Author Topic: AC Frua Restoration Part 2  (Read 55144 times)

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 05:42:09 »
More pictures, the car is going along nicely, I have decided to redo the rear left fender as the wheel arch is too round compared to the right as seen above which is the correctly shaped wheel arch. (You will see later that this was a big mistake as the rear right wing is completely wrong and full of lead.)
   Its difficult to tell if the flaws were from Frua or from subsequent repairs. I think the lead was from the factory, when the car is done, it will have quite a bit less filler than when it was new. One thing, lead is not that easy to see, specially when it is covered with primer.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   That's it for now!
   
   Emmanuel [:)]

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 09:38:29 »
Well amazing, this car is an archaeological study of bad repairs. As I said above, I decided to dig-in and redo the rear left fender which was bulging too much and was completely the wrong shape. We cut off the outer lip and suddenly appeared the original, completely rusted fender. Instead of cutting and adding a new piece, the then would be restorers hammered in both outer and inner fenders and welded another piece on top. This reminds me when we did the sills where exactly the same thing was done. A new skin had been welded on top of rusted metal which had previously been hammered in. We had to make a whole new sill including the door jam, and this on both sides. Jeffrey's car came in very handy at the time. This should be a good warning to people buying supposedly restored vintage cars which can look good on the outside and end up being junk. If this had been a lesser car, it surely would have ended up in the junk yard or as a Cobra replica.
   
   Ten years ago, I may have done that myself. When I bought it, it looked pretty good. Although, I knew it probably had some corrosion because my magnet did not stick in many places. In my mind at the time, if I was going to get a Frua roadster, this was it.
   
   One day, I decided to tighten the side mirror which was loose and opened the panel behind the left front wheel. I nearly had a heart attack! Gaping holes in the foot box, completely rotten struts etc. What was I gonna do, resale it immediately or fix it.
   
   
   
   Then a friend of mine told me he knew this Eastern European fellow who did amazing things with a torch. The rest is history, it's been a labor of love. We have replaced close to half the bottom of the car including floors, outriggers, seals, inner and outer and the list goes on. Yet, when one compares the work with Jeffrey's car, everything looks as if it came out of the factory. I will post photos of the infamous fender tomorrow.
   
   Emmanuel [xx(]

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 18:31:13 »
Ok here is the rusted fender lip. the rusted plate you see in the background is the piece added to the inner fender to cover the mess. most of the front fender lip fell off when the outer panel was cut. A new lip which is already made and copied from the other side will be added when that inner plate is cut off. Then the  hammer will straighten the new panel and after grinding and rustproofing the inside a new inner fender will be welded on as well as a new inner door sill re-enforcement plate. I can't believe we missed this before. I now understand why there was so much corrosion. The water entering along the convertible top will run backward into the boot or forward into the sills sitting there and creating havoc with unpainted metal. The new sills are completely sealed off and no water can now enter them, they have been filled with Waxoyl. So AC428 roadster owners, make sure your top is well sealed in the back or this will happen to you as well. Also the inside of the car, under the carpets and under the top recess area was unpainted, just primed. On the plus side, I am now so familiar with the car that doing another would be a lot easier and cheaper.
   
   
   
   Emmanuel

Classicus

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 19:03:11 »
Certainly adds up to some very compulsive buyer beware reading still at least there's the consolation you've saved one more valuable 428 for posterity. Very well done !! [8D]
   
   Did the car come with any previous history at all, no matter how small or insignificant ?

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2011, 03:03:25 »
Hi Guys, I have more photos of the fender lip repair:
   Removing hidden corroded metal, this is the door lock substructure, then the same area repaired, then the scrap stuff on the floor.
   
   
   
   
   
   Emmanuel

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2011, 03:08:33 »
Here you see the car ready to receive the new lip:
   
   
   
   The new lip being fitted:
   
   
   
   We are going to add a drain on each side to take care of an eventual leak inside the top area. otherwise the water could remain there and rot the car. The work is not that difficult but is very time consuming and thus expensive. I think this is the last rust repair that will be needed. The other side has not been touched except in the sill area.
   
