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Body and Glass Modifications
Reproduction front clip for a 1965 Ford Mustang
Reproduction parts are not all
created equal. This ’65 Mustang
front clip is built from
reproduction parts from Scott
Drake Enterprises. These are
produced from original Ford
tooling. Mustangs Plus is just one
of many dealers that sell Scott
Drake Enterprises parts.
Restomodding is about doing something different, but making body modifications is not required.
Yet, sometimes the stock Ford body just won’t work with what you want to do with your car. For
these situations, some body changes may be in order.
Stock Body
There are a few benefits to using stock body panels. If you have stock front fenders and damage
one in an accident, you can simply locate another stock fender, bolt it into place, and add some
paint. That is much easier than replacing a front fender customized with fender flare or bodywork.
The job becomes a lot bigger when you have to replace a modified part.

Steel body parts are stronger when they are bolted together as the factory intended. For instance,
all the shock-tower-equipped cars have bolts across the top edge of the sides of the engine
compartment where the fenders attach to the inner fenderwells. I’ve seen quite a few cars on the
road without all these bolts in place. The bolts are very important to the structural integrity of the
front sheetmetal. Without them, the strut towers and the inner fenderwells will start to fatigue. The
fenderwells will then eventually crack and cause the shock towers to sag toward each other. The
factory export brace helps to support the shock towers, but those fender-to-fenderwell bolts are still
very important.
Fiberglass Shelby style front apron with air dam attached to it
This fiberglass Shelby-style
front apron is getting an air
dam attached to it. Flat, thin
fiberglass panels are
attached as a foundation for
the desired shape. They
help give a flat, rigid surface
for starting the project.
Some Restomod applications require modifying body parts to make your parts fit. Yet, not all
barriers can be broken by bolt-on parts. Sometimes you need to modify or fabricate parts to
achieve a certain look or goal.

If you want to change your old stock door handles, you could use an old custom trick and shave
(remove) the door handles. Then you can use electric solenoids with hidden pushbutton switches to
actuate the latches. With new technology, you could even do away with the hidden pushbuttons
and use an electronic remote opener on your key chain. Another custom door handle trick is to
swap door handles from a newer model car or truck.

Some cars and trucks have fenderwell openings that hang too low or are too small for the size of
tire you would like to run. Without flaring the fender openings, you can modify them to look and
function better for your application. For instance, if you lower your stance and the fender lip hangs
too low for your liking, you can cut the outer lip off and reattach it a couple of inches higher to keep
the factory look. This can help you get your tire-to-fender clearance just right.
finished front air dam
This is the finished front air
dam. Since it’s attached to
the original Shelby-style
piece, it was easier to
mount to the body. If you
look closely at the front
fenders, you may notice
they are flared. You can
see how this was done later
within this chapter.
If you run a large tire in a front-wheel opening that doesn’t allow enough sweeping movement for
turning and articulation, you might decide you want to widen the front fender opening. You can
keep the factory appearance of the wheelwell opening by cutting a couple of inches from the outer
lip off the car. Cut the lip in half and reattach it to the fender with a gap between the two sections. If
you need more room to turn the tires, make the gap larger. After figuring out how much wider the
opening is, fabricate another section to fill that gap. If this isn’t the kind of project you’re capable of
doing well, find a reputable body shop to do it for you.

Sometimes it’s hard to find all the trim pieces you need, even at wrecking yards or swap meets. You
may want to simply remove the trim for a cleaner look. You can look into having custom trim pieces
built at a high cost, or remove the trim and spend countless hours welding in new sections of steel
to take its place. Differences in trim can be slight, but removing or replacing some or all of it might
be essential in getting the look you want.
Probably the largest job in the history of removing body trim is the job of removing window trim and
flush-mounting windows. If it’s done right, it looks awesome. It gives your Restomod the clean
appearance seen on new production cars. With the windows flush-mounted and the trim removed,
your car will also be more aerodynamic since the air won’t catch under all the extra edges. People I
have talked to who have accomplished this huge task say they are very happy they did it, but they
might not do it again.
Fabricated window channel to install flush mounted glass finished flush mounted window channell with rubber trim installed around the edges
Modern cars have flush-mounted glass,
and older cars use chrome trim to dress
up recessed windows. If you want the
modern look for your car, you’ll need to
fabricate a new window channel around
the perimeter for the glass to mount to.
(Photo Courtesy Dennis Linson)
A finished flush-mounted window has a subtle
look. An untrained eye may never notice the
difference, but those who know better are drawn
right to it. This one has late-model rubber trim
around the edges.
Engine Compartment
When you pop the hood on your ride, people see more than just the engine. The shock towers and
firewall stand out, especially since they are usually cluttered with electronic ignition components,
and other parts people can’t seem to find a better place to mount. If you are interested in removing
some of the clutter in your engine compartment, you can find hidden or less obvious places to
mount your ignition boxes and coils. Wherever you mount these items, make sure you can still
access them in a reasonable amount of time when they fail. If and when something fails, you might
end up having to spend three hours to replace or troubleshoot something that you hid too well.
Remember, don’t mount your fuel pressure regulator on your firewall, since some racetracks won’t
let you race if the regulator is in the path of a scattering flywheel.

