Selling Custom Cars On-Line

 

SELLING CUSTOM CARS on-line

 

Putting your Custom Car up For Sale on one of the many on-line auction sites has become very easy. But how can you make sure your Custom will get noticed, and you will make the sale your hoping for.


For a long time I have been wondering about how some Custom Cars are listed on the online For Sale and auction sites as eBay, Craigslist etc. Some of the cars advertised are being listed with the use of poor photos, and very minimum, incomplete information, while the subject cars are of high quality or some of historic importance. And some of them have high asking prices, which do not really add up with the way these cars are presented in the online ads. A couple of recent 80’s historic Customs from a famous builder that were offered online in a rather poor way, with minimal photos and info made me decide to create this article.

To me it makes no sense to spend countless of hours and a lot of money to create, or acquire your dream car, and then spend as less time as possible putting it on an online For Sale site. A bit of attention to detail, and some decent time spend to present the car as good as possible, with the help of this article will more than likely help you sell your Custom Car quicker and or for better money.

This is an image I created to draw more attention to this car. It can be used on Social Media to help promote the online listing of your car. This one image provides the viewer with a lot of information. Added text can include a link to the online listing.
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Ever since I started the MarketPlace here on the Custom Car Chronicle I have tried to help people selling their cars. Either with a Full Feature article (paid option) or with help listing the cars on the free Marketplace For Sale section. When doing the Full Feature article I always keep in mind that the material that I create especially for this, can be used on other online auction sites as well. I try to advise people to take certain photos that show the car the best way possible, and in all its detail. I use my photographic and Photoshop skills to enhance the photos of the cars, by cleaning up the backgrounds, cropping the photos for the best results.

I think that when you list a Custom Cars for sale online, you need to put some effort into it to make it look at its very best. The cars needs to be treated like it will be at its own online car show. Of course it depends on the condition of the car to be sold, some are old custom cars, that have been on the road for a long time, others are un-restored, or even project cars. And you have the award winning cars. All these cars need to be treated in a different way, but for all the same rule of making it look as good as possible counts. It does not make send to spend month, perhaps years creating a Custom Car, and then spend just an hour or so listing it online.

When your Custom Car is listed online, this means that everybody from all over the globe is a potential buyer. (Even if you only sell it in your own country, a potential buyer from overseas might buy it thru a local friend) As the car owner you are very familiar with your car, and you might not feel that certain details are important, because you are so used to it. But for somebody that has never seen the car in person, and who will not ever see it in person unless he or she buys it, these details might be very important. The more info and the more photos you can show the better, but you do not want to overdo it either. You also always have the option of offering to send more photos and info by email, to serious potential buyers. But no matter what the first impression of the online ad, and possible social media used to help promote the listing, is crucial.

A special image created for Facebook to help promote an online listing. In this case the photos of the ’36 Ford had very unattractive backgrounds which I removed to make it all more interesting and appealing.
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I have created this article with the purpose of helping you to sell your Custom Car online the best way possible. It does not matter on which site you are offering the car, a good presentation of your Custom in photos and words is what makes your care more desirable, and you most likely will end up selling it for a better price, and sooner. To illustrate what kind of photos you need to make I have used some sample photos of different cars I took over the years. NONE of these cars are actually For Sale!



Photography

You do not really need to be a good photographer to make a nice photo of your Custom Car, there are just a couple of rules you need to keep in mind. With today’s smart phone’s everybody can make good enough photos if you follow take notice of certain things. And most of all if you take the time to make the photos. Often I see very bad snapshot being used in online ads, photos taken of the car in 5 min, and then uploaded at random order and then trying to sell the car for a huge amount of money. This will not work.

If you have a rolling project, or a finished car, then its ideal, see if you can take it to a place where there is an attractive, or at least even background. A background that that is not distracting from the subject.
Make sure that on a sunny day, the sun is helping you highlight the car, not work against you and create a shadow on the side you are taking photos of. Always keep the sun on your back as much as possible. This often means that you have to move around the car a few times to make sure the lighting of the car is always as optimal as possible.

Take as many digital photos of the car as you can, if you don’t use them, you can just delete them. its always better to take to many, than too few.

