View Full Version : 427 Viper to 289 Le mans Cobra

07-07-17, 04:16 AM
I've previously shown this build in the Viper section, but figured that unless you looked in there, quite a few people might have missed it. I'm a professional body man by trade and prior to semi retiring, I used to restore top end classics for a living. this thred shows how I modified a wide arched 427 Cobretti Viper into a 289 style Le mans car. There's a bit of tech stuff too for those that want to see how to work with fibreglass etc.

When you first look at a Viper it all appears to be visually correct, but as soon as put a tape measure to it you enter into a world of hurt. The o/s headlight is 30mm nearer to the centre of the car than the n/s. Not only that but it's also 20mm lower than the n/s too. The profile of the front of the wings ie the crown is also dramatically different. If you sight the car down the drivers side, or put a straight edge along the door, you'll find that the wing actually tapers inwards at the arch by, yep you guessed it 30mm. The grille opening isn't the right shape either & isn't elliptical, the opening is larger on the n/s than the offside, plus it's actually canted higher on the n/s too. It would seem that the car that it was moulded off could well have been a 289, that has been made to look like a 427. Whatever car it was moulded off, I can only assume it has had damage & been repaired incorrectly, hence throwing out the dimensions. Incidentally, the rear 1/4's aren't the same as a 427 either & the rear decklid has been raised so that the profile off the bootlid is wrong.

I was originally going to narrow the front end, but as I'm a panel beater sprayer by profession, I decided to modify the body/arches instead, which would allow me to correct some, of the dimension discrepancies. I say some, as to rectify them all, would take a huge amount of work, for something that 99% of people would never notice anyway. I must admit I've wondered how many Viper owners, or others that are into Cobras have ever noticed how far out they really are.As I said at the beginning, it's not until you put a tape to it that it all became glaringly obvious.

To rectify the horrid front arches, I bought two outer front wing skins. I cut off the Viper wings where necessary & bonded on the new wings, whilst squaring things up a bit. I then cut off the arches from the new wings, cut off the arches from the old wings & fitted them in the right place. It was a case then of fiberglassing it all up & giving it a skim of filler to finish it all off. here's a couple of photos of it in the process of being done.

The new wings were put loosely in place & the arches were removed. I left a small part of the arch on there for me to be able to have something to bond the new arches to

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%203_zpsczhck8so.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%203_zpsczhck8so.jpg.html)

This is the new wing offered up in place with the trimmed old arch screwed on to see how it looks

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20014_zps6cykqxgd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20014_zps6cykqxgd.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20015_zpshbrvcl69.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20015_zpshbrvcl69.jpg.html)

A bit of cutting was required to get the profile right around the headlight area

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20016_zps9dbdkv53.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20016_zps9dbdkv53.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20017_zpsszitsr37.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20017_zpsszitsr37.jpg.html)

At this point it's all just screwed in place

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20018_zpszlk5cczj.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20018_zpszlk5cczj.jpg.html)

If you look at the grille aperture you can see the shape is different from side to side

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20020_zps6ahbpvtf.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20020_zps6ahbpvtf.jpg.html)

I cut the grille aperture & pulled it & clamped it to where it should be

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20027_zpssft6uodo.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20027_zpssft6uodo.jpg.html)


07-07-17, 04:17 AM
Once happy with the shape of it all, the winds were unscrewed & the gaps where it had been cut were fibreglassed

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%201_zpsmmdalrna.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%201_zpsmmdalrna.jpg.html)

Some bits of steel just holding things where they need to be. The steel was removed once the 'glass had cured

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%202_zpscrcjfppb.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%202_zpscrcjfppb.jpg.html)

The wings were then bonded into place with fibreglass matt & resin

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2014_zpsurz353sd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2014_zpsurz353sd.jpg.html)

Then fitted to the car, the join is clearly visible here

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%204_zps8lrghicb.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%204_zps8lrghicb.jpg.html)

Once that has cured, the 'glass was sanded down & two layers were then glassed over the top of the joins, so that the new panels are now sandwiched in between layers of 'glass.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2017_zpshrixxsfr.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2017_zpshrixxsfr.jpg.html)

Not visible in the photo's but I bent some 6mm bar to the shape of the arches & bonded it in place. I've also smoothed out the underside of the arch so that if you were to put your hands under there it would feel smooth ie no fibreglass & it has a wired edge as per an original

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2018_zpsouroxzza.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/arches%20fibreglassed%2018_zpsouroxzza.jpg.html)

Once all of the fiberglassing is done, it's then a case of give it a few light skims of filler & then the paint process.

