T BUCKET BODY REBUILD
I did this job a couple years back for a friend. I was still working at a regular job then, and I ended up doing it insanely cheap, as in not very much money involved. It was a lot of work, but turned out pretty nice in the end.
Started out with flexible shape patterns made from fiberglass packing tape with transfer tape underneath it, so it releases from the original panel. This is a very good way to make a panel quickly without making a large wooden buck to help produce the shape of the parts.
The cowl was only rusted at the very bottom, so those areas were replaced with good metal. The rest of the cowl had the spot welds drilled out, so it could be removed from the body subframe, as there were many many dents to remove. Way easier to do if you can get to the backside easily. It was fairly easy to run through the english wheel with a "washover pass" to remove most of the dents.
The roll on the bottom of the rear panel was rolled around a large diameter pipe that was clamped to a work table. The rest of the panel had a slight crown put into it with the english wheel.
The top of the body was made with shrinker/stretcher and was butt welded to the body structure. That gave the whole body a lot of strength.
New rocker panels and a lot of the substructure were made up from scratch, as the originals were very rusty. I used metal rods with adjustable turnbuckles on them to set up the body to the proper arrangement before final welding. There were many more pieces of wood and metal clamped in various places during construction. That is one of the most daunting obstacles to overcome is to build something like this from scratch and keep it all the panels in proper arrangement.
The inner door structures were stretched lengthwise about 3 inches from stock, with new metal added in to complete them. The outer door skins were made from scratch and wheeled up to have a little crown on the outer surfaces. The doors were also made to fit flush with the outside of the body and that is a job I don't think I would do again. Too much work to make it look good and try to get all the gaps nice and even. It didn't turn out as good as I wanted it to, but the body shop made them fit with a little you know what.
The only two pics I have of the finished car in my shop with a bunch of junk around it. Its a neat little car. Not what I would personally want, but a nice little runabout nonetheless.