1966 Cannara Restoration Continues – The Last Half of 2020

Hi Gang…

We last updated you on the restoration of Guy Dirkin’s 1966 Cannara back in July, 2020.  In the last 12 months our restoration team led by Rob Hernandez, has made great progress.  And that’s a lot to say given that COVID has caused delays for everyone – including us – this past year.  Certainly a tough year to make progress, but Rob has found a way.

Check out the progress in the photos below, and feel free to share comments and thoughts in the reply area below the story.

Photos:  Progress on the Cannara I Restoration

Rob Hernandez (left) and Guy Dirkin (right) are ready to continue with phase two of the project which should be done by the end of 2021. Photo from 7/13/2020.

A stare down with the Cannara – what a great shape this is and even more beautiful when you can look it straight on (2-3 feet off the floor).

Rob has some ideas about creating a back valance panel the way that Dan Palatnik and Guy Dirkin envisioned. You’ll see in a bit that the back valance panel is coming along nicely. Photo here from July, 2020.

Back in the 50s and 60s, builders used wood to add support, strength and flexibility.  In almost all cases in restorations today we have to remove that and replace with a composite or other material.  Wood can be used, but there are excellent alternatives.

Rob has removed all wood on the doors and everywhere in the Cannara. Composite material is used to replace it. Here’s a door that is ready to be fitted on the Cannara.

Test Number Two on Wheels and Tires is a “no-go.” It’s not uncommon for us to go the 3-4 tires and wheels until we get backspacing and stance exactly right.

Rob continued to make progress and we looked at how the basic panel would fit in the back. It needs quite a bit of reshaping but that will come in time.

The basic fitting of both doors went well. Gaps and fit will again be addressed as bodywork continues.

We’re now in September, 2020 and Rob has addressed some bodywork issues at the rear of the car and begins to tackle the cockpit repair.

About 35% of the cockpit had been cut out. Recreating the look and feel of the original interior is critical and you can see some of the beginning techniques Rob was using to test how he would finish his work.

Here’s a close-up of how much of the rear of the cockpit had been cut out. You’ll see Rob’s work on the finished cockpit in later photos.

Here Guy Dirkin is test fitting himself to make sure that the close-fitting cockpit remains large enough to allow him to safely drive it.

Here you see a nice photo of the rear of the car and the re-shaping Rob completed.

We were able to save Ray Cannara’s original gas tank – a tank he welded and created by hand to maximize the gas he would need to drive to Los Angeles and back – twice during Art Center school.

Rob repaired and reshaped the rear of the cockpit beautifully.

Great job Rob!

Guy Dirkin had custom rims made for the Cannara to perfectly dial-in the stance – a must for any car we work on gang. You can see that the wheels are much more underneath the body. We’ll work on the height over the tire later.

You can see we’re getting close to getting an excellent side profile with tires on the Cannara.

Tires/wheels look pretty good from the front looking rearward, too.

Here Rob is fitting the new gas tank filler – perfectly placed at the rear of the cockpit.

This is a close-up of the gas filler which is now flush with the body panel. Prior to this, the gas filler was inside the cockpit behind the rear seat.

Rob created a new headlight cover. It can be popped out and here he is testing the fit.

You can see the headlight panel pulled away from the car in this photo.

The gas tank has been restored and is ready for the fill-pipe modification which will allow the new gas filler position to work.

I like how the tires look now looking down the profile of the Cannara.

The upper half of the rear body is finished – gas filler included. Looks great Rob!

Gas filler finished

Gas filler opened


This brings us to work completed thru the end of 2020.  Rob is going a great job for us and I’m excited to show you the work he’s completed since January 1st, 2021.  We’re on track to show the Cannara early next year, so we’re hoping to wrap up the restoration by the end of 2021.  More to share of progress in the near future gang.

Those of you interested in learning more about this car and related topics, click on and explore the links below:

Click Here To Learn More About the Cannara I, its History and Restoration

Click Here To Learn More About Guy Dirkin, His Writings and His Cars

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.


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