Taylormade

The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL

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Something of a lull in the restoration. I didn't think pictures or text of me cleaning up the garage would be very interesting. My body guy, Ed, is off to a metal working meet on the east coast, so metal work on the car won't begin until the first week in May. It's given me a little time to think about the process that will be happening over the next few months. One thing I really noticed as I took the interior out was the lack of much double-wall construction. When I worked on my 1950 Dodge Wayfarer, one of the big problems wass getting access to body panels. There was almost always an inner panel in the way - with lots of rust in between. On most of the 32 DB it's a single layer of steel, easy to get at from the front or the back. Even the doors seem to have more openings and working on them will be much easiler. Having said that, the two areas that need work - the dent in the roof above the windshield and the area below the doors both have double walls. It figures.

In the meantime, I'm going to clean up and repaint the front seat frame, cut out new floorboards - I found some very high quality marine plywood and one 4X8 sheet will take care of everything. It better at 90 bucks a pop! I also need to do some minor straightening on the inner window frames and get them over to the woodgraining guy. One setback came when I discovered a former owner - pre 1965 when I bought the car - had created his own defroster by drilling a series of holes in the top of the dash, cutting a section of the wood support behind it, and running a heater hose up through the opening. Now I have seven or eight holes to fill in the top of the dash before it can be woodgrained. I know a TIG welder is better for this, but I only have a MIG, so I'll be practicing a bit before I tackle the actual dash. Does anyone actually make round metal plugs for jobs like this? It seems like making the plugs will be harder than the welding.

Pictures coming as I get to these tasks.

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I would cut the metal plugs out with a holesaw on whatever steel you plan to use. I would cut them a little larger, put them up in there from underneath the dash ( a little larger will stop them from falling thru ) I would weld them from the top with of course all the glass protected and fill as necessary.

Cutting a chunk identical to the size and welding it in there is all well and good except that you will never be able to get a grinder up in there to make it pretty on the backside anyway to clean up so the above method in the end will be much cleaner.

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The good news is the top of the 32 dash just unscrews and comes off as a separate piece so I can access both sides and not have to worry about damaging the glass.

Here's the top piece in place -

IMG_1668.thumb.jpg.5430d67048229901c7c0d66d1aa67e93.jpg

And with it removed -

IMG_1627.thumb.jpg.480a5cbbdf8bc3ab0fba0a0dbe4d3877.jpg

So working on it should be easy.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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The good news is the top of the 32 dash just unscrews and comes off as a separate piece so I can access both sides and not have to worry about damaging the glass.

Here's the top piece in place -

IMG_1568_zps17c3bd23.jpg

And with it removed -

IMG_1627_zps612b50aa.jpg

So working on it should be easy.

I did not know that, good news than

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You can tell I changed the oil often...just look at all those old service station stickers on the door frame!

And because of that, I expect to open up the engine and find clean, almost new bearing surfaces, pristine valves and no wear whatsoever. Of course I also expect Congress to pass a balanced budget, world peace and to win the Lottery this week.

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In this photo, is that some sort of wax paper on the dash behind the cover? Is there any wood back there? My DL coupe is kinda gutted, so I don't know what goes in that area. I just have a series of large open holes stamped in the brace.

Also, are the trim pieces behind the windshield side arms upholstered or painted?

Also, I need to look in some of my extra parts. I may have an extra DL sedan hood (they are different than coupe hoods: the top panel trim line is higher up on the sedan). But yours looks salvageable.

...And with it removed -

IMG_1627_zps612b50aa.jpg

...

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Yes, that is a kind of fiberous padding glued to the metal. A piece of wood sits over it and then the dash piece fits over that. I will take photos of the back of the dash and the wood tomorrow when I'm out in the shop. Some pervious owner decided to make a home-made defroster system and drilled that hole in the middle of the dash and carved out the space above the steering wheel along with cutting the inner wood piece in half. He then drilled a series of holes in the top of the dash and attached a heater hose to the hole to blow air up though it and onto the windshield. All of that will have to be repaired.

The car is currently 150 miles away at the body shop, but I will check on the windshield area next time I'm there. Phil Kennedy may chime in and get you a picture from his very original DL sedan.

