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32 Nash 1063 convertible sedan


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Time to start on the rear body section framing and B pillars. I had mentioned at the very start of the body framing project, that doing the pillars and making them strong on an open car would be the hardest part.

As I said, I have no patterns, nor do I know any other owner of a car like this to get measurements or pics.

So, I look around for any pics I can find. Here is one pic from a magazine of a 32 Nash Advanced 8 (4 dr conv). As you can see, there is "tons" of thick wood needed for supporting the door pillar as well as the folding top and seat backrest.

Also a pic of what I am starting with..

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Before I can start framing the rear body, you need to make sure the flimsy body shell has the correct symetrical shapes...It did NOT. Here is a pattern made from cardboard to compare the rear upper curves.

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I was able to fix the incorrect curve after starting to put in the rear seat "backrest" framing. That framing should be parellel with the dashboard or front winshield opening. I ended up using another temporary brace tack welded in place to shove the rear skin into square.

Also, you can see that I am placing a few short pieces of tubing in the body to try to determinine how to go about the framing, and find out what type of bending will be needed on the framing.

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I need to end up with a double walled rear quarter with a "slot" just like a slot for a window. However, the slot is for the folding top irons.

This is the only pic I found that was helpful, from the Nash Club site. That car was a barn find, 1933 8 cyl 1173 two door conv sedan with the same body shell.

Also a pic of how far I was on the passenger side by Friday eve. I could only add the lower 1/2 of the inner steel quarter panel for right now, because I need to leave the upper part open for building the support parts for the top irons.

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Sometimes the project can need a little different perspective. The car has been in the same spot in the work bay for a month. Kind of "too familiar" and "boring". Plus when I am thrashing on a big project, I end up with quite a mess around the car.

Also, if the car was turned around, I could get to the driver side post fabbing a lot easier. The weather on Saturday was supposed to finally get warn and sunny, and Sunday was to be heavy rain.

I weighed the amount of work involved to put a few things back on the car to make it drivable, plus the work to clean the shop before the car could move. Why not take it for a "spin" around the lot? smile.gif

I put a few needed parts back on, and then clamped in a old VW bucket seat. The car started right up and ran perfectly, and more importantly, the steering box I had worked on during the winter, steered really sweet. The brakes are real good, the transmission and differential gears sound dead quiet.

My son was here and we took turns driving it around. Here he is, at 6' 2" trying to see while sitting in a "too tall" seat. By the way, he can operate any type of car, truck, heavy equipment or whatever...he even learned how to drive a Model T Ford before I did.. smile.gif

It really gives the project a dose of inspiration by driving it around a little.... I am pretty sure it will be a great driver. smile.gif

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  • 1 month later...

I have not posted lately because I have been experimenting with a folding top for the car.

Here is a dismal pic which is the only interior pic I can find. This was a "leftover 1931" Nash on Ebay. I noticed the upright post shape and it looked familiar. The 2nd pic shows one of the pair of garnish mouldings I found in the crate of parts. The mouldings are the only remaining pieces of the original top.

I basically started my design work by clamping a long strip of metal to that garnish to try to find out where the pivot point should be.

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If you look closely at the pic I put up several posts back, of the topless 1933 8cyl convertible, you can see there are square metal posts that come up from inside the quarter panels. Now I needed to find "where" those posts need to be mounted.

I was trying to find a way to have the center main bow, and the rear 45 degree bow, to fold down in the same spot ahead of the trunk. I figured there needed to be 2 seperate pivot points inside the rear quarters.

Well, my son was in the shop so we messed around with scrap strip metal and tape measures. We both had the same thought at the same time: The main bow must have had a lever "below" the pivot point, and that lever will drag the rear bow forward as you drop the top.

I ended up using scrap junk to build one side of the top as a test. It takes countless hours to get a good "look" to the top, as well as getting all the bows to fall back into the area behind the rear seat and not interfere with the trunklid.

