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We have lots of folks that ask us: "Just how are those new steel bodies put together?" and "Are they built in the US or in Taiwan?"
Rather than bore you with endless text (puts us to sleep too!) to read, we'll provide a short summary and then post lots of pictures.
All of our new steel bodies are assembled on a rotating electric-over hydraulic-over mechanical platform (an oversized industrial 2-post car lift if you will). The rotating platform allows proper access for our spot welders and allows us to properly access areas not normally accessible if the body were built on a fixed table. The platform is fitted with a floor fixture that is unique to the 1955, 1956 and 1957 bodies. We change the floor fixtures over when we build a Camaro body or a '40 Ford Coupe body. Each body style and year break for the tri-5 bodies has it's own unique internal fixtures as well. Use of these fixtures assures consistency as well as proper dimensions and fit that would otherwise be impossible. All welding (except for a few minor areas not seen) is completed with two 220-volt water-cooled resistance spot-welders. Much like you would see in an automobile manufacturing plant - except no robots (we humans are the robots in this case).
While we do import 99% of the steel stampings used in our bodies directly from our supplier in Taiwan, we complete all of the assembly right here in Sanford, FL. There are anywhere from 45 to 70 components depending on body style.
OK, 'nuff said. Enjoy the pics and feel free to comment or ask questions!
Steel Bodies Built Better, Steel Bodies Built Here!
Last edited by RealDealSteel; 08-11-2014 at 07:54 PM..
Collecting cars 50 years.
I still have my very first car a (57 Chevy Bel Air 2 door sedan) and several 5 6 and 7's now.
Retired law enforcement officer with over 40 years on the same department ..
Some end-users use our bodies as a "repair part" for their existing rust bucket or parts car; utilizing the frame and/or body vin. While an individual can do this with no trouble, there are MANY examples of shops getting into BIG trouble, because en-mass, it is seen as vin swapping or chop-shopping!
The best and safest way to do it (thanks to the hard work of SEMA and SAN) is here:
I can vouch for the quality as I bought a 55 convertible from RDS and am in the process of collecting everything I need to put it together. If you haven't seen the build process, well they let me get a detailed view of how they build them at the shop prior to buying mine. Almost like going back 60 years in time! Can't wait to get started!
I have on my wish list the front end sheet metal kit for my 57 bel air. All items to include the hood. My question is does the hood come complete with the supports already installed or is welding needed.