If you have a hood I really could use it. My body man says my hood will be the hardest part to get right. I only need the driver's side pieces but will take the whole thing if you don't want to separate the unit. Please PM me if you can help.

RT

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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In this photo, is that some sort of wax paper on the dash behind the cover? Is there any wood back there? My DL coupe is kinda gutted, so I don't know what goes in that area. I just have a series of large open holes stamped in the brace.

Also, are the trim pieces behind the windshield side arms upholstered or painted?

Also, I need to look in some of my extra parts. I may have an extra DL sedan hood (they are different than coupe hoods: the top panel trim line is higher up on the sedan). But yours looks salvageable.

I believe those pieces behind the windshield brackets are to be painted. The '31s are and the '32s are very similar.

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I believe those pieces behind the windshield brackets are to be painted. The '31s are and the '32s are very similar.
Yes, they are definitely painted, and I believe woodgrained. It's hard for me to tell for sure because of the age deterioration, but those strips on mine are at least the dark brown of the other woodgrained areas. I think I can see faint woodgraining as well. It would make sense for them to be woodgrained to match the woodgrained door window surrounds.

I've never had the trim between the dash and the windshield off before so I can't answer what's behind there. If somebody has a critical need to know...let me know.

Edited by Phil 32DL6 (see edit history)

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Yes, they are definitely painted, and I believe woodgrained. It's hard for me to tell for sure because of the age deterioration, but those strips on mine are at least the dark brown of the other woodgrained areas. I think I can see faint woodgraining as well. It would make sense for them to be woodgrained to match the woodgrained door window surrounds.

I've never had the trim between the dash and the windshield off before so I can't answer what's behind there. If somebody has a critical need to know...let me know.

I agree with the woodgrain paint idea. Here is the 1931 dashboard and parts with the wood spacer......should be nearly the same as the '32.

post-37352-143141863953_thumb.jpg

post-37352-143141863962_thumb.jpg

post-37352-14314186397_thumb.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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I also have these 1932 body/dashboard shots...a convertible coupe.
Hunh! So convertible coupes have oval pedals, while sedans have rectangular.

I've often wondered why some suppliers of replacement pedals list their oval pads for '32.

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Looks like the 31 dash is close to the 32. here is the back of my dash with the wood insert sitting in its slot. The little tan tag of paper is a small bit of the paper lining that was glued to the dash as seen in the photos in an earlier thread. The missing piece of wood is where the knucklehead PO cut it out for his homemade windshield defroster. Notice the that the back of the dash was never painted and is still almost rust free after 81 years.

 

IMG_1660.thumb.jpg.ff9cf236277e13a419442bcec08958bb.jpg


There is a piece of felt padding between the wood and the dash.


IMG_1662.thumb.jpg.68375293a79fab01595ba708f795d9d1.jpg


IMG_1663.thumb.jpg.48a5e985f2ed90b9d79b43d24e9498d1.jpg

There was also some paper padding in the corners, but since this dash was obviously removed to modify the defrosto-matic, I'm not sure if it is original.


IMG_1665.thumb.jpg.660165fb1980b1e4dd4d59aec072a53f.jpg

Here you can see the holes drilled in the top of the dash for the defroster. They will all be filled before the woodgrain goes on.

IMG_1667.thumb.jpg.af6101b18790407ba4936978a178ebb8.jpg

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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Today, my wife, Kathy, and I took the seats and window frames over to the fellow who is going to do the woodgraining and upholstery. I had sent samples of the seat and door fabric to SMS and LeBaron Bonney and gotten some close matches back - or so I thought. As Crin, the upholstery guy, and I were talking about the stitching on the door panels, my lovely wife said, "Did they use different fabric up there?" as she pointed to the top of the panel. It did look like totally different fabric, but how could that be? It was one solid piece of cloth. Then we realised that this section had been hidden under the window frame and had never been exposed to light.

I always assumed that the light to medium tan color of my upholstery - the sections not replaced with cheap black vinyl - was the correct color. Phil Kennedy's all original upholstery was the exact same shade. But there, lurking in the areas of fabric that never saw the light of day, was the true color of the fabric as it must have come from the factory. A rich, dark brown!

