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1962 Ferrari 250 GTO scratch build

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  • #16
    Did you widen the body or the arches from the original in order to account for the widened track? I'm curious to see what difference 6" makes to the look of the car and the metal work. Keep at it!

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    • #17
      Are pics still missing?

      Ok, took a second try at fixing the photos. Are they all visible now??
      Joel Heinke
      Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 275NART View Post
        Did you widen the body or the arches from the original in order to account for the widened track? I'm curious to see what difference 6" makes to the look of the car and the metal work. Keep at it!
        Great question. The 6" is spread across both the body and the arches/fenders. A little bit here and little bit there. If the extra was put in a single place then it would be more obvious.
        Joel Heinke
        Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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        • #19
          I'm getting all the pics now, thank you. Fantastic work man. Your quality makes me wanna do better at my own work. Cheers Jose'
          [I][URL="http://www.osicustomcars.com"]www.osicustomcars.com[/URL]

          [/I][URL]https://za.pinterest.com/cd9984/pins/[/URL]

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          • #20
            Body buck - Phase 1

            I started with (and continue to hold) 3 main priorities for the C5 GTO project:
            1. Original ’62 style GTO looks. Not identical but an uncompromised likeness.
            2. “Super Car” performance
            3. Comfortable and reliable enough to drive regularly


            Given these priorities, I then started searching for options to purchase a body. The most popular was re-body kits for Datsun 240/260Z cars. While the kits available did a decent job of capturing the GTO look, there were obvious compromises like shorter wheelbase and associated shorter nose length, high cowl, less curved windshield, and hatchback instead of separate rear window and trunk opening. As to my 2nd priority, it would take very significant re-working of the whole chassis and a V8 transplant to come close to super car performance. So long story short, I ruled out this option.

            I did find a couple of sources that claimed to be able to provide “complete” GTO bodies. The source in Italy for an aluminum body was probably legit but it wasn’t practical to try to pull off a trans-oceanic deal like that. The source in the US was outrageously expensive and never was able to convince me that they would deliver the goods once they took a down payment. There’s way too many horror stories in the replica space like this so I’m extremely cautious in this regard.

            So I decided to roll up my sleeves and give body building a go. Body material, aluminum or fiberglass then became a critical path decision. In hindsight, I’d make a different choice today, but I did choose to go down the fiberglass path then. I don’t regret that choice, I’d just make a different choice today because I’ve come to really, really enjoy metal shaping. You’ll see more on this later.

            The next choice was to either build from scratch or take something existing and transform it. I chose to use a Z car GTO body kit and transform it. While only the very front part of the nose was mostly retained in the transformation, I’d still make that same choice again because it gave me a foundation to build upon. Body building is very visual and having something, even if not quite right to work from, is better than nothing.

            A friend introduced me to Tom McBurnie, owner, car designer, and builder at Thunder Ranch. I believe Tom is retired now, but I'll give him a shout out, Thank You, here for his contribution to this project. I’d describe Tom’s personality as, “colorful character”, but he knew a bunch of tricks for designing and building car bodies that I found extremely valuable in practice. The key advice that has carried true for this project was:
            • Find an existing OEM windshield and build the body to fit it
            • Select engine, drivetrain, suspension, and wheel/tire size first and make sure they will all fit within the “envelope” of the body shape prior to building the body
            • Spread differences in body dimensions (between original and replica) over large spaces otherwise they will stick out and be obvious


            I struck a deal with Tom to buy a GTO kit from him along with 3 days of shop time from his crew and him to start the transformation process. Prior to the visit to Thunder Ranch, I had completed the chassis build to fit within the GTO body envelope and had built plywood templates for the roof line. The middle template was made from a cardboard template I’d taken directly from #3943GT so I knew the “skyline” profile is correct. Between these templates and the chassis, it gave us fixed positions for windshield, door openings, wheel openings, etc.









            The GTO windshield is very curved as compared to modern day car glass, so I had to find something from the 1950/60s era. Given the C5 GTO is 6” wider than the original, using an original windshield (even if one could be located) was not an option. I settled on using a 1960 Chevy Impala windshield, even though it would involve cutting on 3 sides, because it gave me the extra width and curved shape.