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I can't tell you how many times I had to cut tack welds apart and make small adjustments....and then get one side to match the other...but then not match as the top is put down.

I was already overworked and frazzled, so I decided not to make a steam bent rear bow. I am using some odd channel stuff from the scrapyard. I will use modern tack strip material inside the channel. After that, I'll cover the entire bow with cloth just like the factory did, and it will look fine.

The pic shows the car driven outside late today after I finished attaching the front wooden header.

All the tape is a guide to be able to see what the "lines" will look like after the cloth top is on.

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Another reason I drove the car outside was that I needed headroom to see if the complete top would fold down, and have the bows and header fall into the correct spot.

A 32 Nash owner from England copied and sent his original sales brochure. It said that the 1932 Nash now had a new top that "folds flat". The older tops had the front header too far back, almost blocking the rear trunklid, and a very tall pile of top bows.

I still am not sure how it will all work once the canvas top is installed, but I hope it will be ok.

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Last post for today. Keiser31 started a post about "where do you find your parts?". One reader said "in my barn"

Well, look what I found in my barn smile.gif I knew I had an old trunk up there. I bought it 25+ years ago for $5 or $10 at a house tag sale that had NO other car parts. At the time I regretted buying it because the trunk had surface rust and rot in the wood bottom.

My Nash is missing the two topside chrome strips and one vertical strip. I did get the original lock/latches in that crate of parts.

Take a close look, the trunk looks bigger, but it is not. You may notice the bottom is different. My car does not have a spare tire in back and the trunk is made to have the back panel fold down as a table. The trunk from the barn matches exactly to the pic of the 1933 topless Nash I put up a few posts ago. That car has a rear spare tire, so they used the same stlye/shape of a trunk, but with a solid back.

I find it hard to believe that my spare trunk cam from such a rare body style?? The other Nash body styles did not use this type of trunk. I can only guess that another car brand also used this style. At any rate, I now have the missing chrome strips. smile.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I had to cut down a couple of trees to widen the trail to the rear of the shop..so...I now have material to make some tack strips for the convertible top. No sense wasting good hickory.

I am not an expert on steam bending wood, but here is the only way it has ever worked for me:

I start with green wood, Ash, White Oak, or whatever hardwood that is handy. Years back I had trouble with splitting on tight bends especially if the wood grain was not in a nice straight line.

I look at a log to find a straight piece with no branches or signs of a knot. Then I split a much lomger piece than what I need. I split them longer in hopes that some part will not have a radial twist in the tree while it grew.

This log had a 40" dead straight part in a 8+ foot long log.

The bark on this species of Hickory peels right off in seconds with just a screwdriver.

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Next, I use some short drywall screws to put a guide board on the log section so that I can run it through the table saw. The guide runs along the saw fence to keep it straight.

The 10" saw needs a blade more like a cordwood saw, one with a lot of "set" on the teeth, because the wood is green. My carbide tipped blade would not rip this section with such a deep cut. I found a non-carbide blade and "reset" the teeth for an agressive cut. It works slick but makes 2X the sawdust smile.gif

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I had a section of ABS drain pipe with a piece of tire tube blocking one end. I had been using that tube to try to get rust off of the thin rocker panels by using electrolysis. It did not work because I could not find washing soda, plus the battery charger made the tube boil over in large amounts of foam.

So, I found a use for a used teapot someone gave me. I bored a 2" hole in the ABS tube and used a small radiator hose hooked to the suspended teapot. I just used a propane torch for heat because the tack strip was very thin. If it was thick, I would have needed lots more steam.

Then then critical part is that you need a solid form to bend and clamp to. This is a must have. If you just try bending a tight curve over a rounded object, the wood will split or de-laminate. The trick is to keep adding clamps right at the beginning of the bend, and keep adding more during the complete bend. The clamps are doing a lot of the bending, but you still need to push the far end of the wood as you clamp. Keep the clamps tight as you do the sharp bends, and that does help prevent de-laminating or splitting.