Here is the unexposed fabric on top with the exposed on the bottom. Just a bit of a difference!

IMG_1680.thumb.jpg.086d6c6d426c6933d651183bbf5dd176.jpg

By some miracle we hadn't ordered the fabric yet. This certainly changed everything. All our preconceived notions went right out the window. We checked through a LaBaron Bonney catalog that Crin had handy and discovered an almost perfect match for both the seat and door material. The seat material even has the correct small ribs we could never find in the lighter tan fabric samples. Kathy couldn't be happier as she was lobbying for a darker interior from the get-go, but I always opted for what I thought was the authentic shade of tan. Now we're both happy. She got dark and I got authentic.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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All my interior sample "shreds" showed the lighter tan as well, but they were in spots that were open to the elements/sun. This is really good information you found. I would be interested in the cloth specifications when you eventually order.

Also, a tip for any panels that were "cardboard" that are covered in upholstery: a local upholsterer insists on using "puckboard", or white UHMW plastic panels instead of the cardboard. His reasons are valid: it doesn't absorb moisture over time, is dimensionally stable (doesn't warp), and can be formed around corners using a bit of heat from a heat gun, as well as it's a more rigid product, and you can't tell it's there when it's upholstered. This is what a family friend used to redo the interior of his DL RS coupe. My friend ended up with a lighter colored interior as he didn't have any non-exposed cloth samples to go by, however his interior looks essentially like a new 1932 DL (the plastic panels are not seen and will ensure the interior panels stay the same shape for a long time).

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A similar thing happened when I restored a 1929 Plymouth. The original mohair interior appeared to be wine red - odd since the car was painted black and greenish-blue. When I found unexposed material it turned out the mohair was originally dark blue!

I'll look up puckboard, thanks for the tip.

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Similar thing here when I restored the interior in my '51 Cadillac. The original fabric was very faded and worn and it was covered over with vinyl. It looked exactly like your fabric pictured. The worn parts looked like you bottom picture since the fibers were completely worn off. The tricky part however was the interior was two toned and after reviewing countless original photos and factory documents I was able to come up with a correct interior.

post-77797-143141864401_thumb.jpg

Edited by Bleach (see edit history)

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The previous owner of my dark blue '31 coupe painted the instrument faces a tan color because he thought that the yellowish color on the faded instruments was correct. WRONG! They are supposed to be bright white. Just goes to show you the ways some folks do things when there is a mystery.

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The missing piece of wood is where the knucklehead PO cut it out for his homemade windshield defroster.
Even thought I'm NOT the knucklehead PO Dick's referring to (probably the one he bought the car from in '65), I can surely sympathize with him. All three of us had the 'pleasure' of driving this DB in Syracuse, NY during the mid '60s—a.k.a. 'The Little Ice Age"—when temps would occasionally dip down to the -20s at night. Those were the times when 10W oil, an electric dipstick and a 75W bulb left next to the battery overnight were the only hopes of getting her started the next morning.

Had I known those little dash holes could be hooked up to serve as a pseudo defroster, I might have done it in a heartbeat!

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I certainly wasn’t suggesting that Phil would have desecrated the dash. As I've said before, he was a better caretaker than I. It was that way when I bought it – along with the snappy half vinyl, half fabric interior and half yellow wheels and half black.. I actually used the “defroster” for a year before the hose disintegrated. In my naivety, I thought at the time that it was original equipment. Ah, the days of innocent youth.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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I always assumed that the light to medium tan color of my upholstery - the sections not replaced with cheap black vinyl - was the correct color. Phil Kennedy's all original upholstery was the exact same shade. But there, lurking in the areas of fabric that never saw the light of day, was the true color of the fabric as it must have come from the factory. A rich, dark brown!

Here is the unexposed fabric on top with the exposed on the bottom. Just a bit of a difference!

IMG_1680_zpsbbcd80ae.jpg

Here's a confirmation of the color fade on my '32's original side pocket.

post-61720-143141867551_thumb.jpg

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