All in it's taken me just under three weeks of spare time to get it to this stage. next on the agenda is the 289 style front valance & grille, but that's another story

07-07-17, 04:19 AM
The fibreglass was ground down to shape & a light skim of filler was applied. At this point the new arch was still in fibreglass finish, as I was concentrating on getting the main part of the wings correct prior to doing the arches. In this pic you can see roughly how the front grille will look, as I want it to resemble a 289 rather than the more common 427 style. I'll also be modifying the rear 1/4 panels to replicate the red car below, which will visually make it look more like a LeMans 289

The lower grille aperture will have an aluminium air intake (http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_nkw=air+intake) similar to the LeMans cars.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20002_zpsi4nmbrtr.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20002_zpsi4nmbrtr.jpg.html)

The front will hopefully look like this once finished

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/shelby-cobra-autre-74200_zpsej7eh2us.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/shelby-cobra-autre-74200_zpsej7eh2us.jpg.html)

Here's the aluminium lower grille that will protrude from the lower valance

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20030_zpsjygx415x.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20bodywork%20030_zpsjygx415x.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20001_zpsoo7vaqai.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20001_zpsoo7vaqai.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20005_zpsy4xiv6je.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20outside%20005_zpsy4xiv6je.jpg.html)

Here's the new arch taking shape

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Cobra%20Nigel%20010_zpsfihrbbwu.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Cobra%20Nigel%20010_zpsfihrbbwu.jpg.html)

This side still has a guide coat of satin black sprayed over the filler to allow me to see what's been rubbed & if there are any parts I may have missed. It'll also show up any low areas or scratches/pinholes that may need attention. At this point the both front wings are almost there, they just need a bit of fine fettling to get them ready for primer. Once happy with the wings I'll finish off the aperture around the side vents

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Cobra%20Nigel%20012_zpsvhmfyjd7.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Cobra%20Nigel%20012_zpsvhmfyjd7.jpg.html)


07-07-17, 04:21 AM
I didn't want the side light plinths or the vents to the side of the grille opening, so I cut them out & re-fibreglassed it back smooth.

In this first picture you can see where I had to cut the grille aperture & modify it to make it elliptical

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/001%202_zpszwke7wrp.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/001%202_zpszwke7wrp.jpg.html)

All 'glassed up

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/002%202_zpsbuhlyfqh.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/002%202_zpsbuhlyfqh.jpg.html)

This is trial fitting the new 289 style front valance/grille opening, along with the aluminium lower oil cooler (http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_nkw=oil+cooler) vent. The black painted areas will be cut out and a piece formed to make the brake duct vents. Also the earlier L539 side lights have been offered up to see how they look

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/009%202_zpsfeqnmtrq.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/009%202_zpsfeqnmtrq.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/008%202_zpsefgcqf5u.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/008%202_zpsefgcqf5u.jpg.html)


07-07-17, 04:22 AM
here I've cut out the holes for the brake cooling vents & fabricated some aluminium inserts. Since these photos were taken I've since added a piece to the back with the 2" dia pipe for the flexible hose to attach to. The front valance is also bonded on in these pics. The front end's almost there at last, woo Hoo!!

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20front%20003_zpshdjf9xql.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20front%20003_zpshdjf9xql.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/viper%20front%20002_zpsh2iwb2vp.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/viper%20front%20002_zpsh2iwb2vp.jpg.html)


07-07-17, 04:23 AM
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/002%203_zpss7fzzsrh.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/002%203_zpss7fzzsrh.jpg.html)

Loosely trial fitted in place

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/brake%20duct%20001_zps0i4fyz8v.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/brake%20duct%20001_zps0i4fyz8v.jpg.html)


07-07-17, 04:23 AM
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Aluminium%20panels%20tril%20fit%20002_zps0dbhtobh. jpg

07-07-17, 04:24 AM

07-07-17, 04:25 AM
just about finished the front end, just the side vents to fit and give it a clean.