When you take photos of the car you have to try and capture the car like how you would look at it if you want to buy a car in person. Walk around it, take photos from all angles, step back, look at the profile, the stance and keep the camera at face height as much as possible. Low or high angle photos can be nice and arty, but are not great selling material. Photos like that do not show the stance of the car, or the overall flow. If you take photos, make sure you keep a certain distance from the car, its better to slightly zoom in, than have the camera create a fish eye effect. Remember that it is important you try to capture the car how it really looks.

Once you have photographed the outside, open a door, and the hood and trunk and photograph the interior, the engine and trunk, nice overall photos, especially of the interior are important. One showing the dash and part of the seat, the back seat if needed, the headliner and make sure the door panels are photographed as well. You can add a few detail photos of dash and steering wheel details as well. And if you have a nice upholstered car, make sure to include some detail photos of that. The same goes for the engine and trunk, overall photos, and if needed some details.

If the car you sell is a driver, then make sure you add one or more photos of the car on the street, driven, photographed from outside, or from the seating position.


There are a number of photos that are mandatory ford an online ad.

  • Dead-on front, rear and side views. (especially the dead on side view is very important, and often forgotten.)
  • 3/4 front and rear view, preferably from both driver and passenger side.
  • Interior overview, taken with the doors open to allow the most light.
  • Engine overview
  • If possible shows some drive train pictures. Perhaps from during the build, or from a time the car was on a bridge or something like that.



Indoor photos
If you have a project car, or a car that is in a garage and cannot be removed make sure you spend some good time cleaning the surroundings as much as possible. Remove any obstacles that are in front of the subject, and if needed use large sheets, or card board etc added behind the car as a backdrop. The less stuff can be seen that is not listed in the ad, the more focus there is on the subject. Make sure the is sufficient lighting, add a couple of lambs to light up dark sections if needed.

If you have progress photos of your Custom Car, make sure to include some of those as well. People love to see how a car was build, they really add a lot of value to a car. Especially if the work is done properly.

Size
Makes sure your photos have a decent size. There is nothing worse than looking at an online ad where the photos are so small you cannot see any details. Always make sure your digital photos are at least 1000 pixels wide, but preferably more than that. Remember how you look at a car in person if you want to buy it, you want to get in s close as possible to see all the details. That’s what you want for your on-line ad as well.

The first photo on the online listing, and especially the one that is being used as the thumbnail on the website search page needs to be the most attractive and or interesting photo you have of the project. This is the first image people will see, if a poor photo is used for this, some potential buyers might even skip the listing.
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A dead-on front view, very important to include that.
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The dead-on side view really has to be included, it rally tells a lot about the car, the overall flow, the stance etc. Try to keep the camera in such a way that you can see a small portion of the door top on the other side of the car thru the window opening. This way you show the flow of the roof, as well the stance of the car. Even though this photo shows the car nicely, it would have been better if the background would have been more even, and less colorful.
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Front 3/4 view of the passenger side. The background on this photo is already much better than the one above. A good front and rear quarter view give the best impression of a car.
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Rear 3/4 view drivers side. Compare this photo with the one below from the passenger side. Look how much more focus there is on the car itself on the photo below due to the more even background. So if at all possible, turn the car around so you can photograph this side of the car, with a better looking background.
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This rear angle photo was taken from a slightly lower point of view. Enhancing the flow of the top and rear window.
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Taking it for a spin… People always love to see photos like that, it means the car is driven and on the road.
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Good looking details always need to be included.
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This is one of the better interior photos I have seen. It makes me feel I’m stepping right into the car and going for a drive. A picture like this will get people excited.
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Now lets go for a drive… this is the look from the drivers side, another important photo.
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Here is a good excuse for taking a low point of view photo of your car. This way you can capture a lot of the interior in one picture.
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Always nice to include is a picture with the hood and trunk open, this is after all what will happen if you would look at a car in person as well.
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An generic engine picture shows in this case that the engine is stock and relatively clean. No need for detail photos in this car.
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Sometimes you have limited photos to use on an online ad, so it might come in handy if you can combine more than one photo to show some details. Online (free) apps can create combined images like this.
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If you have had your car at car shows, it might be nice to include a picture of that, or perhaps make a collage showing multiple show photos. The photo I show above is perhaps not showing the car really well, but it does show that the car is taken very well care of, and gets fully detailed at the show. Information like this might be important for a potential buyer.
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If you have build up photos… try to include a few, or create like I did here, a collage of construction images. Construction photo are very important if you have them. Potential buyers can tell a lot from these.
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If you are selling a drive-able custom, see if you can take some rolling photos. Adding an on-the-road photo will add great value to your car, it is after all where it was created for.
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If your car was ever in a magazine, or perhaps show coverage… you better want to include it… same goes for Trophies. Pictures are always better than just mentioning them.
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And if you have the skills see if you can set one of your images free from the background. Its optional, but it sure will make the ad look really good.
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History

