Restoration Guide For American Specials
Phase 1 Through Phase 7
This “Restoration Guide” is designed to walk you through the major steps from start to finish in restoring your “Special.” It is not designed to provide the details and techniques – it’s about the project management milestones and some of the key detail you will need to consider when restoring your vintage sports car – whether you do it yourself or work with a team.
Phase 1: Assessment
Before you start a project, you need to know what you’ve got. This phase starts with a comprehensive inspection of the car – usually at the shop that you are considering using for the restoration and ends with a comprehensive estimate for the client to review. Staying in touch via visits / e-mail is essential in all phases.
Phase 2: Remove Body and Begin Repair
Most restorations of fiberglass specials require removing the body from the chassis. This allows both the repair of any damage/issues underneath but also allows you to create a 10-point mounting system that allows the body to be properly supported on the chassis and removal from the chassis too.
Phase 3: Chassis & Mounting Points of Body
During this phase restoration issues of the chassis are addressed including mating the body to the chassis. Ride height over the tires is also addressed.
Phase 4: Drivetrain Repair and Restoration
Here the chassis is finished and made running in preparation to mate body to chassis
Phase 5: Body Finish and Paint
Body prepped for final paint
Phase 6: Interior
Interiors are critical to get “just right.” American specials were simple, honest sports cars with clean and spartan interiors.
Phase 7: Final Sorting
Handcrafted American Specials are not production cars – and that’s what makes them even more fun to own. Each car is a “one of one” with no two cars built exactly alike. And this means that “fit and finish” is an ongoing job for the new owner. But no one will have a car just like yours.
Vintage Assembly / “Build” Manuals
This page shows vintage assembly/build manuals from 1950s manufacturers. Want to build it “old-school?” Here’s your plan all laid out for you.
Comments From The Forgotten Fiberglass Community
Here’s a place you can share your comments and add to our body of knowledge on restoring and building a vintage fiberglass sports car.
Seeking Help On Your Restoration
The Undiscovered Classics Team And Our Affiliates
Your Classic Car or “Special” – Is “Special” To Us Too