The paint finish looks nice, but though I've cut the paint back, I've not cut it back & polished it within an inch of it's life, as I want it to look like a survivor car, rather than it have a 100% concours finish. I've intentionally left some chips & marks on it & just gently touched them in, rather than flat them out & paint them. I don't want a car that looks like it's just rolled out of the paintshop, I want it to have an aged look, and wear its scars with pride, just as a race car would. This way it'll be easier to live with, without having to worry too much if it gets marked when being used or parked up. It's all a part of the fun http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif I managed to get away with just painting the modified panels, so the rest of the car from the wings back is as it was when I bought it, apart from the roundals, wheels and tyres which were added after the modifications. The rear end will be modified when I get time. the rear arches will be re shaped, the rear valance will have a bit more curvature and I'll then fit the L542 tail lights.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/Viper%20291_zpss58rxo8m.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/Viper%20291_zpss58rxo8m.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/Viper%20297_zpskqmqh7tp.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/Viper%20297_zpskqmqh7tp.jpg.html)

That's the front end all done, so the next instalment will show how I overcame the problems of fitting a Hawk Le Mans hardtop to the Viper. That didn't fit at all, so was a bit of work to get it fitting nicely. what a job that was ;-)


07-07-17, 04:54 AM
This is how the car looked when I first bought it. Some of you may remember it being advertised for sale on here.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/_57%205_zpsg4x12z51.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/_57%205_zpsg4x12z51.jpg.html)

And this is how it looks now

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20at%20Silverstone%202016_zpsnqv3wiyq.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20at%20Silverstone%202016_zpsnqv3wiyq.jpg.ht ml)

I'll post up how I tackled modifying and fitting the hardtop, making the ali sidescreens, interior paneling and engine bay detailing in future instalments ;-)


corn plaster
07-07-17, 05:13 AM
I read it all when you originally did the work. A great job. All you need to do is take a splash copy😉


07-07-17, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the compliments Andy, but to be honest, I really don't think it warrants doing. I'm still doing bits and pieces to it, but I'm also building a Hawk FIA with my friend ( the FIA build thread) so that's taking up most of my spare time. I will however, be starting a new project after my friends Hawk and the body on that one will be modified to make it a more accurate shape. The scuttle panel, rear decklid area/bulkheads, front and rear arches and rear 1/4's all need modifying, plus a few other areas. They need to be modified so that the body will fit an original style round tube chassis that I'm using, complete with tube framed bonnet, boot and doors. I'll have to take a splash off that body though. ;-)


07-07-17, 06:19 AM
Fantastic write up Nige, well done and thanks for tasking the time to show us amateurs how it's done.

07-07-17, 06:59 AM
Yes a great write up, with some extra photos I've not seen that help explain how you did it.
You make it look all so easy, gives inspiration to others.
The car is looking stunning.
This viper is a very special car indeed - enjoy it, but the scratch build is going to be in a league of it's own as far as accuracy and quality - I can't wait to see that one begin.

Ian C
07-07-17, 08:17 AM

As others have said - a truly inspiring project superbly executed. Thank you for sharing!!

Best regards (and RESPECT)

08-07-17, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the positive comments it's appreciated.:-)

I managed to buy a second hand hawk Le Mans hardtop for sensible money, but when I trial fitted it to the viper it barely touched any of the bodywork, which was to be expected really.

With the roof in line with the edge of the door/1/4 panel it looks like this at the screen

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20002_zpsfspqwpom. jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20002_zpsfspqwpom. jpg.html)

It looks like this at the top of the 1/4 panel. I should think that if the roof were radiused to fit the curvature of the 1/4 panel it would pretty much all line up, with it requiring a small amount of repairs to get it all gapped up as it should

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20003_zps89eqdjvv. jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20003_zps89eqdjvv. jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20001_zpsl7nyac0z. jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20001_zpsl7nyac0z. jpg.html)

url=http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20010_zpso28tfzz7. jpg.html]http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20010_zpso28tfzz7. jpg[/url]

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20006_zpswjejoedu. jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20006_zpswjejoedu. jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20007_zpseoordcwd. jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20Hawk%20LeMans%20hardtop%20007_zpseoordcwd. jpg.html)

To fit it to the screen, I would need to drop it backwards at the top and also lower it, as going by the measurements from the hawk instructions, there should be a 3mm gap between the screen and the bulkhead. I've got a 22mm gap at the moment :roll:


08-07-17, 07:31 PM
Well, I had a bit of spare time so I figured I might as well get on with fitting the Le Mans hardtop, in the end I chose to use the Hawk one. I offered the top to the car and as can be seen in the photos above, there were huge gaps everywhere. To get it anywhere near fitting, I had to rake the screen back and I used the measurements taken from a friends FIA as a guide. Even then the curvature at the top of the Vipers rear 1/4 panels is waaaay different to that of a Hawk. It was touching the bodywork at the crown of the 1/4's but nowhere else. So, I slowly trimmed the underside of the roof on both sides to bring the gaps closer together, being mindful of not altering the side window aperture shape too much. With being able to alter the screen and roof height I was able to reach a good compromise.