If the Custom Car you are offering has any history, make sure you document that as good as possible, old photo’s, magazine features, car show photos etc. Sometimes its a good idea to make an actual collage of historic material and make some digital photos of that to add to the listing. Do not be shy on this, a cars history is always important, and it certainly adds to its value, but it needs to be show, next to it being mentioned.
Even if you have Custom Car that was created in recent years it might still be a good idea to mention where you got it from originally, or any other details of the cars former life.

Words

A nice personal story about the car is always good, but what is the most important thing about an online ad is a list of details, a list of modifications done to the car, parts used, material used, perhaps time and or money spend on it. A list of people, or shops who worked on the car, and if needed a list of car shows it was entered in and possible awards it won.

Make sure that these things are listed in short sentences, and create the list of parts, modifications etc as a vertical list (lines below each other) not using comma’s behind each other on one line, which would make it hard to read. Be as specific as possible. Remember that you know your Custom inside out, but for the online customer, it is all new. The more info he gets, the better he might like the car.

The detail list
To make your ad stand out from the rest of the ads with written info, try to be as complete as possible with providing your information. Creating a list of specifics is the best and most visually attractive way to do this. Below is a list that will help you create a list specifically for your Custom Car. And since this article is done especially for Custom Cars, I feel that the most important information for a Custom Car is the body and all the work that has been done to it, so that is where you will start.

 

THE LIST

Body

  • Body type
  • Body modification
  • Grille
  • Headlights
  • Taillights
  • Accessories
  • Other specific details worth mentioning
  • Paint / paint by
  • Body work by

 

Interior

  • Dash / instruments
  • Steering wheel
  • Seats
  • upholstery
  • headliner
  • carpet
  • trunk
  • specific details worth mentioning

 

Chassis

  • Frame
  • Front suspension
  • Rear suspension
  • How it is lowered
  • Brakes
  • Tires front/rear brand/size
  • Wheels
  • Hubcaps

 

Drivetrain

  • Engine
  • Engine accessories
  • Transmission


Creating the online ad.

When you create the ad you have to keep in mind that it will be viewed by people from around the globe. People who are looking for a car want to walk around out, which is not possible online, but with the kind of photos you have taken, you might give them a feeling they are able to walk around the car.

Start of with an nice overview photo of the car, your favorite view of the car is perfect for this. Often this is an front or rear 3/4 view. From there walk around the car, show all the exterior photos you want to see, overall views first, then followed by some more detail photos of some of the cars special features if you want to show those. Then go into the interior, and the trunk, and end with the engine.

If needed add the photos of the cars history the last. Or in case the car has an really good history, you might want to start with an historic photo to draw more attention.

If the car was build to drive on a regular base, make sure you mention that. Make sure to share how the car handles and how much fun you had driving it. Good stories like that will have a positive feel on potential buyers.

Make sure you upload the photos in the right order. If needed number the photos before you upload them to the auction site. Make sure you have plenty of time creating the online ad. If you only have limited time, perhaps wait till you have more time to create a good looking ad.  You really do not want to rush this. This ad is your presentation of your Custom Car to the world!



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Need help?

As a graphic artist and Photoshop expert I can create special photos, clean up photos etc to make your car look the very best possible. Photos, or photo collages that can been used in the online ad, or used on Social Media to help promote the online listing. If you need help listing your car online, no matter what website you use, send me an email and find out how if I can help you present your Custom Car the best way possible for the on-line market.

