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Thread: Auto Miracle GT Project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Michigan, USA

    Auto Miracle GT Project

    Originally posted by 27NART I thought this deserved it's own thread.

    AM described this is as "their biggest and best project underway", it is fabulous in my eyes. It seems perfectly the "right" way to build a fiberglass bodied car. Very professional in every aspect. Focusing on just the body there are a few things I noticed but have much more questions about their process:

    First of all building the buck integrated into/at the same time as the frame and chassis is genius. It appears parts like the trunk lid and bonnet, doors, etc. were roughly constructed and used as templates through the initial foam shaping? I've heard of guys building a car around a single salvaged part of a vehicle I love the idea and can see how original panels could be worked into a design like this. They used thin wood strips and metal tubing to connect the outline of the buck. They combined it all in a masterful way as different areas are given attention working around the vehicle. Applying cloth to only the horizontal sections makes a lot of sense, looks like a rag top! Overall they're taking their time staying real close in touch with the skeleton.

    Foam-work this wonderful needs very little spackle to fill in. My guess is around 10 cans of body filler total? Is that a layer of plaster over the top of the front? They've laid it out super thin and interestingly following the vertical form (not trying to disguise by covering lengthwise across the sections). Later photos show the finished shaping with layers of pink bondo being sanded and primed I can distinguish but still am questioning if this initial layer is old-school plaster?

    The cardboard cutouts and guidelines after a rough primer to check symmetry is very crafty.

    Flat, paint, flat, paint...getting ready for molding!

    This flips my lid, Auto Mirage painted and blocked the body at least 3 times! Red, then white and green, then a guide-coat sanded and a sealer before painting and waxing this beauty!

    The molding and casting to me is downright shocking. It's taken me hours to decipher the process of building up borders around the decided parts to add as tabs to clamp the separate molds together. The knowledge is so powerful it's almost scary, as frightening as this last image to an unknowing person WTF!

    It's profound to start to understand some of this, it opens the imagination. Another question is why the bracing across the fenders and the core support in front? Is it to prevent possible warpage or for another purpose? Also the door jamb is split in half, any idea why when it could be a single panel? It's cool a lot of auto craftsmen (like here at MM) don't mind showing details of their methods. It's like, so what, copy me if you think you can, haha!

    Is this build as exceptional as I sense it to be or standard procedure? Any details that stand out to you that are worth commenting on?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Several questions to answer in this post.

    1. To make a buck and get a high quality finish to mold, the process they did is common. Lots of work but what you don't do at the beginning you will need to fix when you pull the panels out of the molds.
      1. They did an excellent job on making and preparing the buck and it shows in the final panels pulled.
      2. Better to do the work up front than to have to fix it in the end product

    2. Molding
      1. When making mold barriers, you have to look at the parts to be molded and figure out how you would pull the mold pieces away from the finish panels without undue stress and complications
      2. Making those barriers that big also helps with the alignment of the mold pieces when bolting together to ensure a nice final piece

    3. Frames in the molds
      1. These are there to help strengthen the molds without having to put a lot of fiberglass layers on
      2. The metal provides structure to the molds as fiberglass will shrink and warp a bit over time
      3. The frame at the front is there to allow the molds to be put on to a rotisserie so the molds can be turned over and rotated to allow the best access to all the areas to be fiberglassed.
      4. Fiberglassing upside down sucks... I know as I have done it and don;'t want to do it again.....

    These guys did a first rate job on the whole process and anyone wanting to do a project like this should read through that site. There are also other sites on the web that explain how to make bucks and molds in fiberglass.

    Hope that helps.
    308 Ferrari replica
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Thanks guys for the interest and kind words.

    We have worked very hard on this project for the last 7 years and Iím happy to say we are very nearly there with it now. We plan to unveil it at the UK National Kit Car Show in April/May 2017.

    If you have any questions about any part of the build process, please let me know and Iíll do my best to answer them. But Don has pretty much summed up the body/mould making process we have followed to a T.

    Our website is terribly out of date as we are waiting the completion of a new one (which is due soon). We have also slightly re-branded the company so if anyone is interested in seeing the car in itís nearly finished state, please look us up on Facebook. Just search for Mirage Automotive Developments.

    I canít post a link or any photos as the forum posting rules require me to make several posts first.

    Many thanks,

  4. #4
    Senior Member 275NART's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    South Carolina
    Matt, welcome to the forum.

    I have followed your work on your facebook page. Your work is top notch and the first car turned out excellent.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by 275NART View Post
    Matt, welcome to the forum.

    I have followed your work on your facebook page. Your work is top notch and the first car turned out excellent.
    Thank you very much. It's been a long time in the making but we are finally pleased with the result.
    We have recently started a new sister company to purely deal with the cars, so Iíd advise to follow that one for future updates until we get the new website sorted:

    The AutoMirage facebook page will just contain general paintshop life and some of the other interesting projects we get involved in.

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