Classic american car restoration

 United Kingdom 

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03 April 2018

Car Restoration Stories – Bringing to life a 1968 Roadrunner

Here, we analyse a car restoration project that has had everyone at Tornado Automotive excited since the vehicle in question came through our doors.

Having heard about our level of exepertise and variety of services, the client brought this 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner, which he bought on eBay, to us. It arrived complete and appears above partially dismantled. The brief was a full rebuild to a high spec, salvage engine parts where possible & stiffen the body shell to improve handling.

View every image from the finished project via our dedicated 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner gallery page.

Car Restoration Planning

The rear quarter panels and around the wheel arches are seriously rusted with significant loss of original panel material. The plan is to cut in new lower sections to the quarter panels thereby preserving the clean top edge of the rear quarter and the detail line below it. This method is better than replacing the entire quarter section because it preserves the original top section.

The extent of the damage to the entire Roadrunner underbody is clear in this shot. Here we have cut out the trunk floor, both the rear footwell panels and both front footwell panels including the transmission tunnel. Importantly, the nicely designed rear light surrounds are undamaged – these details are very difficult to repair once damaged. The roof of this car was also in good condition.

Classic Car Restoration – Analysing the Damage

It is important when undertaking a classic car restoration to have a complete understanding of exactly what needs doing before work commences. Most of the Roadrunner’s trunk floor panel has been removed, the rear chassis rails were also badly rusted and will be replaced, some areas at the base of the rear wheel arches are corroded and these will be repaired as necessary.

With a car restoration project,  it’s important to always preserve details – like the spare wheel fastener – which will be cut away and re-welded to the new floor.

The entire Roadrunner interior footwells have been removed including the transmission tunnel which had been butchered along with the transmission tunnel cross beam which had been completely cut away. The floor panel braces are intact which is good. The firewall is in reasonable condition as are the door shuts and the roof gutters.

Restoration from Tornado Automotive

We continue the process of how we brought this 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner to life in a separate article, titled Classic Car Restoration Stories – Bringing to Life a 68 rr Continued. Head over to our separate article to keep reading about this restoration. We take a look at how we worked on the back of this car and the thought provoking decision-making process involved in the project, and indeed any other car restoration. Contact us to learn more about this project, or what we do in general. We want to hear from you if you require car restoration specialists or if you have American cars that need work!

Written By

Mike Sargeant

Mike Sargeant, owner of Tornado Automotive, is a professional car restorer and mechanic specialising in classic Amercian vehicles based in High Wycombe, United Kingdom. See company page for more.

Call 01494 531285 to discuss restoring your American classic car

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