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Installing Spotlights

 

INSTALLING SPOTLIGHTS

 

Spotlights have been a popular accessory item on custom cars since the early 1940’s. This article shows an excellent article on how to install them from the October 1954 issue of Speed Mechanics



The spotlights used on the customs from the 1940’s and 1950’s were produced by several manufactories. The Appleton and Lorainne spotlights were the brands used on most customs. And the Appleton S-112 and S-522 were the most popular models to use. The Spotlights could be bought at your local speed shop or ordered from any of the early mail order companies. They came in left and right hand version. Each box came with full instructions and templates for the use of most of the then current automobiles. However it still took some skills to mount them properly and at the right angle to have the best result. The article published in the October/November issue of Speed Mechanics is an excellent article, and must have helped many custom car enthusiast all over the US in installing their favorite set of spotlights.


Special thanks to Ulf “Wolf” Christiansson and Stefan Elbrink.

CCC-installing-spotlights-19-WThe magazine spend four and a quarter page on how to install the spotlights.
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Below are some photos that give you an impression what you received back in the day when you bought a set of Spotlights for your Custom Car. The box and content shown here are from Wolf’s collection. He was very lucky to find some NOS Appleton spotlights on one of his many searches. Some of the instruction sheets come from Stefan’s collection.


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CCC-installing-spotlights-23-WIf you opened the box the spotlight was sitting between bended cardboard. On top of this was another piece of cardboard and the instruction sheets.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-21-WThe complete content of the box.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-20-WThis is the sheet with templates for the most common cars available back then. When you ordered the spotlight you have to specify which brand and year car you wanted to use the lights for.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-24-WClear instructions were included.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-26-WWith well detailed instruction diagrams.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-27-WThe backside of the instruction sheet included an diagram showing each part used in the spotlight assambly. This in case you needed to replace a broken part or had to repair something.
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CCC-installing-spotlights-25-WNot included in the box, but needed for installation are these two brackets that go onto the A-Pillar. These had to be bought separate since a few different types/angles were needed to make sure the lights fitted your car model.
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Check out the CCC-Article on how to take apart the Appleton Spotlights for more information.

We have also created a CCC-Forum post about how to install the Appleton Spotlight.
This is THE PLACE to find more information, or ask any question about the installation, restoration or any other questions about the Spotlights.

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(This article is made possible by)





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Choosing White Wall Tires 2

 

CHOOSING WHITE WALL TIRES

 

Since the early days of Custom cars, back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the number one choice for tires to use was a White Wall tire, they would add instant class and style to your car.

 
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A lot of the coachbuilt cars back in the 1930’s used huge white wall tires. Since these coachbuilt cars are one of the main inspiration sources for the early Custom Cars, it is no wonder that the tire of choice for the early Custom Cars where white wall tires. Also the high end production cars, like Duesenberg’s and Cadillacs had often white wall tires. The more common cars on the street used mainly black wall tires. Using a set of white wall tires on your custom car added something luxurious to your ride. Around WWII a lot of stuff was hard to find, so a lot of Custom Car went to black wall tires, but most of them switched to white wall tires as soon as they came available again. In the 1940’s till about the mid 1950’s, the most wildly used white wall tires where the once with the wide white wall inserts.

 

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After the mid 1950’s the white wall sizes went smaller and smaller. In the 1960’s the white wall sections were sometimes built up from two or three smaller strips of white, sometimes even in color. But the white wall tires, even a lots smaller in those days, were still the favorite tire choice for your Custom Car.
 
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I have received a lot of emails from people asking me what the best white wall tire was for their car. Or more specific what a certain historic custom had for tire size. There are sites that offer modern replicas of a lot of the original white wall tires. Places like the Coker Tires website offer a great selection and all nicely photographed. But one thing is often missing. How do these white wall tires look on my car. What size is the best to use, what white wall size fits the best with the theme of my Custom.

 

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Over the last couple of years I have started to photograph the white wall tires I like, close ups of the whole tire and from the whole car to show how that particular white wall tire looked on the car. I have started a thread on the CCC-Forum and posted a lot of the white wall tire photos I have with the names and sizes, and where I could the width of the white wall size. The plan is that more people will add their photos of white walls with the brand name, size and white wall size on the thread so that it will be of great help for other people to find the right tires for their cars. So if you have a set of white wall tires on your car. Please take two photos, one dead on side view, and one from the whole car. Email it to me Email Rik, or post it on the Forum Post (see link above) so that we can build a huge collection which everybody can use as reference to find their perfect white wall tire. Or just enjoy the photos of these parts of art.