I did not need to make a form, because this tack strip goes inside a piece of channeled steel. After it dried a day, I drilled through the steel from the backside, and installed screws.

As I get older...maybe wiser...maybe lazier.. , I don't get carried away with procedures. I am making this rear bow tack strip in TWO pieces. I could have done it in one long piece but I would need a much longer "straight grained" piece of wood, PLUS a longer steaming tube WHICH would need much more steam capacity, AND a lot more clamps than I have. smile.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: keiser31</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Is that a 1969 or 1970 Dodge Dart lurking in the background?? </div></div>

Yes, 3rd owner 69 GT factory 4 speed conv. Was 273, first owner swapped in a 318, 2nd owner of 25 years swapped in a built 340. We swapped a 6 pack carb on it.

I spotted the car in a parking lot in 91 and I left a note trying to buy it. No deal. But then we both had sons born in 92 and they were friends through grade school. Three years ago, the Dad called me to say his health problems won't let him drive anymore, and the car was for sale. someone else had first dibs from decades ago, but he could not reach that guy...so I got it.

My son stole it from me smile.gif he claims he wants to fix it up.

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Thanks for the offer John, but a friend gave me his copy of that one.

That's the guy who made a folding top for his Nash

I got some inspriration from his attitude..... He said: "nothings difficult for me" "I just figure it out"

He must be related to Dean H. smile.gif

Also, thanks to caradman for the pic of the Kenosha Duesenberg....nice car

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  • 6 months later...
Any updates?

I can show some of the intricate metal fabrication on the rear quarter panels.

On the rear quarters, there are several things to plan before adding metal. These quarters had an inner wall which leaves a slot for some of the top irons to retract into. Also, the outer top part of the quarters are where the top canvas is partly tacked, and partly held on with snaps.

In this first pic of the drivers quarter, you can see some of the basic steel framing that I started with. You should be able to tell that there were wood pieces mounted at the top inner and outer wall.

The front half of each quarter originally had "snaps" that must be unsnapped before lowering the top. The rear of the quarter needs to have the canvas nailed/tacked permanantly. That works good for me, as the rear wooden tacking pieces were easy to steam bend. However, I could not find a way to easily make the front pieces to hold the snaps from wood, because the curves are more complex.

So, I decided to remake the front wood strips from 18ga steel with a shrinker/stretcher and some handwork and welding......and then make the rear part from wood. As you know, a snap is easy to attach to sheetmetal, but that canvas needs to be tacked to wood.

Way back when I started this project thread, I said the biggest concern was going to be finding a way to make the flimsy quarters rock solid when closing these very long doors. The quarters are not rock solid "yet". :)

I'll show the beginning of the driver side work on the first post, then show finished pics of the passenger side in a later post tonight.

Ok, first pic shows how little is there to start with, and I placed cardboard behind so you can see.

Next pic will show the first compound bent "wood replacement piece" tacked in place.

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Now here is the other side of the car finished as far as building the "metal tack strip for the snaps", as well as the wood tacking strip blended into the front steel strip. The wood strip actually goes into (tucked under) the steel front piece to keep it all stable.

There is a lot of work not shown here because I got so intensly involved with "design and build as you go", that I did not stop to take pics. :)

Anyways, I now have a completely boxed in rear quarter panel.

Not shown, is that there is a horizontal shelf built into the double panel. I put the shelf in there so that if anything were to fall into the slot, I can easily reach it, because the shelf keeps anything from dropping down to the bottom of the quarter panel.

When you are building all these pieces, you really need to plan ahead to find out what parts need to be welded in and ground down first, while you still have room. Then adding rubber/tar/aluminum soundproofing on each partition as you go. The soundproofing should make the car body sound like a wood framed car when I slam a door. I still need to soundproof the doors after chasing some dents in their outer skins.

One pic shows a ramp type detail in the slot. That was to allow clearance for the top iron to fold into. Another pic shows the top iron lowered into that ramp.