The next step was to lay some strips of 2" masking tape around the area where the roof would sit. The aim here is to get the gaps looking tight to the bodywork. With the roof secured in place, I mixed up some body filler and pushed it in the gaps between the roof and body, (with the masking tape protecting the body from the filler). Once, this had cured I then spread some more filler over the top of that to build it to a nice thickness. This will allow me to remove the top and sand down the inside flush with the roofs original fibreglass, whilst still retaining the shape of the bottom edge of the roof.

Once the inside is sanded flush, I can then fibreglass over the filler on the inside to get the bottom edge structuraly strong. The fibreglass can then be trimmed to the profile of the filler edge, which should then correspond to the shape of the body. Once I'm happy with the gap fit, I can then sand down all of the filler from the outside, down to the new fibreglass and just give it a light repair to get it right. This is a much easier method to make and shape profiles than using templates etc.

The roof originally came with a 40mm internal flange that a rubber seal could be fitted to, which stops the roof itself from sitting on the bodywork. At this point I've lost quite a bit of that, so I have to find a new method of stopping the roof rubbing/scratching the body when fitted.

I can either leave a small gap without a seal and just fit some small rubber bonnet type rubber "buffers" towards the front and rear of the roof, OR, I can remake the flange, which is quite a lot more work, OR, I can fit a perimeter seal as per the photo below, your thoughts please?

Here's the filler applied to the roof, with the tape underneath

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6132_zpsoys5xegd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6132_zpsoys5xegd.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6133_zpsqm1egt1o.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6133_zpsqm1egt1o.jpg.html)

The edge of the roof after the tape had been removed and the filler having had a slight trim, the gaps are looking nice now :wink:

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6134_zps0y3d7utr.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6134_zps0y3d7utr.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6136_zpstel32i2v.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6136_zpstel32i2v.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6137_zpsmmavwqa8.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6137_zpsmmavwqa8.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6135_zpsuljmcs57.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6135_zpsuljmcs57.jpg.html)

08-07-17, 07:33 PM
It was raining again today so it meant we weren't going out anywhere as a family, which means it was it was "lets play with the Devils spawn", oh, I mean it was fibreglass time.

Having ground down the rest of the flange that was left inside the top, and also having ground down the stray bits of filler I ended up with this, a nice smooth area to fibreglass my new flange to. Here you can see the filler that was used previously to bridge the gap between the top and the body. The fact that it's thick on the outside gives me a nice flange and contour to work with

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6138_zpsrv6qubpx.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6138_zpsrv6qubpx.jpg.html)

The car was then masked up. I used two layers of 2" tape where the roof was going to touch and then laid out a further three or four widths out from that. The rest of the car was covered with doubled up masking paper and cardboard to protect the surrounding areas

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6139_zps2qcd9ble.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6139_zps2qcd9ble.jpg.html)

The roof was then placed back on the car, which allowed me to draw a line around the top to give me a guide as to where it was going to fit. The ink is visible through the fibreglass once it's wet, which helps to align everything

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6140_zpskofnb7ic.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6140_zpskofnb7ic.jpg.html)

Doing this on my own, with no one free to help me lift the roof into place, I had to get inventive to enable me to fit the roof once the fibreglass was laid onto the body. I duct taped the front of the roof to the screen and then hung the back edge from the garage roof...Voila!!

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6141_zpsoelx8utd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6141_zpsoelx8utd.jpg.html)

Two layers of fibreglass matt and resin were then applied to the body and then the roof was lowered into position using the ink outline I'd made earlier as a guide. The roof settled nicely into the wet resin, which in itself would give a good chemical bond. Once cured a layer of matt and resin were applied to the inside of the roof to join the new flange to the top itself. It's now sitting in the garage until tomorrow when I can seperate the roof from the body.

