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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
just wondering about tips and pointers to spot a non original 1957 convertible? I have a 1957 convertible needing complete restoration which I bought earlier this year. Had a conversation with a local club member who claimed He knows about the history of my particular car and said my car was an unfinished project of a 2 doors sedan converted to convertible some years ago.

Can anyone point me to the right direction, tip, tricks and possibly photos?

VIN reading is useless here.....Majority of old cars here had the VIN altered or completely removed and being issued new VIN many years ago.....In my case completely removed and issued with new VIN

Thank you very much in advance.
 

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Hi I know the original convertible chassis had an x in between the main rails for extra strength. Also I believe there is a difference with the grooves in the side wall of inside of the trunk. I think the grooves are slanted where as a coupe or sedan are vertical. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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A convertible doesn't originally have the little locking bolts on the front vent windows.
 

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2-door sedan to convertible is harder than 2-door coupe to convertible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found this thread with all the details:

http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75585

Just wondering if there are any other details I might miss. Like I said, the car is a rust bucket, so identifying by courtesy light or brake pedal support cannot be done....

Thanks for the help guys!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advices folks, got a pretty clear pictures of what to look....
 

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You can usually look at the welds of the X member and skid plates. Most welds will look different than the factory welds of the original frame. The factory wasn't too concerned about the way a weld looks. :)
Unless your building it to be completely original, does it really matter how it started life? Lots of restomods came off the assembly line a little more mundane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can usually look at the welds of the X member and skid plates. Most welds will look different than the factory welds of the original frame. The factory wasn't too concerned about the way a weld looks. :)
Unless your building it to be completely original, does it really matter how it started life? Lots of restomods came off the assembly line a little more mundane.
Yes, I was really dissapointed at first, but now I am starting to come to peace with myself..... I think I am going to just rebuild the car to my liking and my specs, guess now I do not have to worry about concourse correct resto :p3:

Oh yeah, I emailed carsinc just now, no reply yet, perhaps I can get a quicker answer here.... Which price is valid on their website? The front page one or the sub page one? The front page stated full 1957 convertible body with top bow is $23.000, but the pricing details on the sub page showed $34.000 before top bow? Which one is valid? Not that I want to buy and complete 1957 body, but Now I actually kinda interested to do more to my 1955 :sign0020:... A 1955 hardtop would sit alongside my 1957 convertible like a married couple :sign0020: I also wanted to buy a few parts for my 1957 such as inner trunk panel with slanted channels, wheel well with chassis mount, etc so at least it will looks aesthetically correct 1957 convertible....

Thanks for the help and thanks a lot for the mental support, that's what I need the most right now :flag6:
 

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Yes, I was really dissapointed at first, but now I am starting to come to peace with myself..... I think I am going to just rebuild the car to my liking and my specs, guess now I do not have to worry about concourse correct resto :p3:

Oh yeah, I emailed carsinc just now, no reply yet, perhaps I can get a quicker answer here.... Which price is valid on their website? The front page one or the sub page one? The front page stated full 1957 convertible body with top bow is $23.000, but the pricing details on the sub page showed $34.000 before top bow? Which one is valid? Not that I want to buy and complete 1957 body, but Now I actually kinda interested to do more to my 1955 :sign0020:... A 1955 hardtop would sit alongside my 1957 convertible like a married couple :sign0020: I also wanted to buy a few parts for my 1957 such as inner trunk panel with slanted channels, wheel well with chassis mount, etc so at least it will looks aesthetically correct 1957 convertible....

Thanks for the help and thanks a lot for the mental support, that's what I need the most right now :flag6:
So you're saying you figured out it's not a real convert?
 

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You mention the VIN number not being original. The VIN shows nothing at all about the body style. The cowl tag shows the body style but could have been replaced.

There's almost nothing that can't have been replaced on a conversion to make it look authentic.

Most conversions miss replacing the inner rear trunk panels which are unique to convertibles. The inner rear wheel wells should have the strengthing rib mid-way up the side, but some other models do too. There should be a support from the wheel well up to the top of the trunk. Many conversions miss those items too.

You might look at the rear seat armrest/top cylinder surround. This piece was spot welded at the factory but replacements are (most often) arc/mig/tig welded.

If you have the original instrument cluster and steering wheel you might check the serial numbers of those parts. According the the assembly manual they had different numbers from all other models.

The body panel between the top well and trunk was spot welded on and leaded in at each end by the factory. Replacements in a conversion would likely have used body filler.

An expert (read $$$$$) conversion is impossible to tell from an original. Anything else will have something that isn't right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So you're saying you figured out it's not a real convert?
Yes, popped the trunk saw the inner pannel with vertical channels, and plain wheel well....I think I am going to really work on it so it will look correct. There is no turning back at this point.
 

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A CARS repro body isn't a "real" convertible either, at least in many eyes.

My biggest concern would be whether you have all the trim parts that aren't repro'd. That could cost you dearly.
 

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Just do it the way YOU want it and don't worry what anybody says. I've been ctitized for the way I have my 55......:tu
Cowboy :flag6:
:gba:
bowtie-trifive
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
A CARS repro body isn't a "real" convertible either, at least in many eyes.

My biggest concern would be whether you have all the trim parts that aren't repro'd. That could cost you dearly.
Yes, I know and I actually tend to lean that way BEFORE I know what I am having....But now after I learn this fact, I can either break down and cry or step up, adjust my thinking and do the best with what I have....

My ambition was to make this car a concourse correct convert that's why I leave it as the last project, but now I can go wild like nobody's business and I think I should actually save a lot more than going concourse. I already thinking about slapping the body to my 1955 chassis with Art Morrison IFS and Progressive Automotive IRS, that would make one fine handling convert... :sign0020:

That also my biggest concern, getting all the trims, but me on this side of the world are so used to pay through our nose for everything from stateside...I bought a 5.2" Spal Fan last month, it was $47 from ebay, after shipping cost and tax it landed at $150..LOL!! Speaking about paying through my nose...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just do it the way YOU want it and don't worry what anybody says. I've been ctitized for the way I have my 55......:tu
Cowboy :flag6:
:gba:
bowtie-trifive
That's where I am going right now!! GO COWBOY!!! :flag6:
 

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:anim_25: with the rebuild.

Now that you aware of what you actually have hope the build turns out the way you have always pictured your car :tu
 

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Knowing what you know now, I would think it would give you relief since it isn't the real deal you can build it any way you want. I really don't care what others think of my builds as long a i have fun doing them my way. The sky is the limit now. Build it your way.:tu:tu:tu
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the encouragement folks!! Will build it according to my imagination now....not going to worry about going concourse..That involves some 500 horses running around :happy0030:
 
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