26 April 2011

tres huevos II* - 40 coupe - half-baked patch panels

I am cursed.
For over a year I was able to stifle my addiction for the 40 coupe project.
Sure I redid the old roadster pickup and learned some german BMW engineering,
but those projects were easy compared to tres huevos II*.
Now the addiction has gotten a hold of me.

massaged and oiled

After it was safe inside the shop,
it was difficult to not notice the effects of sitting outside in the elements.
Even though it was covered with a tarp,
the salt air just hammered away at the unprotected already rusted steel.

One night I seriously contemplated getting some "Ospho-rust converter" and coating it up,
than roll some of that grey marine epoxy on it.
I thought about it so much that evening I didn't get anything real done,
other than sanding/scouring the body and getting a bunch of rusty dust everywhere.

So the next day I decided to remove the headlights for some reason.
They were rusted on so I got some "Kroil" spray oil and squirt a little around the bolts.
The surrounding sheetmetal soaked up that oil,
it loved it.
Like lotion on dry skin.

An hour later,
most of the  car was coated with Kroil.
I had a scouring pad and scrubbed the chit out of it.
After the scrubdown I wiped the body off with an old rag.
That nasty orange rust powder had transformed into dark brown,
the weld seams turned shiny silver,
and the original black paint was black again.

Half-baked 1 - ran out of oil and time!

who needs paint

My brother thought I was crazy,
as it won't be paintable any time soon.
But this car looks kinda cool with no bondo, obvious weld seams etc.
It also helped me to focus on the priorities,
as I was beginning to get off track a little.

Looking at these pictures I  realized I needed to fill those gaps,
so I started to knock out the patch panels.

little patch panel

This rear one is really important,
as it will really show the flow of the body.
The corner was tough,
but I had already done the passenger side,
so knew some tricks.


The hard part was hammering that lip to match the decklid,
while matching the curve of the body.

Halfbaked 2 - I didn't feel like doing the center part just yet.

little cowl patch panel

Next was the little piece on the corner of the cowl.
Anyone who comes by would point out that missing 1" x 4" chunk,
even though the door bottom is 30x larger.
This was an important piece as it stiffens up the cowl for the doors,
which aren't really hinged yet.

Half-baked 3 - still need to do the door!

distributor house

Than tonight I started on the firewall behind the distributor.
These prewar flathead cadillac engines have a typical GM distributor placement,
but alot taller.
I was in the mood to work and didn't take any progress pictures.
Since I didn't really finish it,
I guess these are the progress shots!

2 pieces of the puzzle - 5 left!

Its tough to see but there's actually the back half-cylinder piece,
and a top piece that matches the cowl top and the circular piece behind.
Tons of hammering - fun stuff.
Hopefully tomorrow I can remove the distributor and finish the inside welding/grinding,
and add the outer triangles that fill that little black gap there.

Half-baked 4 - the rest of the firewall!

Connecting this center piece stiffened up the cowl,
which was kinda floppy.
Floppy enough that the doors can't be properly hinged until this part is done.
The whole car is like building one of those domino creations,
layer upon layer.

same but different

It's funny how many hours this thing sucked up,
and to the untrained eye it looks the same,
but it isn't.
If I didn't need money or sleep,
I'd be working on this right now!


* tres huevos = 3 eggs.
I had a '36 coupe project a long while back.
It was a similar condition body, similar custom frame, chop and section/channel.
In it I found a little birds next with 3 dried up eggs in it,
so the coupe was nicknamed "tres huevos".
This 1940 coupe is the second generation of that car,
everything I learned is either better or just more,
so let's call it "tres huevos II.
Funny how I happen to have 3 kids too...


  1. You need a 'donor roof' or doors from a 50's car for the 'curves. When I saw the space in the back I could only think of a Nash roof patched in there. Looks good! Are you needing any other parts 40' Coupe wise? Post on your blog or PM me & I may have some stuff laying around, that I can ship your way.


  2. Thanks for the tip Sodbuster,
    I like using old ford sheetmetal donor stuff the best.
    I'm searching for some '39 style headlights,
    but am considering making a custom ring,
    even possibly those early VW bug headlights-
    just don't want them to look like those 90's mercedes!

    How about a link to you're Dad's coupe project?

    Thanks for posting.