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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have this '57 hardtop that the Wife and I picked up 20 yrs ago for $800. The usual rust (think "57 rust bucket"). The car has always been put on the back burner though, while all else in life (family, kids, school, etc) took priority. Over the years, I would look at the car and poke here or there, look at all the rust, get discouraged and walk away, come back later and cut out something and weld in a patch, etc. This car is a basket case and I'm looking at about $25K to do the build, doing all the work myself. Anyway, at 51 y/o, I figured I better get serious about the car while I still have time ;) I have a full floor, inner/outer quarters, deck panel, inner roof structure and drip rails, and roof skin. Doors will likely get reskinned too. Right now, the "car" is on jackstands and consists of a chassis with a firewall/dash/roof frame (minus skin), and the doors still hung on there. Hey, at least the one-piece frame is solid hehe. Wish me luck...failure is not an option. I'll post pics if I can figure out how to get under the filesize limit.
 

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B.O.B. it looks like you have been around since 2008. Glad to have you communicating and we would love to see pictures. A lot of us can sympathize with the age factor.
 

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As one member has in his signature, "eating the elephant one bite at a time". You don`t have to get it all done in a day or a week. Just accomplish a little every day or week and it will be done before you realize it.
Terry
And check out the "help with photos" in the tool bar above. And open an album up for your pics, it will resize them for you also.
 

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Well, welcome aboard, I missed ya in 08, so here's to ya savin another one. Look forward to seeing your project.
 

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Bout time brother...now dig in and start gettin er done. We're all here to help with little bits of advice and info here and there, and there's a ton of technical info and how to photo's plastered all over this site. Going out to work on mine right after breakfast. Just be happy you're not having to heat a garage to do so, or haul parts in and out through the snow like I do today. lol

Gotta love what Sunday provides for time. :tu
 

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hey boltman i woke up one morning i was 51 and previously i had 2 57s and all ways wanted a 55 the wife had told the boy not to tell me about one for sale in town .well i thought im soon ready for the box so im taking the plunge 3 years later im driving it every where and loving every minute get at her bro you will not be disappointed when shes done,but you will have numerous disappointments when building her depending on the people you have to deal with good luck bro
 

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:anim_25:with the project... Later, Dave
 

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Wow....you weren't kiddin about the rust there were you? I have restored cars that needed floors, truck, tail pans, rockers and various other rust repair but each were still considered solid cars and had both the front and rear bulkhead attached. Even then, all I had to do was weld a brace into the door jambs to keep it solid while I replaced one section at a time. Your project on the other hand is going to require something far beyond that and may be a real battle to get it straight. With that being said, I would hate to discourage you but have to say ya'll might wanna look for a better donor to start with.

It will make the whole project that much easier to work with and will shorten the duration of repair time so you can get out and enjoy it. There are lot's of decent bodies out there and that's where I'd be focusing. The trick is to keep the body intact and replace one rusted section at a time, thus allowing the shell to stay straight and not become misaligned. Hope this advice does not offend you, but gives you inspiration to focus in another direction.

If not, please know that no disrespect was intended.
 

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Hey BucketOfBolts, I like your enthusiasm! I will be honest with you though,be very careful you don't bite off more than you can chew with this project. The members on this site are wonderful people who are always willing to share their knowledge and help encourage you to complete your project. I know that there will be some that say they have seen a lot worse cars be brought back to life but usually the men that are capable of doing this are very talented people. I don't know your capabilities but from looking at the one picture of your project, it will take a lot of talent, tools and equipment,money, patients, and TIME. I am not trying to discourage you, please understand that. Nor am I some expert...the men on this site have probably forgotten more than I will every know about these cars. But, unless you are extremely attached to this car with fond memories, have a wife that doesn't mind you spending the next five years working non-stop on your car, or your a person who never gets discouraged no matter how bleak things may look,...you might think of spending some of that $25,000 you are willing to spend and start with something a little more solid. I just want to see you be able to have the joy of finishing and driving your car and not be one of the many who becomes discouraged and quits a project that was probably too big for them. Best of luck, whatever you decide!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got the floor set in...I think this is going to be fun