   Emmanuel [:)]

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2011, 03:48:40 »
Paul Hi, what I know about the history of CFX54 is as follows: Sold in 1971 by Claude Dubois of Brussels to a wealthy Swiss for is young girlfriend. I recently spoke to Mr. Dubois who remembers the car very well. Then, I know it was auctioned at Bonham in and around 2001 for @ 128,000 pounds. It was with a San Francisco car collector who then placed it on consignment with Fantasy Junction, a Northern California vintage car dealer, it was then sold to my friend here in Los Angeles who then sold it to me. On the car is a plate from Claude Dubois. I also have a pack of bills from various repair shops. That's it. If you know anything else, please let me know. The photo you have on your "Gentleman's Express Club AC 428 Register - Updates" was taken by me at the time the car was delivered to me by the fellow driving it. 5 minutes later the lower radiator went and we pushed the car in the garage. The car looked pretty good despite everything else.
   
   Thanks,
   
   Emmanuel

Classicus

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2011, 10:33:57 »
Hi Emmanuel
   
   Thanks for the history info now added to the Register, leave the final choice of picture selections up to you when finished.
   
   Thanks
   
   Paul

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2011, 15:45:49 »
Thanks Paul, it will be repainted BRG, as dark as possible, almost black! This is why the body needs to be as straight as possible. The darker the color, the more it will show flaws.
   
   Emmanuel

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2011, 21:30:06 »
Hi Emmanuel
   
   Noticed this interesting post in the quote below from earlier today over on the Ace, Aceca & Greyhound Forum, topic headed "AEX567 Back also...", which was referring to this Ace Bristol advert....
   
   http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/classic-car-page.php/carno/114922
   
   
quote:
Rather than attempting to get it all straight again, just order up a nice new aluminum body, drop in a Bristol, and now you have a $220,000 authentic AC Ace, with a profit margin for the job of $$$ ????. Same thing happened to the 428, with a number become 427 Cobras.
       Art

   
   No idea as usual about all things mechanical but bearing in mind the 428's big rust problems, I would have thought a new 428 aluminium body as in the above pic must surely be the best eventual solution for all owners in the long run ? If so the question must then be is a new replica body automatically going to be worth much less compared to a restored one like yours ? Or could it turn out to be the same as in the above Ace Bristol example ?
   
   Paul

nikbj68

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2011, 23:40:14 »
There are a couple of problems with this theory, Paul.
   1. The 428`s that have been given ali bodies were given Cobra bodies, when 428`s would have been uneconomical to restore in steel, BUT there are buyers for "Cobras" with AC chassis numbers, even if they started out as something else. Now though, the 428 is attaining a pricetag that will sustain major investment.
   2. There are many expert Cobra body builders, but has Anyone built an Ali 428 body? OK, Andy has done a lightweight 'composite'-bodied race car, but I`d not heard of an Ali one.
   3. The BE774 story would suggest that buyers aren`t keen to pay Ace money for an Aceca with no lid on.
   As long as there is no particular historical reason to retain original parts, replacing large amounts of a car seems to have only moderate effect on value(more likely up a bit!), as long as you 'restore' it, rather than turn it into something else.
   Ultimately, it`s all down to the owner, his 'goal' & his pocket.

Gus Meyjes

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2011, 00:09:38 »
For what ever it's worth: well said and I concur!
   
   Nice job on the Frua! Keep posting the pics!
   
   Gus

Classicus

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2011, 10:12:28 »
Interesting thanks Nik. Like most classics above a certain age unless a 428 has been in a museum most of its life, there's inevitably going to come a point when restoring an original 428's body is just no longer worth while, so I suppose the best/ only option is to get an aluminium one made ?
   
   Which in turn raises all those old interesting topics we had ages ago about "might just as well build a Mk II AC 428 Frua then while you're at it"! [8D]  I might even be able to afford one....shhh

Emmanueld

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AC Frua Restoration Part 2
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2011, 17:35:14 »
The problem with aluminum is it's lack of strength, you would have to build a steel cage to support the panels as in Cobras. Very costly and difficult. The Maserati Mistral is alloy so copying the substructure would be a way to do it. But pull your wallet. Paul everything can be fixed, just a question of money. These days, restoring a 428 is worth it not matter what needs to be done as long as everything is there. I know of a gold one here in LA which is a rust bucket. It's a coupe painted gold, the problem is that the owner wants $100k. I have not seen the car yet, but I hear it's pretty bad. The car is complete and drives.
   
   Emmanuel [:)]

Classicus

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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2011, 18:11:01 »
Re. the gold one any chance of getting a pic or two or a chassis number ?
   
   Thanks [:)]
   
   Paul