Here's the roof set in resin and matt

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6142_zps6mdpkdbu.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6142_zps6mdpkdbu.jpg.html)

The inside flange 'glassed to the roof

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6143_zpswp15cr63.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6143_zpswp15cr63.jpg.html)

There are other ways that this whole procedure could be done, but I've found this to be a quick and simple way to modify "one offs". Ordinarily, you would take templates of the profiles of the tops of the rear 1/4 panels, then transfer this to sheet steel or aluminium and then rivet or screw these to the roof itself. You would then release wax, and spray on some PVA relaease agent, brush on gel coat, followed by fibreglass, then trim and remove the steel or ali templates, all of which is quite time consuming to get the profiles correct. Instead of this I just used filler take the shape, which only took about 10 minutes to do.

By the same token, the next stage would be to rub the area on the 1/4 panels that the fibreglass is going on to form the flange, with some release wax, and again some PVA release agent, followed by the fibreglassing as above. The problem with this is that the body is painted. Sometimes the fibreglass will not release "cleanly" from the body, and as such, could damage the paintwork. Instead, I used 2" tape as the "barrier" between the fibreglass and the paint/bodywork. Fibreglass will not stick strongly to the tape, which can simply be (http://www.simplybe.com/) peeled off once the 'glass has cured. All I will need to do now is to sand down the excess filler on the outside of the roof and trim the flange to the desired size. I'll then use a foam/rubber seal stuck to the flange to protect the body once the top is fitted :grin: Total time to get to this stage was just four hours spread over two days Yay!! :grin:


EDIT One thing I forgot to say was that don't add too much catalyst to the resin as it will make the fibrglass get hot as it cures, which could be detrimental to the painted finish. I always err on the side of caution and add just enough catalyst to give a slow curing mix. If you try something similar at home, please don't blame me if there are any problems. The above is only a guide as to how I did it

08-07-17, 07:35 PM
had a bit of spare time, so I figured it'd be good to get the top all trimmed up. As it stood, it still had the excess bodyfiller that I'd used to fill the gaps between the roof and the 1/4 panels on the outside of the roof. After sanding down the filler back to the level of the original fibreglass you can now see how far out the difference was to a Hawk body and the Viper, by the contours of body filler showing. The strange thing is, is that the distance betweeen the door top and the roof itself is that same as an FIA, so something on the Viper shell is way different to a Hawk.

The filler that is visible is now only the thickness of the original fibreglass The benefit of doing it the way that I have, is that this filler is now backed up with the fibreglass I applied on the inside, so the outside repairs will now be minimal. Even if you were to profile it with steel or aluminium and to use release wax and PVA etc, you would still need to repair the joint between the roof and the fresh gel coat/fibreglass that had been added.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6144_zpsvvbqocyn.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6144_zpsvvbqocyn.jpg.html)

In sanding down the filler, I found that as soon as I sanded the original fibreglass, I found a huge void between the gel coat and the fibreglass. This is where an air pocket is accidentally formed in the original manufacture of the roof. Had this been left undiscovered, this area would bubble up in heat or sunlight as the air trapped in the void tries to expand, which would ruin the paintwork. Luckily, having found this I can repair it so that there are no issues in the future. I'll run some heat over the roof until it's really warm to check for any other voids with trapped air pockets coming to the surface.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6146_zpsh3on45h1.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6146_zpsh3on45h1.jpg.html)

A distance of 35mm was marked from the outside edge of the roof and that was used as the cut line to trim to. The foam seal I'll be using is 25mm wide, so once the roof is all repaired up I can maybe trim this a little tighter to 25 mm. It's always better to give things a final trim after all repairs are finished.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6151_zpscflogk3a.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6151_zpscflogk3a.jpg.html)

The roof with its new trimmed flange

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6152_zpsjc2xwd7x.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6152_zpsjc2xwd7x.jpg.html)

This was the point that I started getting carried away. I figured it would look nice to have a smooth painted finish on the inside of the roof rather than rough fibreglass. I didn't want to fit a headliner and didn't want to line it with any form of material. Sooo, I've now started to lay a bit of filler over the inside ready to be sanded back smooth tomorrow

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6152_zpsjc2xwd7x.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6152_zpsjc2xwd7x.jpg.html)

Thankfully that the major part of the fibreglassing finished with. Whilst it's extremely versatile, it's not the most pleasant medium to work with and I'm glad to see the end of that :grin:


08-07-17, 07:35 PM
I popped the roof back on and the gaps have come out really nice, just a little fine tuning and they'll be good to go.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6154_zpsexcuvzst.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6154_zpsexcuvzst.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6156_zps50lwoumm.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6156_zps50lwoumm.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6157_zpswn6s0b6m.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6157_zpswn6s0b6m.jpg.html)