Thanks to all for the well wishes and cautions, I have followed trifive forum for a couple years, mostly just as a lurker but I must say this is a great place. TONS of good info here. BTW, "Bucket of Bolts" describes my '57 - when I bought it there literally was a tin bucket full of bolts inside the car. As for the "fear not - just build 'em" title on this thread, I forgot to mention - prior to changing careers to work as an electronics engineer for the USAF, I worked for about 15 years as an auto body repairman. Working mostly on late models (at that time, 70's/80's and 90's cars), I did everything from heavy collision repairs, straightening frames, sectioning bodies, panel replacements and straightening, mechanical work when necessary, painted hundreds of cars, replaced glass, vinyl tops, and even some upholstery and a convertible top or two thrown in for good measure. I even wrote estimates and drove a wrecker. The thing I enjoyed most in those days was taking a heavy-hit car, the kind where you couldn't even get the doors to open, and straightening out the damage, replacing panels,etc and lining it all up so everything fit and worked smoothly again. Cool stuff. Oh yeah, and with some help yesterday I got the new floor set into place, installed the mounts, and snugged them down. Then clamped the firewall to the floor. Progress is good. Motor vehicle Vehicle Car Scrap City car


Auto part Vehicle Rust
 

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Thanks to all for the well wishes and cautions, I have followed trifive forum for a couple years, mostly just as a lurker but I must say this is a great place. TONS of good info here. BTW, "Bucket of Bolts" describes my '57 - when I bought it there literally was a tin bucket full of bolts inside the car. As for the "fear not - just build 'em" title on this thread, I forgot to mention - prior to changing careers to work as an electronics engineer for the USAF, I worked for about 15 years as an auto body repairman. Working mostly on late models (at that time, 70's/80's and 90's cars), I did everything from heavy collision repairs, straightening frames, sectioning bodies, panel replacements and straightening, mechanical work when necessary, painted hundreds of cars, replaced glass, vinyl tops, and even some upholstery and a convertible top or two thrown in for good measure. I even wrote estimates and drove a wrecker. The thing I enjoyed most in those days was taking a heavy-hit car, the kind where you couldn't even get the doors to open, and straightening out the damage, replacing panels,etc and lining it all up so everything fit and worked smoothly again. Cool stuff. Oh yeah, and with some help yesterday I got the new floor set into place, installed the mounts, and snugged them down. Then clamped the firewall to the floor. Progress is good. View attachment 31253

View attachment 31254
Now you're cookin with gas! Glad to hear you have the required skills and feel better knowing you aren't in over your head. You know you left us hanging with that picture don't you? lmao
 

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I saw the first pic and I have to say: I freaked out, I would have never take some much out without puting some in, but now I've realized that every one see things a different way,

You have the skills, the "know how" and the courage to do this, So, just go out there and do it, After reading that you were in the usaf and prior being a heavyly procured bodyman, or bodywork guy, I know you know what you're doing.

I have no clue of how you're gonna do it, but, going back to the point, please, take a lot of messurement, a lot of pics and teach us all, or most of us, how it is done. No kidding!

I consider myself really good at this, but you made me gasp for a second there, Good luck and, let us know how it goes,

Anyway, you're on your own territory, If you need any help, there are a lot of guys here that will give you whatever information you may need, just ask.

Good luck, Alex:tu
 

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Welcome from Colorado, USA!

I saw the first two picks and was relieved to see that you have a good foundation... a new floor. Keep up the work; we will be watching and ready to help...

 

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BucketOf Bolts, I feel a lot better knowing now that you are indeed a talented man who has the skills to get the job done! Before, not knowing your qualifications and seeing that first picture, scared me a little. Now, knowing that you are quite capable of getting this baby on the road, I say GO FOR IT!!! Also, please keep us frequently updated with pics so we all will be inspired! Good luck brother!:tu
 
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