Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Final Paint and Clearcoat Complete

The day I've been waiting for for so long has arrived.  The paint and clearcoat are finished.  The only remaining issue is spraying the undercoating, and painting the targa top.  The metallic in the paint doesn't show up well, but trust me, it's in there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Avila Beach Concours 2010

This weekend is the Avila Beach Concours car show, and unfortunately it was cloudy and drizzly, so attendance was down but there were some great cars nonetheless.

I saw this in the parking lot as I was walking in, the new Honda CRZ hybrid.

 Here are a couple of Lamborghinis and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS

CXC Simulations had a tent, giving demos of their incredible racing simulator.  There are 3 large screens and the driver's seat is on hydraulics to mimic the feel of the track as you drive.  They have hundreds of cars and courses available.  They had pictures of famous drivers using the sim, including F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

This is the Ariel Atom, hand built in Virginia.  This car is insanely fast, and Jeremy Clarkson just gushed over it on Top Gear.  That's him in the second picture; you have to keep your mouth closed as you drive...

Here is a favourite of mine, an Acura NSX, and one of the most beautiful body styles ever, the Porsche Turbo whale tail:

This is a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC.  It's as good from the back and the front, and one attendee said it was valued at $4 million.

This is a rare mid-60s Toyota sports car, designed by Toyota but built by Yamaha, including Yamaha piano builders for the woodwork.

And this one is for my Dad, a 1953 Jag XK120, hot off a frame-off restoration and several upgrades such as an E-Type rear-end, a 5 speed synchromesh transmission and a more-recent paint color.

Seat Restoration

When I got the car, the seats were in pretty bad shape.  Both seat pads had cracks at the stitching lines, and the driver's seat had cracks in the vinyl on the seat's side.

After a quick, disheartening thought of gluing the seams on the seat pads, I ordered two vinyl pads and a vinyl seat back from Autos International.  They came in very quickly and I started working on the repairs.  I used copious amounts of contact cement that I originally bought to restore the dashboard, but the seat restoration needs a *lot* of contact cement, so be prepared!  Don't use the spray stuff out of the can, use the stuff you get from a specialty fabric store that's specifically for gluing vinyl.

First I pulled the bad vinyl off both seat pads, and replaced it.  Luckily I had a pneumatic stapler in my woodworking toolbox, because each pad takes about 50 staples to hold it in place.  My friend Gary at G Rides took some time out of his work on Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches to re-rivet the seat-holder-clips into place.

Then I went to work on the driver's seat.  I stripped it apart and found some problems with the foam, so I repaired the issues before starting to put the new vinyl on.

The new seat cover was sized perfectly, and the result is great.  Here are the completely new driver's seat, and the original passenger seat with new pad vinyl.  The driver's seat is on the left, with a matte finish from the new factory vinyl, and the passenger seat on the right with a bit of shiny patina...

I also restored the seat slider mechanisms, cleaning them, grinding off rust and oxidation, repainting and clearcoating.  Nobody will see these without sticking their head under the seats, but I know they're there and they look great!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Steve Pittelli is selling his completed 914 electric conversion

If you live near San Luis Obispo California, Steve Pittelli is selling his recently-completed 914 electric conversion.  The electric kit is the same one I'm getting from ElectroAuto.  The price he has it listed for is less than the cost of the car, parts and batteries, so it's a great deal on a way to jump right into the world of electric cars.  I almost bought Steve's car in not-quite-finished state, but he decided to complete the project.

His ebay auction is here

He uploaded some YouTube videos of an introduction to the car and his first few rides:

Good luck on the sale Steve, and to whoever buys it.