I really didn't fancy a headlining, for some obscure reason I had it in my head that it should be painted. All I can say is that that's a day of my life I won't get back. I've nearly 7 hours invested in smoothing everything on the inside and thankfully it's almost ready for primer now. There are just a few more small bits I'm not 100% happy with to finish off first though. The dark patches are the original fibreglass which were the highest points on the roof, so everything else has been brought up to that level. I did sand those high points down a bit, but didn't want to go too crazy as it might get too thin

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/IMG_6169_zpsdtk5ndtm.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/IMG_6169_zpsdtk5ndtm.jpg.html)


08-07-17, 07:36 PM
Once happy with the inside of the roof, I turned my attention to the front end. Why is it that nothing is ever straight forward?? I had decided to fit a full width hood bow to the inside of the roof to fit over the screen. Then the next problem reared its head. When fitted to the roof, it became apparent that the roofs leading edge had a dip in it and didn't follow the line of the screen. I can only assume that this is because the screen isn't raked back as far as a Hawk.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20018_zpsjyvzcgxl.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20018_zpsjyvzcgxl.jpg.html )

To overcome this I've had to mask out the screen frame and fibreglass a new leading edge to the roof.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20020_zpsifvxlszr.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20020_zpsifvxlszr.jpg.html )

This was then trimmed to give it a decent profile to the screen

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20023_zpssvfpdkw8.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%208%20023_zpssvfpdkw8.jpg.html )

Once happy the roof was repaired and primered

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20001_zpsmgfvt3mw.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20001_zpsmgfvt3mw.jpg.htm l)

The inside of the roof was primed and painted with an aluminium paint

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20008_zps8t1srbaa.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20008_zps8t1srbaa.jpg.htm l)

I had initially set up the gap between the roof and the body using 3mm foam seals. I thought it might be better to use 6mm for added security against scratching the bodywork. I fitted some to the roof, but it now seems too wide a gap between the two panels. Having looked at pictures of other Le Mans hardtops, they all seem to have quite big gaps, so maybe I should leave it as is with the 6mm

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20010_zpsslxs4oam.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20010_zpsslxs4oam.jpg.htm l)

The next day the topside had a few coats of basecoat and lacquer

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20011_zpslphlfihv.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2012%20011_zpslphlfihv.jpg.htm l)

I'll flat the roof down tomorrow and then I can spray on the stripes and fit the screen. Nearly there ..... :smile:


13-07-17, 09:14 AM
Next up was to fit the rear screen. I used some 2" masking tape to form the contours that the screen would take, this will support the masking paper that's being used as a template for the screen

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20002_zpsktwz60nc.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20002_zpsktwz60nc.jpg.htm l)

A piece of masking paper was then laid tightly over the supporting tape, and the reveal was drawn onto the paper using the "brass rubbing effect"

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20001_zpsal8dw5vw.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20001_zpsal8dw5vw.jpg.htm l)

The paper was then cut to shape, with datum points marked on the paper and tape on the body to help align everything once it's transposed onto the acrylic sheet

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20003_zpsahoossnw.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20003_zpsahoossnw.jpg.htm l)

The shape was transferred to the acrylic, which was cut to shape using a fine toothed blade in the jigsaw, or the "puzzlesaw" as my mother in law called it :lol: Three 3" holes were also cut into it, to allow trapped air to get out...hopefully

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20005_zpsenkotwrw.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20005_zpsenkotwrw.jpg.htm l)

The inside of the laminate was then masked out so that a border could be sprayed in black, this would make it look much neater when viewed from outside

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20006_zpsj3oyka06.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20006_zpsj3oyka06.jpg.htm l)

The window was the fitted into place using rivets. I put some 3mm foam seal around the aperture for the laminate to sit on prior to riveting it in place. Unfortunaty I ended up using twice as many rivets as I had intended. The laminate is 4mm thick, but once it was riveted into place the edge became rippled as it was pulled down into the foam seal. The remedy was to rivet in between the rivets, which thankfully made it all flat again

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20007_zps24dxkdh2.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20007_zps24dxkdh2.jpg.htm l)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20008_zpswjmmxlh7.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2014%20008_zpswjmmxlh7.jpg.htm l)

13-07-17, 09:16 AM
The paint was then flatted down so that it could be cut back and polished and then the stripes were added.

