Author Topic: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?  (Read 1987 times)

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2019, 06:37:11 AM »
During the preparation for the paint, I checked if most of the trim parts would fit. The rear bumper had also to be temporarily installed to check the aperture.

 July 1998: Once I was ready with the outside of the body, I could spray some paint on the inside panels. I know that the factory did not paint inside parts so much, but once I have a pray gun in the hand (and enough paint) I'm not to be stopped!

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2019, 04:57:37 AM »
Parallel to the assembly and body prepare, there were many things to organize, go to the plater, discuss with the man doing the upholstery and repairing what people sold me as "like new" parts. One good example is the front bow. The one on the car was full of holes; I looked for a good one. I got an offer from a very well known convertible parts supplier; according to him, it was really like new, ready to install. OK, deal done, let ship that marvel!
When it came, the front bow was indeed very gook looking. Ah! at least something I can store until it's needed. However, when I was looking at the part, I heard some strange noises inside. By shaking it, it was clear: this thing was repaired and bondo was traveling inside. What do do? well, have a look "under the rock" which means: I began to scratch the paint to see what was under. It was not nice: bondo over the rust. The whole part was maybe a little better than the one I had already, but not much. What next? I separated the halves and I began to weld patches...then sandblasted, paint of the inside and welded again. As I was at this work, I repaired the bow which was on the car; I sold it later, but I was confident that my work was first quality, not like the one I bought. By the way, this supplier is since "dead" for me.
The pictures are showing the "like new" bow.


Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2019, 06:24:05 AM »
The "car" was delivered to me without the hard boot. By chance, I could find one in good shape. New paint was needed and the leather on the side was no more good. I had to think how to attach it again to the plastic part; I found a solution with small screws. If needed, I can take the leather away without problem.
The hard boot was repainted by the body shop, I did not the work myself.

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2019, 06:31:10 AM »
Another great day: the car is coming out of the garage under its own power! I had many trouble the day I started the engine, all created by myself...I believe an observer that day would have seen a funny cartoon:
the engine is starting, fine! I go under the hood and ran back to stop the engine: fuel is coming out the carbs! the screws from the air horn were loose, I had forgotten to tighten them...
New start: Oh my god! there is no oil in the transmission! OK, some liters after, I start the engine again. After a while, I see a lake of oil under the engine! What was wrong this time? Oh ! I forgot to tighten the lid of the oil filter...At least, I'm now sure that oil is coming there!
Then, the engine ran good, without too much problem. They would come later. Stay tuned!


Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2019, 03:51:06 AM »
It would be time to discuss a little bit about chrome...The subject was already scratched with the Sabre wheels; however, such a vehicle is generous with chrome. You may imagine that chromed parts were not in good shape on this car. I had to replace many of them; for example, the center bar of the rear bumper was not bad looking; once removed, I saw that it was eaten by the rust behind the small bumper guards. The pot metal parts were in a desolate shape, badly pitted.
At that time, there was an advertiser in Hemmings who claimed he can restore such parts. During a vacation in Florida, I took many parts with me (next to the brake booster) and we paid a visit to that company. I left some money there and all the parts...
A friend of us, located in Florida was also involved with the shipping of the parts back to Switzerland.
Most of the parts were good, some were not. Something surprised me: the parts were much heavier as before. When I tried to assemble chromed parts together, like the fake air inlets on the quarter panel, they would not fit anymore. The teeth on those parts had also a drop at their ends, they were not usable as is. Then, I began to have a good look at the back side of that specific part and I noted that I could peel the "chrome". Then I understood the "secret" of that job: when received, the chrome is electrolytically removed; the copper plating stay untouched. Then the parts are sprayed or dipped in a conductive primer; they are probably sanded after that to have a regular surface. Then they get a very thick layer of copper which is polished and then chromed. All those layers add thickness to each part and the copper add the weight. I measured the thickness of the copper: 0.3mm (appr. 0.012") The first layer is almost as thick, so each surface is about 0.5 mm thicker (0.02")! No wonder that they cannot fit together! A part alone on the body is absolutely not a problem, but when 2 chromed parts have to be assembled together, you have to find a solution. I began to grind the back of my new chromed parts, removed the extra material until they would fit. Some parts were not good: as mentioned before, the "teeth" parts on the side were grotesk, either I bought other ones or I peeled the chrome/copper. The instrument body was also not good. I did also a strip-tease of that part. Then, on all parts which were now as bad as before, I began to remove the original cooper by sanding as well as a little bit of pot metal until the surface was smooth. Then, I gave them to a Swiss plater who did the polishing and plating.
One part on the car was broken: one of the molding on top of the rear fenders. Despite intensive search, I could not find such a part. (Some years ago, a welding technique was developed for pot metal, but it was too late) What to do? As I did for the Brougham for a missing part, I took contact with a small foundry. They told me that if they take the broken part "as is" there will be a shrinkage and the part will not fit on the body. I had to cut the molding at the elbow and increase the length at each half (were it was cut) with bondo. To reduce the costs, I ordered 6 or 8 pairs; I could sell some; I still have one pair in case...
Once cast in bronze, the parts had to be silver soldered together, adjusted to the body, filed, sanded, machined and...plated. The result is very good. I had an original part plated in Florida; as it would not fit the way I liked, I used another part of my creation. The original part is still on stock, ready to sell!
Both pictures below are showing the bronze parts machined, but before their surface is smoothed.

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2019, 04:01:41 AM »
As I wrote, I still had an original tail molding for a long time. Some years ago, I sold it to somebody in Sweden or Finland after explaining the process and that one of my home made molding would be a better deal. Sometime after, he wrote to say that he should have do the choice I suggested.
The pictures are showing the original molding after the special chrome treatment.

Offline Lexi

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2019, 08:37:36 AM »
Lots of work and an amazing journey you experienced with your rebuild project Roger. Clay/Lexi

Offline David King

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2019, 10:36:50 AM »
Hi Roger,

Do the molds still exist?  If yes, could another run be commissioned?

David
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 08:03:52 AM by David King »
David King  CLC 22014 life member
Founder & Director of the Eldorado Brougham chapter
'55 Eldorado #266
'58 Eldorado Brougham #615
'59 Eldorado Brougham #56
'60 Eldorado Brougham #83

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2019, 10:43:15 AM »
I doubt because I'm not sure if the foundry still exists. Just in case, the last pair I have can be had.
It could be that I misunderstood the question. The part I cut and modify is still in my garage. I don't need it anymore; if interested, make me an offer.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 04:37:25 PM by Roger Zimmermann »

Offline Roger Zimmermann

Re: 1956 Eldo Biarritz: to restore or not?
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 04:14:49 AM »
At the end of august 1998, the car was ready to go to the paint shop. They had an hard time to improve the surfaces. Of course, as it was not urgent, they did not work on a regular basis on the car.
It came back with the same small truck early November. Now is really looking like a car!
It was a pleasure o install the firs chromed parts; one day, I got again out at the same place when I took the pictures with the body in primer. With the time, most parts went back to the car.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 05:25:01 AM by Roger Zimmermann »