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Looking for a Speedster Body Builder


dpeeler
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Looking for a craftsman/shop that can fabricate a speedster body from the firewall back, including the seat buckets, rear fenders and the oval gas tank. Prefer someone located in the southeast US but will travel to the right person. Previous speedster experience with references a must. This was a large 131" wb car from the 1913 - 1915 era. Thanks, David

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/8/2017 at 11:52 AM, dpeeler said:

Looking for a craftsman/shop that can fabricate a speedster body from the firewall back, including the seat buckets, rear fenders and the oval gas tank. Prefer someone located in the southeast US but will travel to the right person. Previous speedster experience with references a must. This was a large 131" wb car from the 1913 - 1915 era. Thanks, David

  Hello David
I probably can help...depending on the project, time frame and budget you have in mind...
feel free to contact to fnk@vintageracingcar.com

 

Tks
Fred

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4 hours ago, dpeeler said:

Here's where we're starting. It's a 1915 Stevens-Duryea 6 cylinder, 131" WB. Bought it as a parts car with the hood, front fenders, and cowl. Just too complete to part out and thought it would make a great speedster!IMG_1269.thumb.jpg.300d7e561eec970d94d8305906e340f7.jpg

Dave, You thought right! You have a great machine to finish into a speedcar...

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I paid a visit to Wray Schelin at Pro Shaper in Charlton, Mass. this afternoon looking for some help on my Indy car body.  He has a huge shop with lots of equipment.  There were 12-15 cars/projects there in various states of completion.  Wray is now focused on teaching 4-day metal-forming classes of 12-15 students at a time, once a month.  He said he didn't really want to take on work to build cars for people anymore because they usually don't have enough cash flow to keep paying him.  Wray thought it would take a commitment of $20,000 a month to build a car from scratch.   I was hoping that a simple body-only could be done in a few months at a much lower cost. 

 

After much discussion, he suggested that I build a wire frame buck for the tail section of my car and make some extensions for the angle-iron cockpit frame that I have.  He uses 1/4" diameter 1018 steel rod for this with pieces spaced closely enough to fully define the shapes, maybe 4"-8" apart.  Wray doesn't like wood body bucks, but at least I have enough of one to accurately define the shapes of the tail section to construct a wire form.  I was going to have to build a new buck anyway.   My visit a few months ago to Fay Butler's shop resulted in the recommendation to make a buck from dense insulation foam, but that has its own problems:  can't put your hand on the back side of the metal, can't use the buck for welding aluminum skin together, etc.

 

Then, he would have me take one of his classes to augment what I have learned elsewhere, and perhaps use his classes to make the panels for my car body.  This doesn't sound like the most appealing way to do it, because a few rank amateurs would be working 4-days a month on my project while they learned basic skills, and it would take a year or more to get my body panels.  Wray left the door open for the possibility of me coming back to the shop after my 4-day class and using his shop equipment for $25/hr and paying him to guide me in the fabrication of the panels.  That might work for me, though it's 75 minutes from my house.  I don't want to become an expert aluminum body builder at my age, I just want to get this one car done.  Anyone else want to sign up with me for a $1500 4-day class in March?

 

If you didn't click on the link in Alsancle's post above, here is the link to the Pro Shaper web site:  http://www.proshaper.com

 

In summary, however, unless you're prepared to pay a big chunk up front and commit to significant monthly payments, Wray is unlikely to take on building a unique body.  So, who in the Northeast will actually make a body on commission?  

 

 

 

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