My 1927 Essex

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For saying you don't now what you're doing, you are doing a great job
Thank you for the kind words! I think I’ve rebuilt this car twice from having to go back and make corrections where I botched it. I’m really good at making pretty metalwork but I struggle with getting measurements right. I plan on posting a bunch of the things I made a complete disaster of soon.
Most likely, none of us knew what we were doing on our 1st project. Most were learning experiences we managed to get away with (after redoing much of it more then one time). After 12-14 builds, the last one was still a learning experience, anyone telling you different is probably not being very truthful. Unless you do exactly the same thing many times over, each project brings new learning experiences.

So far I'm seeing some pretty good stuff. Keep learning, and don't be concerned about having to redo something. You have to figure out what doesn't work somehow.

At this point, I would not be concerned with the panhard bar. That will be something you will want to correct after the car is nearly finished. By the time the car nears completion, you may not add much weight, or you may add a couple hundred pounds to the rear of the car at the springs. Then you need to adjust whatever it takes to get the bar as level to the ground as possible, and still miss everything that has to pass through the area.
More Body: The rear section of the chop.

The original metal of the Essex is extremely temperamental to weld (hammered shit is more like it) and I've never been satisfied with how the rear seam came out. The finish was rough, and the welds were dodgy at best. Several spots I had to use new strips of sheet metal as a backing plate. If the puddle just touch the edges of the body metal. It was a hot mess. I decided I would use the same method to bridge the cut as I did on the doors - a metal strap with rivets above and below. I'm sure it's overkill, but I liked the look enough to warrant the work.





The grill shell and headlights: By this point in the build, I'd transitioned from an office job, to a professional metal artisan for a bronze foundry. I had a good idea of how to make pretty.
I took my inspiration from the 1934 Packard and the 1932 Hudson grill shells. I wanted that heavy looking and tall tombstone shape. I'd kept the template that I used for the scrollwork on the firewall so I had a the design for the insert already made. I just needed to scale it up, and put it all together.
Unfortunately, most of the pictures of the process didn't survive, or I didn't take as many as I thought. I'll share what I have.
The insert is a copy of the scrollwork design I used for the firewall. I bent the thick copper wire that you get from the electrical section at Home Depot. I laid it all out on the welding table and TIG brazed it at the joints it came together.


The back shot of the unfinished shell with the insert lain out is probably the best picture I have. I bent a 1/4" steel rod into an outlined shape that I wanted. For the sheet metal, I cut 2" wide sheets, from 18 ga. I bent them all into 90° angles and then curved the pieces using a shrinker. You can see the shrinker marks at the lower corners. Once I had the outer sheet metal matching to the shape of the rod, I tacked them to the template-rod in the corners and welded the seams together. I then drilled the side facing edges around the upper part of the shell.


The outer edge is brazed at the top (TIG with silicon bronze rod) and riveted


The side pieces I ran a bead down the side to give rigidity and I made a lip to make the edge clean. No welds, just rivets.


For the headlight mounts, I picked up some pre-made steel scroll from my local metal supplier. I then bent a piece of metal to contour to the frame, and welded it all together when I had the shape I liked. I used that body webbing to sit between the mount and the frame.


Below was my original idea. I decided it would be better to tuck the lights closer to the grill, so I bridged the scroll with some metal that I pre-drilled for the headlights and it worked a treat.


To finish it. I used a black patina chemical to turn the copper black. Then I sanded it a bit to give it an antiqued look and waxed it.
Here's how it all came out when I painted and assembled everything.


The plate is antiqued bronze that I engraved. I'll eventually get around to putting welding a top part on it so it will cover the gap/hole in top of the shell the shell.


Sorry this ran long.


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I have a friend who’s built several cars shared this trick with me. It was a bit more effort, but I felt it would be worth it. I welded sheet metal floor panels to the bottom sides of the body’s framework. I then put a layer of ceramic blanket in each section and capped them with a top layer of sheet metal. Sound deadening + heat insulation. When I tap on the floor now, I get a heavy ‘thunk’. I think. It’ll keep entire body from resonating like an angry trash can.

The last is my a picture of my friend’s Model-A from the underside. He did the process in reverse, he welded the floor, then added insulation, then the bottom cap. He did so to make his carpet sit flat. I thought it would be a good visual example. I’m afraid I didn’t get the best pictures of my setup in process because I tend to think of pictures after I’m already finished with the work.


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The Visor:
This a tricky one for me. There’s only a handful of Essex hot rods out there, and if they don’t have the stock visor, they can look like a school bus really quick. I knew if I could figure out some embellishments, the visor would hide that giant-ass forehead look. I'm a member of the Cro-Magnon club (I have a brick of a forehead) and I notice such things.
The straight sheet was relatively easy. Cut to length, bend a 1"-ish angle along one edge, wrap the other over a piece of 1/4" rod and Bob's your uncle.
I had struggled to get a curved side piece shaped to look right. So I decided to make the sides into small angled pieces. I have that 3-1 press brake, so I cut two pieces of sheet into the same pattern and used the brake to just lightly bend at each point. I then TIG brazed it together with the main visor. There's a washer welded underneath that serves as a mounting bracket to the body on each side.


There's a weird angled part on each side to the visor that I thought would be good spots for embellishment.



I came up with a design that I thought would be fitting to the rest of the aesthetic of the car.



I brazed the copper piece together and then to the visor. When I painted the visor, I would wipe away the paint over the copper. Not all the way, just a bit each coat. The end result is an antiqued look


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