Well. one side is done and the quarter finally got rock solid as the last pieces were welded in. The door closes awesome, and gaps are perfect.

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I forgot to mention that I finally found a picture of an existing 32 2nd series 5 passenger conv sedan like mine. This is the only one I have found online in the past 14 months.

I found it while doing a google search for a particular brand of coal heating stove for my shop. That search led me to some sort of classified search helper site....so I typed in 32 Nash...and this car popped up on what I think is a spanish language car classified site, perhaps in South America.

I never could find any further info on a car like mine that was mentioned as a beginning restoration in Panama back in 2000 on the Nash Club archives. I have no idea if this is that car, or maybe the 3rd one "existing" in the "internet".

32's came in two series. The first series used a leftover 31 body with a modified grille. The Second Series was redesigned a little "all over" and then were also equipped with new hood doors instead of louvers. The SIX cyl cars had 4 per side....so this car is the second series 6 like mine. That website ad listed the pic as a cabriolet victoria, but it really is a 5 pass conv sedan.

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Are you still moving along at a good clip? I was impressed by the amount of work you were getting done in such a short amount of time. A restoration like this typically takes many years.

I was working on that car full time then. I have since been working on a 32 Ford and 31 Dodge that I have...plus did some major work on a 20 and also a 22 Dodge for another person. The 22 was a cut down roadster and my job was to put a replacement back half on. Finished it a few weeks ago.

I want to get back to the Nash. It is by far, the one special car that I feel very fortunate to own. I can't wait to get it out on the road.

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  • 2 months later...

I finally had some room in the heated part of the shop to do a few things to the Nash.

When I quit working on it last fall, I still needed to do the intricate framing on the drivers rear quarter.

I really have to get in the right frame of mind to do that work, so I started working on other things first. I was test fitting the hood pieces and radiator shell and I decided to take a few small dings out of the lower radiator apron.

I always thought the apron was some wild looking art deco design, with a triangular detail pointing down and radical curves on both sides. I've even pointed it out to other prewar guys who stop by. They also said it was pretty unusual... the plot thickens..

I took it off of the car and started to fix the dings, but noticed two small kinks in each side. I wondered how that could have happened.....then I spotted two brackets that were folded up like an accordian. Then I realized that the entire center section of the apron was twisted downwards exactly 90 degrees. :)

I ended up straightening one side first to test my theory if it really was bent by accident. You can see it laying twisted on the floor.

Then I had to heat the brackets so they would not crack while unfolding them.

Last pic and it's back on the car for final tweaking to get both side curves to match.

Whoever started this resto decades ago was fooled also; he had blasted both sides of the apron, then painted it rustoleum blue, then put it back on. :rolleyes:

I'll be posting a few more times soon as I have done other things in the last 2 weeks...including FINISHING the other quarter framing. yea.

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One thing that is imortant to me is putting this car back in the exact colors it once was. At least I'll do something right :D

Anyways, I have found very small specks of original blue paint that were missed by whoever blasted the car decades ago.

This body style in the 6 cyl model only came in one standard color combination. It was navy blue main body with midnight blue on the belt mouldings, wire wheels and windshield....and fenders were black.

I did get color names from TPC Global as well as 2 test quarts of paint.

I have since found original navy blue under the Rustoleum blue on the brake drums. I thought that two tone brakes/wheels was pretty upscale for this being the cheapest chassis for Nash in 1932.

I saw a single original page from a 1932 paint book from Walter Miller's literature store. I bought it as text only without chip samples. I was shocked to see that this chart said the fenders could be painted in the same color as the wheels and beltlines as a factory option.

Since I still did not feel up to starting the major metal work on the car, I tried finding out if I had any paint on any fender. I figured the original resto guy maybe sandblasted around the front parking lights, and maybe some paint was still left. Well, there was paint that looked sort of black, so I used compound to see what color rubbed off. It was the midnight blue. I am pretty happy with that as this car should look pretty classy....and yes it will be blackwall tires.