. http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2015%20001_zpsvkfwh06t.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20mans%20hardtop%2015%20001_zpsvkfwh06t.jpg.htm l)

Well, the roof is nearly finished at last, now it's onto the next stage of its development


13-07-17, 09:16 AM
At last, it's all cut back and finished ready to fit. Just need to split the boot, fit the fuel filler and join it to the body and it's good to go :grin:

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2016%20001_zpsagrxthxn.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2016%20001_zpsagrxthxn.jpg.htm l)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2016%20004_zpsxhxw7mzl.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20hardtop%2016%20004_zpsxhxw7mzl.jpg.htm l)


13-07-17, 09:17 AM
The final piece to the jigsaw arrived,

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20filler%20cap%20001_zpsz1j1abjg.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20filler%20cap%20001_zpsz1j1abjg.jpg.htm l)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20filler%20cap%20002_zpsea4qtiei.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Le%20Mans%20filler%20cap%20002_zpsea4qtiei.jpg.htm l)

I'm actually going to leave it exactly as it is, rather than polish it, as I like the look of the "rawness" of it and think that it'll suit the rest of the car once it's finished


14-07-17, 09:02 PM
You, sir, are an inspiration. Brilliant glass work, attention to detail, and patience. The proof is clear in the results. Love it.

17-07-17, 07:58 PM
Awesome work!

25-07-17, 03:43 PM
Well, I took the plunge and cut the boot in half. All in all it went pretty good, and I managed to do it all in one day, so that's a bonus. I had bought some replica hinges, but found that they didn't fit too well where I wanted them to go. If they were too far apart, the curvature of the rear valance would have put a strain on them as the boot opened. I couldn't move them closer to the centre line as the number plate was in the way. I had a "eureka" moment and remembered there were some chrome Mini hinges on the other hardtop I have, so I used those instead. I marked out where I wanted them to go and drilled the holes in the bootlid. Once bolted on, I could then mark out the rear valance where the holes had to go.

Not period correct, but they do the job well.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20002_zpsdevcnmgp.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20002_zpsdevcnmgp.jpg.html)

I then put the Le mans hardtop on to see where I needed to cut the boot, with the cut line marked out with some lining tape. Trusty jigsaw in hand I made that cut.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20001_zpsnzjdvofd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20001_zpsnzjdvofd.jpg.html)

No going back now.....

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20003_zpsjidowqjf.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20003_zpsjidowqjf.jpg.html)

Two bootlids

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20004_zpsk84gpsew.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20004_zpsk84gpsew.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20005_zpspds7dnsm.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20005_zpspds7dnsm.jpg.html)

The bottom half of the boot was then bolted to the valance

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20006_zpssa3c6xkc.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20006_zpssa3c6xkc.jpg.html)

At some point in the future I'll probably re locate the boot handle and locking mechanism, but for the time being I fitted some 1/4 turn lockable fastners. These come with huge stainless backing washers which I didn't like as there's very little stainless on the car, so i cut out some smaller aluminium washer instead. Holes were drilled in the boot and these were then fitted. A pair of small brackets were made that mount to the bodywork and support the locking mounting pegs. Once closed it all sits down quite nicely.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20009_zpslc2q3syo.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20009_zpslc2q3syo.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20008_zpsaaxnzynn.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20008_zpsaaxnzynn.jpg.html)

25-07-17, 03:44 PM
I managed to pick up some 10mm U section aluminium to make the drip rail for the bootlid. Luckily it bent quite easily to the curvature of the bootlid. The bootlids aren't shut in these pics hence the gap being all over the place :lol:

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20001_zpsmlivzfyj.jp g (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20001_zpsmlivzfyj.jp g.html)

I was going to use an "L" section of aluminium to mount it to the boot itself, but due to the uneveness of the inner skin it didn't sit at all right. So, I cut it into pieces, which were riveted to the U channel. Because it was riveted, I was able to slightly move it to the profile of the boot and get it top sit flush with the surface.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20002_zps1iwsqmeh.jp g (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20002_zps1iwsqmeh.jp g.html)

This was then riveted to the inner skin of the boot. Luckily, there was a approx a 5mm gap between the inner and outer skins, so it didn't affect the outer skin in any way.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20004_zps8vce72xb.jp g (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20004_zps8vce72xb.jp g.html)

The theory is, that it should direct rain water to run down the outside of the boot rubber seal, time will tell if this theory works I guess, but I don't see why it shouldn't.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20003_zpsobikct11.jp g (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20bootlid%20drip%20rail%20003_zpsobikct11.jp g.html)

I've just got to cut the excess off the thread on the locking part of the catch, and touch in the paintwork where it's marked slightly due to being cut with the jigsaw and it's good to go. Everything from the front wings backwards will be painted later once the rest of the mods are completed. :wink:


25-07-17, 03:50 PM
Well, that didn't fit.....but it does now!!

