Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Challenge 51: Filler Mud & Paint Fumes


Rising up, certainly one of my absolute favorite films was Little Giants. Fellow Canadian Rick Moranis is a superb actor, and on this movie his character, Danny, drove a go-kart on public roads. As a baby, there was no higher fantasy.

Someday across the film’s climax, the underdogs attempt to intimidate their opponents by placing antacid capsules of their mouths to make them appear rabid and deranged. If you consider the scene for too lengthy, it’s ridiculous, however I couldn’t shake it when sitting down to jot down this Challenge 51 replace.


My lowly ’51 GMC, going up in opposition to the insane offensive lineup of the present Speedhunters Storage: Blake’s NSXDino’s PorscheBen’s 190E 2.3-16 and no matter car-shaped fireplace is at present engulfing Mark‘s pockets, all appear rather more spectacular than my assortment of components. But when ’90s sports activities films have taught me something, it’s that everybody loves a superb underdog story.


It’s been over a yr since I’ve talked about Challenge 51, and that wasn’t intentional. It’s simply one thing that occurred as I obtained misplaced within the storage. Having the ability to escape within the storage has confirmed irreplaceable because the world –or at the least the province of Ontario– continues to spiral.


As a quick recap, my finish aim with ’51’ is a bagged and LS V8-powered household cruiser. After we final left, it seemed like this.

My 2020 replace targeted on the significance of conserving your self motivated whereas navigating unfamiliar waters. Reality be informed, I wanted to jot down that publish to arrange myself for what got here subsequent: Paint and physique.

It’s a Soiled Job


I wholeheartedly salute those that do paint and physique for a residing. It’s a downright messy, tedious job that almost all don’t have the endurance for. Though I took a shortcut by means of the method by constructing a truck that’s principally patina, I spent a substantial period of time residing in filler mud.

All these hours spent sanding amounted to a closing product that appears like I did nothing. That is what I needed after all, but it surely made me really feel like a ingesting hen toy – numerous motion with no actual outcome.


Matching any paint is a tough activity, however matching patina is extra artwork than precision. Sadly, I’m not a grasp at both. Reaching the look I needed required an intensive variety of merchandise. Some had been meant for the job, however a couple of weren’t.

Once more, salute to the physique women and men on the market. Not solely is it soiled work, it’s costly too. The photograph above is a small illustration of the merchandise used.

Yep, I used rattle cans, and slightly liberally I would add.


Whereas I do have a sadistic aim of sooner or later correctly portray a car, Challenge 51 isn’t the one.

Pinch Me


As soon as I completed portray the patch panels and door jambs, I threw within the towel. The extent of high quality I desired for the remainder of the truck wanted a professional’s contact, so I despatched the cab a couple of intersections up the highway to a neighborhood painter’s yard. This was the primary time the cab had left my storage in three or so years, and it was fairly nerve-wracking to have such a big half gone for a number of months.


The time period ‘Paint Jail’ doesn’t exist with out purpose. I used to be eager to remain out of the penitentiary, so I made certain to bug the painter simply sufficient to maintain issues shifting.


Initially, I deliberate to have simply the firewall and interior fenders painted straight gloss white. The roof would get white too, however with a little bit of flake thrown into the clear.


Nevertheless, within the identify of cohesion, that listing grew to incorporate the sprint, hinges and interior doorways as properly.

Getting a car again with a contemporary lick of paint is a little bit of an indescribable feeling. Particularly when it’s one thing that you simply’ve been footslogging away at for years.

Even my spouse, who was skeptical that I ought to have lower up my firewall, conceded that it seemed miles higher with the LS Fabrication firewall fillers. Vindication!

For anybody contemplating paint for his or her construct, let me supply the next ideas: Price range greater than you count on, take away as a lot as you’re feeling succesful, and once more, funds greater than you’d count on.


Usually, American vehicles from the ’50s are little greater than tractors with doorways, and getting panels to line up at the least midway first rate by at this time’s requirements is usually a nightmare. Changing all of the seals on the truck, as I did, compounds this situation.

I wouldn’t return and alter this determination although. Now the truck opens and closes like a contemporary car.

There’s At all times Extra To Do


With the truck again from paint, my to-do listing stays in a state of fixed flux.


My whiteboard at present represents what must be completed earlier than the truck is shipped off to be wired and fired. Issy Fab Velocity & Engineering will deal with that job.

Jeff, Issy Fab’s sole proprietor, constructed the chassis, so he has a vested curiosity in seeing this truck on the highway. He’s additionally a superb pal, which helps as scope creep is inevitable.


My listing included a couple of extra objects that wanted their color modified, together with my Air Elevate Efficiency air tanks. I had these completed in Cerakote, not powder, so a little bit of aluminum machining was nonetheless seen.


“Arrange components” was a step I ought to have completed a couple of months prior. Fortunately I’ve not misplaced something, however I did double order a set of cab-to-frame bushings. Oops.


One field that’s spent most of its time in my workplace comprises the gauges I’ll be utilizing. I’m notably keen on their analog look, nevertheless, not like the inventory items these gauges are appropriate with trendy ECUs.


After six years at this, I’ve set my sights set on driving the truck in 2022. I’m not pushing for any specific occasion or date – it simply wants to occur this yr.


I believe I can do it, and now that I’ve typed it I suppose I form of must do it. So want me luck. My son already has with a slightly intelligent Christmas present.

A method or one other, Challenge 51 goes to be greater than only a storage decoration earlier than the yr is out.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom




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