Dienstag, 30. November 2010

Trying to get a handle on the handle

Sometimes life's a bitch. I found that out by trying to install the passenger side door handle. It just wouldn't fit right. After several attempts, I inspected the new handle and found out that it was assembled incorrectly. The red spring was not in the correct position, clearly seen in comparison to the old handle on top. It wasn't easy to adjust the spring since it's one tight spring, but I managed in the end.

Here's the stubborn handle installed and in operating order!

Donnerstag, 25. November 2010

Hood and doors

Finally got the hood inserts mounted back on the hood. I searced forever for the small screws until I found them...

Driver side door handle back in place.

Before lunch

I finished off the passenger side tail light before lunch today. Since the gasket sealing the light was missing I had to fabricate a new one before the lens could be screwed on the housing.

Both lights on the rear panel.

Mittwoch, 24. November 2010


Mounted the driver side rear light - as with the side markers, it is a rather complicated incorporating the lens, a chrome frame, the painted bezel and the light housing itself. came together nice though. The lenes have survived the last 40 years really well, I believe mainly because they are recessed so far back so they are well protected.
The first part of the driprail is also installed. Some cleaning was necessary as these pieces are the originals.

Dienstag, 23. November 2010


I picked up a trans-am style spoiler on the moparts board. Should take care of the downforce on the front end. I still have to check how it looks on the car as the front valance is not fitted yet but the quality of the spoiler is very good.

Mittwoch, 10. November 2010


Against all reasonable advice, I did the blackout behind the grille. While standing back from the front of the car, the light paint shines through the horizontal bars of the grille on both sides of the radiator. Because of this, the cars originally had these areas blacked out.
I spent a lot of time masking off the area that wasn't supposed to be painted, taking care not to miss anything and get black paint where there shouldn't be any.

Originally the flat black was blurry at the edges and I tried to achieve that as well. Will look good when the grille is back on!

Badge engineering

Added the 'Cuda badge to the tail panel. I don't exactly know where it should be so I went with the pics I could find and put it where I thought it would look good. The trunk lock is the original piece, cleaned up and in working order.

Freitag, 5. November 2010


Mounted the bumpers on the 'Cuda! -The shiny new parts make a great contrast to the paint and really tie the car together :-)

It's interesting, the rear bumper really does not fit to the front of the car as it is recessed into the bodywork. The valance panels are still missing...

Montag, 1. November 2010

Side markers

Installed the side markers. They are specific for the 1970 and '71 model years, after that they were of a more simple construction.

Sonntag, 31. Oktober 2010


I installed the decklid, with the help of my fourteen year old daughter. Couldn't have done it myself, as the lid is quite heavy and it's impossible to hold it in place and insert the mounting screws at the same time.
Paint looks gorgeous!

Montag, 18. Oktober 2010


I started on the driver side stainless trim on top of the door. Original piece of trimm, polished and mounted with new clips.

Freitag, 15. Oktober 2010

Hood pins again

Finished off the hood pins. Probably not the most imortant item needing attention but as good as any place to start.
The hood bumpers are in place as well.

Hood pins

The first thing I started on, the hood pins. Beautiful work, not difficult, clean and you can see immediate succsess.

In the garage

The 'Cuda is back in the garage!

Back home

Finally freed from the restraints of the paintbooth, the 'Cuda is back home for final assembly! Michi and his brand new trailer made it possible
Freshly pained hood landscape:

Mittwoch, 13. Oktober 2010


One more trip to the paint shop and again the paint was just drying. Therefore, I was not allowed into the paintbooth - again. This time the tailpanel was given the correkt blackout treatment. The pic through the glass is all the proof I can give you.
PS: A fellow 'Cuda owner from Japan has written a very favorable comment on this blog, *thanks Yuki* further advancing my intention to make this a truly international site!

Mittwoch, 6. Oktober 2010


A sneak peak into the paintbooth. The basecoat is on the 'Cuda, tomorrow the master of the spraygun will shoot the clearcoat. I have chosen to go without the vinyl roof for the time being, I'll see how I like the look with the outside paint and the red interior.

Final prep

The fight against a ruthless illness has pulled my attention away from the 'Cuda for a while. I've spent the better part of the last month in the hospital, that required all the strength at my disposal. Thank's to modern medicine and the skills of the doctors looking after me, I'm recovering quickly and I'll be back on track within a couple of weeks. But while I was out of business, work continued on the 'Cuda. Here a few pics of the final paint preparation.

Mittwoch, 8. September 2010


Since I'm back on the job and working on the Gross National Product again, so are the folks at the paintshop. The rear of the 'Cuda is covered in guidecoat, ready for final sanding.

Montag, 30. August 2010


As you can see, I had some time off for summer vacation. Beautiful lake, great weather, too much food...to sum it up: very exhausting.

In the mentime, the garage called for its first fatal victim Grind the Rabbit just couldn't get away from the left front wheel in time...poor fellow puked his intestines all over the place!

One more pic of the center console, as it is now finished and ready to install. The holes are all gone, the color is right.

Mittwoch, 4. August 2010

Inside story

Got some interior pieces ready for installation. Doorpanels, armrests and the console with lid.

Dienstag, 3. August 2010

Behind the sun

The color of the sun visors needed to be changed , apart from that the previous owner of the 'Cuda found it a good Idea to glue a mirror on the driver side sunvisor.
I've had the parts for quite a while so I could fix the new visors quickly...

Taillight housings

Since there won't be any news from the bodyshop for another month or so, I'll treat you to some small stuff. I redid the outsides of the taillight housings. I had them stripped of old paint and grime a while ago and it was hard to tell what color they actually had. From some other restorations I've seen, they seem to have a gold / copper tone to be correct.

Gold paint came out really nice! I've already done the insides in silver - it was supposed to be more like chrome but it's silver - maybee I can come up with some kind of chrome foil on the insides to get a better reflection from the lightbulbs.

Sonntag, 1. August 2010

Historic Road Racing

Took a trip to the Slovakiaring, just across the border to accompany A friend for some historic road-racing. Historical racing delivers a wonderful atmosphere of burning rubber and high octane fuel ...(actually they all run on pump gas) and is a lot of fun to watch. A swiss fellow rolled to the starting line in this beautiful reconstruction of Jerry Titus' 1971Trans-Am Firebird. Fitted with a Pontiac bigblock, which would definitely have been beyond the rules back in '71, the big bird was the fastet car on the track.

Appearing on pit lane, very much effort has went into the Pontiac to make it look exactly like the original racecar. There is a 1970 Cuda also racing in the series, made to look like Sam Poseys car but unfortunately it did not contend this weekend.

Here is Roberts Alfa Romeo Giulia tucked between a Mark 1 Escort and a Volkswagen Golf. He did very well all weekend, racing in the highly competitive 1.6 liter class.

Montag, 26. Juli 2010


I got hold of a red console from MCB Performance in Michigan. The original console was broken at the end and had numerous holes drilled into it by the previous owner. The new one will surely tie the interior together, as the Dude would say. You can tell it was designed fourty years ago by the complete absence of anything like a cupholder!