After 5 1/2 years of effort, I fired up 679924 on Friday of this week. It is almost ready to drive out of my garage and is a ground up restoration. I really mean ground up as it sat outside for 50 years in a backyard in Worcester, MA before being dragged up onto a flatbed (without wheels) and listed on Ebay. My brother John and I bought it for parts. I looked it over and decided to restore it, not a fainthearted task as most of the car was missing or rotted away. It had no drivetrain whatsoever, the interior was mostly missing, and the front fenders were badly rotted away. However it had its original data plate, front windshields and trim, aluminum doors with windows, and a dented boot lid. The bonnet was amazingly unscathed and the chassis was good except for the two rear extensions that support the boot area.
I found an engine, transmission, driveshaft, and rear end and proceeded to rebuild all. I amazingly stumbled across a set of NOS front fenders, doors, and bootlid, and found a pair of excellent used rear fenders. I enlisted Wray Schelin (who’s shop is nearby and reputation for quality work is unmatched) to make up the rear boot and tonneau, rebuild the firewall, make new sills, floors, door hinges and support channels, shut face pillars, and many other rotted out sheet metal parts. Danny McGee of Side Alley Restorations took on the task of disassembly of what was left of the car and building up a basically new body on the original frame, which he sandblasted, repaired and painted. He did an absolutely amazing job. His attention to detail and workmanship and paint quality is as good as it gets.
I stumbled across a new crimson colored Bassett interior on Ebay that had been made for Bill Welch for another FHC that was eventually sold separately to the interior. I decided on silver for the paint color, which was matched from an original silver colored door I had obtained in a parts buy. The deep red interior goes beautifully with the silver exterior.
I have a few more things to do to finish the interior and need to tilt the dash up into place, it now is laying on a cardboard support platform over the tranny hump. The brakes are bled and are all set, and the car is registered and ready to go. I will report back on the first drive after that happens. It’s been an amazing ride already.