The more input the better. 

 
 
 
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Appleton Spotlight Restoration

 

SPOTLIGHT SECRETS

 

The Appleton Spotlights have been used on countless 40’s and 50’s Custom Cars. They are not being produced anymore, so if you find a set they most likely need to be restored. Manual Reyes shows you how to!



By Manuel Reyes
The last time I disassembled an Appleton Spotlight, I decided to document every step of what is needed to do this. I took as much photos of the process as I thought would be helpful. These photos should visually explain how these Spotlights go apart and after cleaning/plating, go back together. I spent hours studying these Spotlights to understand how they where put together, before taking them totally apart. Bottom line, they were engineered very well, strong, and basically simple in their electrical connections,which is basically one continous contact, from switch through to the bulb. You have to be careful not to disturb how the electrical works, so you can re-assemble them properly. There were 2 connections for the wires on each end of the spots that could have been just cut off, but then I would have had to lengthen the wires. I decided to melt off the existing solder with a soldering gun and when it came time, I just re-soldered them back.

Most of the parts are connected with screws, but to remove the mounting plates from the buckets you have to drill out the rivets holding them together. When reassembling them I used stainless steel hex machine screws which I polished to a high polish. Looks like chrome when done. You really don’t notice that they’re not rivets. I looked at restored Appleton’s on high quality customs and that’s what they used. Great care should be taken thru-out the process of taking apart the spotlights and I advise to take plenty of pictures, so you’ll know how to put them back together later.


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What stage of taking apart your spots are you at? I have about 40 pictures of my spots as I was tearing them down. All are close-up and many have notes regarding how to attach certain parts. I took all these pictures because I was sure I’d forget how they all went back together after chroming. As it was, it took my buddy to help me re-solder the wires back into their original location. I held all together while he soldered. Also, my buckets needed some dings removed plus block sanding the copper on the buckets several times until they looked good.
Anyhow, let me know where you’re at on the project so I can attach some helpful photos, or I can e-mail all the photos in batches.
I’m helping because I spent too much time restoring my spots and it just pays to help others from what I learned.



 The Appleton Spotlight

Lets first take a look at the assembled Spotlight before we take it apart. As you can see below, we took plenty of pictures from all angles which we can refer to when its time to get the cleaned up, repaired or chrome plated parts assembled again.


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CCC-installing-spotlights-27-WThis diagram is from a less popular Appleton S-551 series, but the main components on the spotlight, handle and shaft are the same as the more popular S-112 and S-552’s.
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 Taking apart the handle

CCC-appleton-restoration-28The plastic handle screws of with two screws. One at the end of the handle, and one on top of the metal part. (The screws are not visible in this picture), but the diagram above shows you which two screws need to be remove so that the handle can be taken off.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-01With the plastic handle and the metal section removed the toothed end of the shaft, that enables the movements can be seen.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-02A small screw removes the plastic light switch from the metal handle. The small screw removed the top portion of the switch. A second screw holds the actual metal switch, once this is removed the whole unit comes off.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-03All the parts removed from the handle. The clip on the bottom left holds the electrical wire to the shaft.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-04The other side of the handle shows the spring loaded screw.
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Removing the shaft 

CCC-appleton-restoration-20This photo shows the handle parts at the bucket side of the shaft.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-16The shaft holds the rack which is responsible for the movement of the bucket when the handle is turned. The rack is the top part on this photo, including the electrical wire.
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Removing the bucket handle

CCC-appleton-restoration-10On the left side of the bucket handle you can see the screw that needs to be removed. This one is spring mounted so be carefully.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-09When taken fully apart these should be the parts you have removed. Important is to see where the wire goes thru the ring.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-05The toothed screw on the left is turned when the toothed end of the shaft it moved using the handles on the other end of the shaft. 
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Removing the bucket

CCC-appleton-restoration-12The metal ring around the bucket, holding the glass in place, is attached with a small screw. The ring is not shown in these photos, but can be seen in the complete dissembled spotlight photo at the end of the article. The light bulb and reflector can now be popped out.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-13The end of the wire to the bucket handle and light bulb are soldered. Best is to remove the solder with a soldering iron at this point.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-11The brass screw at the base of the reflector back side hold the light bulb socket in place.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-27The bucket bracket is the only part that is pop riveted to the bucket. These pop rivets need to be drilled out carefully to be able to remove the bracket. The light bulb socket is removed from the reflector unit. This photo shows the section of the bracket that is held against the bucket.

