogether. I would cut up both front and rear doors, and graft the front of the front door to the rear of the rear door, to make a longer door that would allow some access to the rear seat. I would also shorten the doors up on the bottom, to make room for a high door sill made of 4" thin-wall square tubing, which would run clear from "A" pillar to "C" pillar, and be gusseted in to the floor, side walls, and end panels of the tub. That would get you back some of the stiffness lost by removal of the roof.

                  Oh. Forgot. I would start by removing the body from the frame, and setting it on a jig. Two lengths of railroad rail, set up on a sturdy timber cribbing should work. Get the body supported securely at at least 8 points, 4 ahead of the planned cut, and 4 behind. Then you make the cut, slide the halves together, and weld them up again with some hope of it all being square in the end. Even if you choose not to shorten the body, such a jig is necessary.

                  This would be a huge job, but the end result would be a very cool car, with the same sort of eye appeal as the '55 - '57 T-bird.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #24
                    Hmmm, on the top part; I see why it can't really be lengthened easily, but what about width wise? It would keep the same folding geometry, but just be thinner. I don't know if I actually want to shorten the actual body though. Possibly turn it into a two door? That is possible; but the thought of keeping it full length is still intriguing to me.
                    Dylan Wills
                    Everett, Wa.


                    1961 Lark 4 door wagon
                    1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
                    1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
                    1914 Ford Model T

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      All I can say on this is "oh dear"!!! Well, that and that I have a car (with a title) up here that might have some parts left for ya...

                      You know how to contact me.
                      StudeDave '57
                      US Navy (retired)

                      3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
                      SDC Member since 1985

                      past President
                      Whatcom County Chapter SDC
                      San Diego Chapter SDC

                      past Vice President
                      San Diego Chapter SDC
                      North Florida Chapter SDC

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