            Another of Tom’s tricks was to make a fiberglass copy of the windshield using the inside of the glass for a mold. Apply mold release to the glass, lay up about 3/16” of fiberglass and brace cross wise with plywood. The fiberglass copy is then used during body building and serves as a perfect template for cutting the windshield glass when you get to that stage. Having a “durable” windshield shape to work with is very important, ask me how I know I don't have any pictures for making the fiberglass windshield copy but I will show pictures later where I used it during buck building and when cutting the windshield glass.

            Oh but I'm getting ahead of the story here. The first step buck building was to hang the newly purchased body panels on the chassis and then slice them up



            The chassis was leveled and the posts on either side of front wheels were set to dead vertical. This gave reference points to ensure the panels could be hung straight.



            These panels were attached to chassis with rectangular tube hose clamped to frame tubes and then fiber-glassed in place. The front fender was sliced vertically down the middle for lengthening.
            Joel Heinke
            Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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            • #21
              Can't wait to see more !!

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              • #22
                I am so glad to see this! I was following that series of articles ("Last Chance Garage") but never got to see the final outcome of it. I have always wondered what happened to the car and now I am glad to find it here.

                Excellent work!!!!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by mlochala View Post
                  I am so glad to see this! I was following that series of articles ("Last Chance Garage") but never got to see the final outcome of it. I have always wondered what happened to the car and now I am glad to find it here.

                  Excellent work!!!!
                  Thanks mlochala and all the other Last Chance Garage readers out there!! And thanks for the kind words from all my new friends as well

                  While I really enjoyed doing Last Chance Garage, I find the forums more enjoyable and useful. Having 2 way interactions is much better than the 1 way nature of published magazines. I learn a lot from other peoples projects and input on the forums so it's a win/win.
                  Joel Heinke
                  Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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                  • #24
                    Body buck phase 1 (cont.)

                    The Z car GTO nose was 4” too narrow for the C5 track width. So we made a cut from the corner of the hood opening down between the driving lights and brake fresh air vent opening. Adding 2” on either side resulted in the 4” stretch and also gave the proper spacing between the vent and light on the front of the nose. The masking tape with red paint over it was to give horizontal and vertical reference marks.



                    Here’s Tom McBurnie mixing up a witch’s brew of fiberglass resin to glue the now wider nose back together.



                    The front fenders/wings needed to be lengthened by 10”. While the Z chassis is about 5” shorter than a GTO, it also has longer doors. The C5 GTO has a 94.5” wheel base and doors sized to match the original GTO so this 10” stretch was needed to cover all those variables.







                    The rear of the body needed to be widened, made taller and extended. Sticks were used to hang the corners in space until they could be glued back on. Using a strip of masking tape helps give a visual reference and to confirm we’re getting the right look prior to fixing the corners in place. Masking tape stretched across air is a body builder's friend :-)





                    Joel Heinke
                    Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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                    • #25
                      Body buck phase 1 (cont.)

                      The forward section of the roof came next. There was no fiberglass panels to start from, so 1/8” door skin plywood was screwed in place horizontally between the other plywood templates and bondo was poured into place about 1 ½” thick. A hot melt glue gun was very useful during the prep to plug the holes/gaps so the bondo wouldn’t seep out.




                      Well the 3 days went very fast. Instead of the bare roll bar look I arrived with, the car is starting to resemble a GTO, still very rough with some wide open spaces but definitely starting to take on a GTO look.

                      Joel Heinke
                      Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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                      • #26
                        Really enjoying this. Great skills
                        [URL="http://www.carbodybucks.co.za"]www.carbodybucks.co.za[/URL]

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                        • #27
                          Body buck - Phase 2

                          I describe this as “Phase 2” because it involves building the visible surfaces for the body buck and it occurs in my garage with the work being done exclusively by myself. That is, a first timer at building a body buck. Hopefully, I can pass along some of the key lessons learned.

                          What I had from the conclusion of phase 1 was a foundation to build on that had:
                          1. the desired placement of all four body corners (corners not being a very good description as these are rounded shapes on this car but the best word that came to mind)
                          2. a nose with correctly sized and placed openings
                          3. top roof section at proper height and profile.


                          Beyond that, I had some very rough shapes and lots of open spaces/gaps.

                          First item up in phase 2 was to make sure I had a completely level surface for the entire car so that vertical measurements could be taken from anywhere. I was told most garage floors are not level and mine turned out to match that description. It had a 2.5” slope running diagonally across the length of the car. So I built a plywood covered platform about a foot longer and wider than the car and dialed it in to be absolutely level across the whole surface. Next I strung a length of piano wire down the middle for length of the platform, 1” above the surface and pulled it tight. I could use this center line for accurate horizontal measurements on both sides of the car.