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CCC-appleton-restoration-26To create a actual working set of spotlights it is very important that all parts need to be cleaned, otherwise the copper contacts might not make contact.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-25This photo shows the whole Spotlight completely taken apart.
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CCC-appleton-restoration-36Here is a photo of a set of mine when I got them back from the chrome platers. Plenty of tiny parts that can get lost during the process. I gave the plater a picture of mine all torn apart, with each part clearly showing. This way we could verify I got all the pieces back.
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Addition from May 21, 2015.

David Wolk, another CCC-Member shared with us that when he restored a set of Appleton S-552’s for his 1950 Mercury, he found a way to replace the rivets on the base of the buckets.
This is what he mentioned:

I’ve recently been restoring a set of 552 appletons and I’ve struggled in my mind with replacing the rivets. I bought rivets but I was afraid of damaging or dinging the re-chromed housings. A couple weeks ago I found this website Restoration Stuff they sell smooth headed stainless steel screws that look like rivets. See page 40 of their catalog. They call them threaded rivets. I purchased #4-40 rivets (screws) with lock washers, flat washers and enough nuts to double nut the screws. I spent less than $10 and don’t have to worry about damaging anything.


IMG_4619This is how the smooth headed stainless steel screws look like from the inside. David used two nuts per screw to make sure they would not come off unwanted.
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IMG_4617These two photos show how the smooth headed stainless steel screws looks like from the outside…. very nice!
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Check out the CCC-Article one how to install Spotlights from even more information.

We have also created a CCC-Forum post about how to install the Appleton Spotlight.
This is THE PLACE to find more information, or ask any question about the installation, restoration or any other questions about the Spotlights.

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Manufacturing new curved chopped windshields

SHAPING GLASS

I chopped my first roof when I was 17 in the early 70’s and made a real mess of it. This first attempt taught me a lot and when it was time to chop my second top I knew how to avoid the problems I had with my first attempt. The second top came out just as I wanted it to be and I have been cutting roofs ever since. I picked a car with curved screens for my first chops and the glass part of the project was extremely frustrating and will be explained further soon. So I stayed with cars with flat glass windshields for a while until I got a better understanding on the degree of difficulty when it came to cutting curved windshields.

Not knowing how to cut the curved windshield glass I had to find a glass cutter who could cut down the windshield to suit my new roof and windshield opening. I was lucky enough to find such a talented person who taught me a lot about glass and cutting it. This made chopping curved windshield top a lot more comfortable and easier, but still not as easy as cars with flat glass. Even with his years of experience there were breakages, and much swearing and  the additional costs for lost windshields etc. After a while he asked me why I  needed to chop cars and why I was  not having my glass custom made? He referred me to a local manufacturer that explained what they needed to make me new glass that fitted my needs. And since then I have used this process so many times to supply windshields to my customers for their chopped customs and the availability of an additional replacements in the chance of breakage at the cost of a comparable standard automotive windshield. And allows for other owners of the same make of car to have a chop performed with the knowledge of an available screen at a set price.

Over the last 30 odd years I have shared this knowledge and my method of making screen masters and manufacturers with other customizers to make this part of a chop just a little easier and less stressful.

It is not too hard to do, just takes some time to get it perfect, just like all the rest on your project car. And there is a cost involved, initially many people are hesitant believing that there should be no problem just getting a screen cut. And in many cases that is the way it happens, but in others its just a disappointing episode of broken screens. Even the best cutters have bad runs for no explainable reason.

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The 1948 Hudson that we created with the custom made curved glass installed.

Below are a series of photos I took during the process which I hope will explain the process. Hopefully it will inspire some to create custom made windshield for their project cars.

The windshield opening for the 1948 Hudson that we made was custom shaped to fit the rest of the car in the best possible way. I knew the glass was going to be custom made, so I could create the opening shape I wanted, full creative freedom.

 

Starting with a piece of thin laminated timber it was trimmed and clamped in place till it fitted the new opening. This process can be time consuming, but you do not want to rush this.

