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1937 Chevrolet Master Business Coupe

Owner: Mark and Jill Nelson

Fessenden, ND

Completed 9/20/02 at

 

5057 171st Ave SE, Horace, ND

 

Mark contacted Hot Rods by HG in late 2000 to have his uncles old 37 Chevy Coupe restored. Mark recalls many rides in this buggy during his youth and pursued the finding of the car. When found the owner was reluctant to sell but Mark persisted and obtained the family heirloom. Following are the steps taken to bring this 37 Chevrolet Master Business Coupe back to life. The total restoration took over 500 man hours to complete.

 

Vehicle Identification Number   21GB0729314

Style     37-1217           Master Five Window Coupe

Body    J 3503    Trim     63     Paint     213

Restoration steps.

 

Here we have the project ready to start. On jack stands and the wheels off we have access to all parts of the car. An inspection reveled more issues that were unseen. As we progress we find more hidden items.

The project looked good when we started, paint looked good and the car started and ran ok. First thing we did was pull the front clip to get access to the front suspension and engine. The front fenders and hood are always done off the car.

Now we have the front clip off we can access the engine and suspension. Engine was checked for compression and other items and found to be boarder line, so decision was to do a complete overhaul.

Not sure if you can make it out, the rear floor pan under the seat and gas tank was level full of mouse crap and cotton from the interior. Once cleaned we found lots of rust holes. .

The drivers side floor pan was in need of repair, rust hole by the rocker and very thin. The old panel was cut out and a new pan was made

The engine is pulled along with the transmission, manifolds are taken off. The entire engine will be taken to the machine shop for complete tear down. This is the “Babbitt” and “dip” bearing and oil system. The rods will be upgraded to “insert” type bearings. Valve seats will be changed to “hardened” seats to allow unleaded fuel to be used.

Now we have full access to the fire wall and front frame components. All bushings on the springs were replaced, the steering gear was rebuilt, new king pins were installed and all brake lines and cylinders were replaced. Frame horns were media blasted and painted.

Here are some of the surprises we find once the car is taken apart. This is the front part of the rear fender and media blasting has shown the rust holes. This will be cut out and new metal patches will be welded in.

More surprises on the rear fenders, this is the driver’s side rear of back fender. Both fenders had to have the back tails completely redone and patched. Some areas of the fender tail were 2” thick with bondo.

This is the top side flange of the rear fenders that fastens to the body. Lots of rust holes and patch work here to make this a solid unit once more. This is why the car needs to be pulled apart before painting. In a couple of years this fender would have been rattling and cracking the paint.

 

Once the rear floor was stripped, gas tank out and the trunk wood package shelf was out we found all kinds of nice rust holes to fix. Rodent droppings and urine do and good job of eating metal.

This is the rear body mount area; both left and right side had to be rebuilt to make a solid mount.

The old wire harness had seen better days. Lots of splices and repair to the firewall and engine harnesses. Once we pulled the whole harness we found lots of broken and stripped wire. A new complete harness was ordered and installed to assure a problem free final unit.

The underside of he car was very solid and clean other than the rear floor and driver floor spots, there was no rust through. A good blasting and this was ready to paint.

This gives you an idea of how tough the back ends of the rear fenders were. Lots of holes and bondo to make it match the rear pan. We cut out the old patch and rust areas and extended the tail to fit as it should. Pen marks indicate planned patches.

Now we can get into the repair parts. Here the rear floor has new patches welded in and ground down. Note the new wire harness for the taillights. Once all the metal work was done a light coat of primer and undercoating was applied to the entire inside and covered with black paint.

The tail pan did not get by with out some patch work as well. Here a patch has been welded on to replace the rust that had been cut out.

Here is picture of the inside door before it was completely disassembled for clean up and service. All the rubber seals, window whiskers and channel were replaced. New glass was also cut for the side and vent widows as well as rear quarter windows.

. The interior was completely stripped to allow full access to the dash and other components. Gauges were reworked, cleaned and reinstalled. Temp gauge was sent out for repair.

In preparation for the final product we media blasted the dash. All instruments had been removed and glass and other items masked off to prevent damage. The dash was repainted a metallic brown that was close to the original color

Here is another look at the rear floor with the patches in and finished off. All rust was removed prior to the patch being welded in.

The rear of the car seemed to sag so rear springs were removed and sent out to have them reached and an extra leaf added to assure a proper height. They were arched one inch and the extra leaf added another inch.

Her is what the drivers floor pan looked like once it was welded. Seams will be ground down to make the floor smooth. We fabricated this out of 16 gauge.

Even the heater had to be rebuilt. Found a company in CA that recored the round type heaters.

Every part of the car was taken down to metal including the heater box.

Once all the welding and other prep work was done, we proceeded to finish off the front frame area. All components had been rebuilt and the chassis completely cleaned. A high quality PPG urethane was used.

Once the chassis and fire wall were completed the engine was painted and installed. Now wiring and plumbing could be put on. Engine was bored .030 with new valves and seats, water pump, radiator was recored, carburetor overhauled and more.

Here the car is primed and ready for final block sanding with 320. The rear fenders are hung on and are removed to be finished.

Here Kelly is fitting the welting and seals to the front fenders. Note the fender has been “color sanded” with 1500 for final clear coat and pearl application.

A base coat of black is applied, a good 3 coats. Note the rear fenders and front clip are not mounted. This allows us to paint all the joint areas. A couple of coats of clear are applied after the base.

The next step is to assemble the car and do a full “color sand” with 1500 on the clear coat. This will give us a glass like surface to apply the red pearl and more clear. Note car is now assembled to assure a consistent application of the pearl.

Final paint is black base with clear coat, color sanded and clear with pearl applied, then 3 coats of clear to top it off. This is then color sanded with 2000 and buffed and polished. The wide whites add a lot the look.

Another look at the final paint. When inside or under clouds it looks nice and black. When the sun hits the pearl it’s a whole different look! This is what we call “Black Cherry”. Look at a dark cherry in the grocery store and you’ll see the effect.

Once the paint was done and it was running, time for interior. Billy’s Custom Cover Up in Kindred, ND. Original type material was obtained and used the stock patterns.

Here is the back head liner and package shelf. Window trim was redone with a wood grain kit.

Another shot of the head liner and quarter window area.

The front seat is installed and new materials were used in the base.

Here we have the final product with new chrome bumpers and everything in place.

This will give Mark and Jill some fun times and lots of looks and “wows” for a long time to come.

 

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