                          Next I needed to set the ride height and wheel opening placement around the tires. For this, I needed to purchase wheels and tires I intended to use on the car. I really wanted to use spoke wheels but decided that wasn’t practical given my ambitions for “super car” performance from the C5 GTO. So I opted to use 3 piece forged rims with spoke like centers. For the proper look, I wanted to have tire outside diameters that matched the original GTO but also use modern, high performance tires. The GTO originally used 16” rims and after juggling around the options, I settled on 19” x 10.5” for rear rims and 19” x 9.5” for the front. This way I was able to use modern, low profile tires and still get the same tire height.



                          The Z car GTO wheel openings were too small and I had to cut out a section just to mount the tires. From an original GTO wheel opening template, I scribed a line on the fender for the new wheel opening.



                          Once this was cut out, I then made an 1/8” plywood template for the shape at the back of the wheel opening and hot melt glued it on.



                          I had decided to use the “surfboard method” for shaping the body buck. Specifically, use rigid urethane foam to achieve shape and then coat directly with fiberglass. Urethane foam is soft enough that is easily and quickly shapes out with 40 grit sandpaper on a flat board. I purchased the urethane foam in 4’ x 8’ sheets in 1”, 2” and 3” thicknesses at the local Home Depot store. While better quality foam is available, using this low cost construction variety was fine for the patch work coverage I had to do. I attached it with hot melt glue which worked great as it held the pieces secure and sets quickly.



                          It's sanded to shape and dust vacuumed away. As you can imagine, a lot of fine dust is created so be sure to where a mask to protect your lungs.



                          Fiberglass resin, matte, and cloth are applied directly over the foam. Unlike other foam materials, urethane foam doesn't lose it's shape or melt away when polyester resin is applied.

                          More to come...
                          Joel Heinke
                          Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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                          • #28
                            Body buck - Phase 2 (cont.)

                            For the rear of the buck, the top and bottom corners on both sides were already in place. What was needed now was to fill-in all the empty space in between.



                            The oval in the middle is a flat surface so I made that by laying up fiberglass over 1/8” plywood on the top of my workbench. Then that flat oval piece along with the Z car GTO rear spoiler cut into 2 sections (and some gap filler) and lower roll pan were all fiberglassed together to form the rear Kamm back.



                            The edges on the sides were built up with chunks of foam and then fiberglassed. The lower roll pan required quite a bit of bondo to smooth it out after being stretched by several inches.

                            If you recall, I chose to make the C5 GTO body wider than the original by about 6” in order to keep the C5 Corvette track width. I chose to put this extra width in different places between the front and back because of how much of the body you can see in the side view varies. In the side view of the front, you can see the tops of both fenders and thus get a feel for the body width. In the rear side view, you can only see the fender in front of you and part of the roof/top given the “fastback” body style. Given, this I decided to make the rear fenders the same width as original and put all the extra width in the roof/top. That way the extra width is obscured in a large surface that is really never in someone’s direct vision. The other advantage to this is extra width in the interior for better seating arrangement and more comfortable driving position (more on this later).





                            Plywood templates for the wider roof section were added as guides. 1/8” plywood served as filler between the templates and to form a base for gluing foam to.



                            Foam blocks are cut with a long razor knife and hot melt glued in place.



                            Shaping is done with a flat board, 40 grit paper to start, and 100 grit for final touches. Sanding was done on crisscrossing diagonals to keep undulations to a minimum.



                            I used a multi-layered glass cloth during fiberglassing. It has a couple layers of matte sewn together with a crows weave cloth. I found using this multi-layered cloth saved time, gave a quick build up, and resulted in plenty of strength for the buck surface.
                            Joel Heinke
                            Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

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                            • #29
                              Outstanding!.........build....skills....choice of vehicle...job of posting the steps involved...simply outstanding!

                              Why can't we get people like this in charge...you know...who even if they are undertaking a new endeavor...do their research...put in the time...make good choices and end up with something everybody can live with and strive to be like?

                              Ok, don't want to sidetrack this thread, just wanted to voice my appreciation for your talents/efforts and sharing of your experience.

                              Fantastic work.

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                              • #30
                                Superb workmanship, well done!

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