Also in the pic are a pair of NOS front lights. My car must have been junked as the windows, headlights and one park lens were shot out with BB's. I was real fortunate to get these lights...my old housings were age cracked up the centers.

Can't find much else for the car though..

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Btw, I'm on the same page with you in regards to the original colors. I think we've finally come full circle after the "circus era" of restorations.

From autobody magazine Feb 1931:

1. 50% of the cars at the national shows were a single color.

2. Black was the most popular color.

3. Maroon, followed by Brown followed by Blue.

4. Gray was popular but yellow and cream were used sparingly.

5. Few bright colored cars even among the open models.

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Such a cool car. Here is something for inspiration. Just don't put whitewalls on it.

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HCCA Holiday Motor Tour 2009

I sure am glad the white car is all over the net, including on HAMB in Mazooma1's pics of that Pasadena Run a year before. I have been scaling details off of that car. It is a 8cyl. It is a 2nd series like mine though. After I built my top irons, I read that that car is owned by the editor of Skinned Knuckles. I'd bet he would have sent some top bow pics and measurements if I had asked.

No whites for me, this car never had them. As far as auto shows; here is a pic from late 31 or early 32 showing the 1st series 32 Nash line up at a big show. All models are there including the big Ambassador, AKA"Kenosha Duesenberg"....and no white tires

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Last week I figured I needed to finish the drivers side rear quarter build.

One pic shows what I started with; the flimsy outer skin with some steel framing to support the top irons. Then I built inner and outer walls to form the slot where the top irons mount and move back and forth. These walls need inner panels so it looks finished if you look into the slot.

Very time consuming to fit all the small pieces. I then had to stop the metal work because it was time to steam bend the rear tack strip. When steam bending, you need to either build a form to clamp to, or if you are lucky, you can form it to the car. That's why I had to stop building the metal top, so I had a place to clamp to, and skip building a form. It is just a 1" strip of 14 gauge metal standing up. That strip will be part of the top cap later.

The wood was cut from a tree on my land. I hand split the wood to find a 3 foot section that had straight grain. Then split it to resemble a board, then attach a really straight board to it so it could guide the hickory piece against the table saw fence.

When bending, you need to hold tension on the far end of the wood, then use clamps on a scrap metal brace to help bend the wood without splitting. The scrap strip is on the outside of the bend; it helps the wood to lay tight against the form, plus keeps the clamps from denting the wood. Let the clamps do much of the work.

Next pics show the interior shelf inside the quarter panel. This shelf is in case something gets dropped into there, that I can reach it from the top. I am also soundproofing all the panels, inside and out before welding the cavity closed. I also have to remember to paint the aluminum sound proofing satin black so it won't be seen in the slot.

The last pic shows I am close to being done; just need the top cap fitted and welded up. Also you can see the round hole to get at the conv top mounting bolt.

Next post I will show how I make odd shaped panels with patterns..

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For many years I have always used paper or cardboard patterns to make and fit patch panels or make new panels.

One you have a "hole" you need to make a panel for, you just tape a piece of paper in place. Then just use fingers to run around the edge to either make a crease or even dirt on your fingers will leave a mark to allow you to cut the shape out with scissors. I used the side of a red pencil to illustrate.

I am not overlapping these patches in this area, it will be butt welded. You need to fuss with the sheet metal patch until it fits perfect. If you make it just a bit too big, it will fight you while tacking it in.

Welding next to the wood causes gasses that will hinder the mig welding, but I can't wait a few weeks for the wood to set up enough to remove it for welding.

After welding, grinding with several types of discs and it's done :)

Way back when I started on the car I said I worried a bit on how strong I could make the quarter panel/B pillar. That's because these doors are so long, that a lot of strength is needed when you slam a door shut. These came out rock solid..I am pleased.

I've been doing other work around the car and will add a few posts in a day or so.

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