Rust and dents, repairing the body.


I started with cutting off the cowl, which was in bad shape...
(August 2003)

...and substituting it for a better one. It was a fairly straightforward task, only requiring some measuring to get the new cowl to fit nicely.

Fairly good fit, huh?

Here I have started welding some patches.
The character line looks really sad.

In this shot you can see just how the light shines through the sheet metal everywhere. Sigh!

The character line patches were interesting to make, to say the least.
As I have no previous experience from body or sheet metal working, I have to make some mistakes and try and learn from them.
Obviously I still do. Try to learn, that is.

One of my best patch panels. For some reason it just wanted to fit soo nicely!
The body was badly rusted. In the quarterpanels and the rear end of the body, about 40 patches have been welded.
Guess that says something about my skill level... (November 2003)

When I bought the Essex it had no driver's side door. Luckily I had three doors to start building one from:
- One extremely rusty driver's side door of the wrong year.
- A right hand side door in pretty good shape, also of the wrong year.
- A very dented '29 rear door from which I planned to cut out the character line.
Here the extra right hand side door is tried on the left side.

Here's the dented rear door robbed of its character line which has undergone some hammer and dolly work.
(January 2004)

The four door body is called Six light due to the sail panel windows behind the rear doors.
The body was shortened eight inches to achieve a nice two door look. The rear doors were welded to the body, the windows kept intact, and the small sail panel windows welded shut.
All Essex cars seem to have the same size front doors.

Here the shortening of the body is illustrated by the amount the rear door overlaps.

The door starts to look business. I used the very rusty left door, cut off the outer skin (seen here standing on the floor), welded in the character line from the extra rear door, and took the outer skin from the greenish door in the above pic.
This required lots of welding and some hammering, but the result looks OK.
(February 2004)

A rear quarter view of the Essex.
This car will look good!.

The top is kind of special on Essex cars. The new lower roof line is made from 3/16" flat bar stock. Originally it was made from two thinner pieces.
Making a good looking roof will take a lot of thought. Fiberglass? Wood? Sheet metal?

Go on to part three

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