If you are interested in smoothing your firewall, there are a few ways to go about it. In the 1970s,
guys would take a large sheet of aluminum and rivet it right to the firewall, with total disregard to
how it looked or if it actually sealed engine fumes from getting into the car. These days, builders
are taking more pride in their cars, so filled and smoothed firewalls are more common.
The firewall and cowl are high-stress areas, since most unibody cars have fenderwells and export
braces connected to them and full-frame cars have frame mounts connected to them. If you are
going to smooth your firewall with body filler, be aware that firewalls are spot-welded to the cowl
panel and other surrounding panels. If you simply fill the seams up with body filler without
performing the following steps, the filler will probably crack. The only way to truly get a clean weld is
to remove the spot welds, remove the panels, take all the surfaces down to bare metal, and weld
them back up. That is a lot of extra work, but it keeps the weld from being contaminated by paint
and 30 years of garbage that seeped between panels.
Aluminum frame to reinforce front air dam Bud Moore number 16 trans am race car
The builder of this car knew the front air
dam would fold under the car before he
reached top speed in his open-road racing
class, so he built an aluminum frame behind
it to keep it more rigid.
If you want a front air dam with some classic
styling, take a look at the old Trans-Am racers.
For instance, the Bud Moore number-16 car
has a very functional front air dam.
Fiberglass is a wonderful material. You can use it to build just about any body or interior dress-up
panel. It’s easier to work with in small applications than steel, and it weighs much less.

Fiberglass companies are just like any other industry: some have high-quality products, some have
low-quality products. For instance, Brand U might have a history of turning out 80 percent of its
unlimited line of products with poor quality and defects. The company may advertise in big
publications to get a lot of brand recognition. Brand U sells to a lot of guys trying to build their car
as cheap and light as possible, so the company may not care too much about the quality. Brand U
might have horrible customer service when you call, after receiving your questionable parts, to ask
them about the quality. Then, for instance, there is Brand V. This company has great quality, very
few defects, good customer service, but doesn’t advertise too much. Be careful when choosing a
company for buying your parts. Ask around and get a few opinions before laying down your money
for some fiberglass parts. You’re better off spending a little extra for a better product because you
really do get what you pay for.
A quality fiberglass part will have a good gel coat (without pin holes and air pockets), and it will fit
without shaving the edges too much. Most fiberglass is shipped with a matte finish on the external
surfaces, so it’s fairly hard to tell how smooth or wavy the surface of the gel coat is without putting
some glossy paint on it.

A few fiberglass companies offer two different constructions for each one of their products. One is a
lightweight version strictly built for saving weight, so they don’t have the internal bracing, and they
are very light. These parts attach with pins, unlike factory parts. The second type of glass is a
heavy-duty street version. It weighs more than the lightweight version, because it has internal
bracing and extra layers of fiberglass for strength. The weight savings over steel components is still
significant, and you can run them on the street. Some street parts offer attaching points for bolting
in as stock sheetmetal, and they even have provisions for mounting factory trim and accessories.
Check with the specific company before you purchase.

I’ve seen people running front and rear fiberglass bumpers on the street. They give the car the
appearance of running a legal bumper to keep the local officials happy, unless anyone checks to
see if it’s metal. These bumpers significantly reduce weight. They were designed for the purpose of
reducing weight on drag cars and were never meant to be used on the street. Use them at your
own risk.
You should be aware that fiberglass parts save weight, but obviously they are not as strong as the
steel parts you replace. In an accident, the steel will have more integrity. Before you purchase
fiberglass parts, talk to the supplier about how you plan on driving the car when it’s finished. That
way, you will have assistance getting the strength of fiberglass parts you’ll need. You typically have
to tell a supplier to add extra strength if you want it. If you’re going to drive with fiberglass on the
street, you are better off getting glass parts that will last.
S7 Saleen
The S7 Saleen was built to give
European super cars a run for
their money on the street and
track. The long, flat panel below
the front grill is called a splitter.
It helps create downforce, which
increases cornering traction.
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This has been a sample page from

How to Build Ford Restomod Street Macnines How to Build Ford Restomod Street Machines
by Tony E. Huntimer
This book Should be called
"How to Build High Performance Fords!"
This is one of the best books we've seen about building high
performance Fords. It contains sections on upgrading brakes
and suspension, improving chassis stiffness, engine choices
and engine swaps, drivetrain choices including
production and
after market transmissions, electrical
systems and even body
modifications. It even has sections
to help you find the right
project car for as little money as possible and where to find the
parts you need to complete your project. This is one of the
best, if not the best book out there about building and

modifying Fords for improved performance. Best of all, this
book is not just about the Ford Mustang as many other Ford
books are. Read the sample pages to learn more!
Click below to view samples
pages from each chapter
Chap. 1 - Shocks & Sway Bars
Chap. 2 - Front Suspension
Chap. 3 - Rear Suspension
Chap. 4 - Frames & Chassis
Chap. 5 - Engine Swaps
Chap. 6 - Transmissions
Chap. 7 - Body & Glass Mods.
Chap. 8 - Finding Parts
8-1/2 x 11"
144 pages
Approximately 300 b/w photos
Item: SA101P
Price: $23.95
Click here to buy now!

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The Ranchero and Torino Handling Manual 1972-1979
This 28 page booklet discusses improving the
suspension and handling of the 1972 to 1979 Ranchero
and 1972 to 1976 Torino. It also shows the construction
and rear disc brake conversion of the 1972 project
Ranchero. Modifications performed to the car are
discussed in great detail, part numbers used are given,
parts manufacturers and suppliers are listed, VIN number
break down is discussed, and much more. This is a great
book that any Ranchero or Torino owner will love! Read
the sample pages to learn more!
The Ranchero and Torino Handling Manual 1972-1979
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How to Paint Your Car on a Budget
In How to Paint Your Car On A Budget, author Pat
Ganahl unveils dozens of secrets that will help anyone
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covers everything you need to know to get a
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equipment, the ins and outs of prep, masking, painting
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