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The curved timber pattern was then laminated with Fiberglass to form a rigid pattern that could be fine tuned to fit the opening perfectly. Not pictured here is the Bracing at the back of the pattern. This is used to make sure nothing moves or changes while the furnace mould is being made.

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Allowances must be made for rubber or other fitting methods and all gaps and clearances must be exact, again take your time here.

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More gaping with all moldings in place.

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The fiberglass pattern is then supplied to the glass manufacturer for the fabrication of a furnace mould that will be used in the production of the finished screen.

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Just delivered, and sat in place to see how it looks!

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At this stage the new screen is trial fitted in the opening with all brightwork in place to check all clearances. If there are any parts that are not 100% the glass manufacturer can make adjustments to the furnace mould and produce another screen. Better to get it sorted at this part of the build.

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Here are a few more photo from a different project I did. These show the bracing on the back of the pattern.

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The end result on MEZ’s chopped Holden.
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THIS SUBJECT IS ALSO DISCUSSED ON THE CCC-FORUM HERE:

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http://www.smoothcustoms.com.au/

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Creating laminated Dash knobs in scale

AIMING FOR PERFECTION

A while ago I was looking at some photos of the Hirohata Mercury. One of the photos showed the interior and it really inspired me to recreate parts of it in one of the model custom cars I had in the planning stage. Everything about this Hirohata Mercury interior is so good looking. Especially the steering wheel, which is an Mercury Montaray accessory wheel and of course the famous laminated dash knobs.

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Bob Hirohata designed and created these two-tone laminated dash knobs while working part time at the Barris Kustom Shop. He ended up creating several sets of these laminated dash knobs and other plastic components for some of his friends who also owned Barris Custom cars. Later, Bob was even able to sell his idea so that the laminated knobs could be mass produced. They would appear in Hot Rods and Custom Cars all over the world and are still being produced today.

As a model car builder I was inspired to figure out a way to recreate these laminated dash knobs in 1/25 scale. I could possibly try to paint the stripes on some hand shaped dash knobs, but I knew the end result would not look very realistic. I wondered if I could produce them in a similar way as Bob Hirohata did: using thin layers of colored plastic glued together. I started looking for some very thin sheets of colored plastic material & found a pack of multi colored binder covers at an office supply store. I excitedly tried gluing the layers together only to have them come apart very easily because the chemical makeup of the sheets. Eventually, I found colored acetate sheet stock at a local hobby store & set out to make this vision in my head a reality. By combining the colored acetate sheet & white styrene sheet I created a base that looked similar to what Bob started with in the early 1950′s, only much smaller in size.

Below is a step by step on how I created the laminated dash knobs for an custom 1949 Mercury project that I’m working on.

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The clear sheets come in several different colors. I purchased several different sheets for possible future projects.

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Same size sheets are cut and ready to be laminated.

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To make sure the sheets would laminate together I sanded the sheets with a course sanding stick.

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Once all of the sheets were roughened up on both sides, I used super glue to laminate the sheets together.

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I held the pieces on a paper towel to soak up the excess glue.

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A small strip was cut from the sheet using a razor saw and pattern to make sure everything was straight.

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This created a nice strip of laminated sheet styrene, the base for the dash knob.

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Hand files were used to create the basic shape of the knob.

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A nail polishing stick was used to carefully sand and polish the knob into its final shape.

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A small file was used to shape the bottom of the knob while it was still attached to the Dremmel tool.

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Once the bottom section was shaped the knob was carefully cut off from the strip.

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I carefully drilled a small hole in the end. This allowed me to glue it to a small piece of metal wire.

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Once finished I brushed on some future floor polish for the perfect shine.

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This photo shows the completed interior with the laminated dash knobs installed on the 1950 Mercury dashboard. The Mercury Monterey steering wheel was mostly scratch built.

I also created a set of laminated dash knobs for an chopped 1951 Chevy Fleetline I was working on at the time (finished now).
This set was done in white and orange and had a clear piece os sheet styrene in the center.

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After quite a bit of experimenting, I was gradually able to make the knobs smaller & shaped like I wanted. I created this set that would go in a 1950 Fleetline using alternating sheets of orange & white with a strip of clear in the middle.

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Here is how they looked installed in the Fleetline dash.

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