The most exciting part of a restoration is of course when the car is ready for paint. I can hard contain the excitement seeing these photos sent by Miguel! After much painstaking back and forth decision making, we have selected a paint that we believe best matched the original creme! Enjoy the photos below, as the next post you will see some fresh paint.
One of the best parts about working with Miguel is that he sends me photos. I cannot stress this enough, and could never imagine being kept in the dark during a restoration. The sheer amount of detail put into this build has been a job in itself (mostly due to my OCDness)! As you can see from the photos below, we are trying to make everything it just right. Were race cars built to this detail in this detail in the 70's? Probably not, but I will rest better knowing everything I could have done to make this build perfect has been done. In these photos you will see body work, measuring, welding, and sampling of paint!
People often believe that the most expensive part of a restoration is the paint job. However, I can now say from experience that this couldn't be more false! The chassis of this restoration has so far been my largest investment and will most likely be the most influential aspect of the outcome. Another misconception of restorations is that no putty, filler, bondo, or whatever you want to call it, should be used. This is also false! Automotive body filler is essential to smoothing out surfaces in preparation for paint. Unless you have an limitless budget, a little filler won't hurt anyone - as long as it is applied in the correct fashion!
Here are a few more shots of the lovely stitch welding. Yes, I admit that this was not "as raced back in the day" by this particular car, but it may help me stand a chance against some of the Porsche 935's that will be in my run group!
As you can see from this next photo, the floor pans have seen better days. But hey, this is ORIGINAL! In a later post, we will tell the story of this car flipping top over bottom multiple times at Laguna Seca. The front clip was replaced, but the original tub remained!
So what do you do when you need better access to the bottom of the car? Create a dolly! Thanks to the Z Car Club of San Diego, Miguel is getting more and more business from the Z community. This allows him to make small investments to give him quicker turnaround.
Enjoy a few most shots of the body work and panel alignment process!
The past few months I have been working closely with Petrolicious and Valkyr Productions to produce the latest video feature on my 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240Z-L. I am extremely lucky having experienced this, as I have always been a huge fan of their work. I could not be happier with the way the film turned out! In this post, I thought I would start off by introducing the video you, followed by a behind the scenes look!
We started off the day meeting both Jeremy and Graham from Valkyr Films, a filming company that Petrolicious partners with for some of their work. I have to first say, Jeremy and Graham are first-class. The whole process, from the phone interview to wrapping up the final scene of the film, was truly a memorable experience.
We started off the day with a drive up my favorite back roads (intentionally chosen for this film), Highway 9 and Skyline Boulevard (Hwy 35). It was a gorgeous day, so we had the opportunity to take some fantastic rolling drone shots! The chaser car of choice? None other than the Nissan 300ZX! Lunch, of course was at the infamous Alice's Restaurant at the intersection of Hwy 35 and 84, a petrolhead-favorite pitstop!
After lunch we returned to my place for the interview. I have to say I was quite nervous not having been on film before, but Jeremy made me comfortable and treated it like a conversation. Please excuse the ugliness of my garage!
After the interview, we headed east with the destination of the California Pacific Coast Highway. We reached the coast earlier than we thought, so we thought we would take some backroads for some more shots. We stumbled upon Stage Road, a road I personally had not driven before.... and what a sight it was!
We captured some absolutely stunning shots on Stage Road. This had to have been the highlight of my experience with Petrolicious - absolute serenity.
Finally the sun began to set, a sign to the end of an experience like no other. We were extremely blessed with great weather all day, and could not have asked for better company. What a perfect day...
And then this happened...
Admittedly, I have been quite lackadaisical when it comes to updating this journal. Luckily, the project has been moving forward! The sheer amount of hours I have dedicated to project manage the VIPS 240Z has been insane! Now, for some eye candy!
Being a race car all its life, the VIPS 240Z had its fair share of bumps and bruises. As you can see from the frame rails they were extremely beat. No problem, right?
To reinforce these frame rails, a set of Bad Dog frame rails was ordered. These custom frame rails are a work of art and extremely rigid. With the addition of the rear pieces,which connect the front and rear of the chassis, the car will definitely be set up to withstand the beating to come.
Next? How do we make it more rigid? Stitch it up! Back in the day, stitch welding was a racer's trick to making the chassis stronger. Since the car was stripped to bare bones, why not right? The engine bay, underbody, interior, and anything touching the suspension was all stitch welded. Overkill? Probably.
Anything that touches the suspension absolutely needs to be reinforced. However, we had to be extremely careful not to make certain areas too stiff. Generally you do not want to stitch went anything in the crush zone, or else you could end up doing more damage to the chassis in an event of a crash. Regardless, stitch welding just looks so bad ass!