Here's a couple of photos of the car with the Le Mans hardtop fitted. The weather wasn't too bad today so I took it out for its first run in quite a few weeks. Halfways into the trip, the heavens opened up and it tamped down with rain. Glad to report that there was no water coming in through the top of the screen and it would seem that the drip rail in the boot worked as well as it was bone dry Woo Hoo!!

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20049_zpsrgbwvrvr.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20049_zpsrgbwvrvr.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20048_zpsp6dmy8kd.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20048_zpsp6dmy8kd.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20047_zpsrdshqdse.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20047_zpsrdshqdse.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20034_zpsdgvnrh3a.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20034_zpsdgvnrh3a.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20033_zps2zlvarul.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20033_zps2zlvarul.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20032_zps3dwoppi5.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20032_zps3dwoppi5.jpg.h tml)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20029_zpspsjszssm.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20finished%20029_zpspsjszssm.jpg.h tml)

Here's a short walk around video, sorry for the jerkiness (is that a word?) but it was a bit muddy.

Just click the image to load it.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/th_Viper%20hardtop%20video%202_zpshrkcs9ii.mp4 (http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20hardtop%20video%202_zpshrkcs9ii.mp4)

I'm really quite pleased with the way this turned out,

The whole thing about this car is that it doesn't look like a totally pristine show car. There are chips and marks on the rest of the paintwork as I've only painted the parts I've fabricated, the rest of it has aged quite nicely. Figuring that the majority of race cars have a certain aged and patinated look about them, I'm going to let the car grow old gracefully and wear its "scars" with pride. It's been like this now for over a year and I've been pleasantly surprised at how people have reacted to its look.


25-07-17, 03:51 PM
With Silverstone 2016 looming, I thought that now might be the right time to make some sidescreens for the Le Mans Viper, not least of all because my better half, Nadine, is coming along too. I didn't want her first long trip in the car to be a windswept affair that could put her off going anywhere else in it. Having looked at various types of sidescreens, I decided that I wanted something that kept the race car look, whilst still being functional.
I started off with some 15 X 15 x15 x 1.5 mm section as the size is just right to sit against a door seal, whilst not protruding too far outside the profile of the roof.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%209_zpssq7zgkxv.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%209_zpssq7zgkxv.jpg.html)

A template was taken of the window aperture which would form the basis for all fo the cuts etc to be made

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%206_zpsct5misvq.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%206_zpsct5misvq.jpg.html)

To enable the aluminium to bend it has to be annealed, otherwise it will just crack and lose its shape. I worked out where the bend was to be and scribed it with a permanent marker pen.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2010_zpsxi61qfau.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2010_zpsxi61qfau.jpg.html)

This was then heated up with a blowtorch

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2011_zpso5rr1lmz.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2011_zpso5rr1lmz.jpg.html)

.......until the permanent marker had disappeared

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2011_zpso5rr1lmz.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2011_zpso5rr1lmz.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2012_zpsvadnyzky.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2012_zpsvadnyzky.jpg.html)

I then made a simple jig that would fit the profile of the inside of the box section. This would help to stop it collapsing in on itself when the bends were being made. The aluminium was then gently formed around the jig, with plenty of brute force and ignorance, ...No no, I mean a rubber mallet. As it was being worked I cable tied the aluminium to the jig to hold it's form

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2013_zpsdabxxp8r.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2013_zpsdabxxp8r.jpg.html)

25-07-17, 03:52 PM
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2023_zpswmpxovdv.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2023_zpswmpxovdv.jpg.html)

25-07-17, 03:53 PM
Some laminate was then milled by a friend to make the sliders for the side window. The whole lot was then bolted to the screens using domed head bolts

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%202_zps8xuhb2ed.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%202_zps8xuhb2ed.jpg.html)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff121/evilzee28/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2026_zpsfntvswox.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/evilzee28/media/miscellaneous/Viper%20sidescreens%2026_zpsfntvswox.jpg.html)

The gap under the frame will be taken up with some 6mm foam seal. I've also added a velcro strap to the top of the door, which will attach to the inside of the roof to stop the frame from moving whislt driving.


08-12-17, 12:44 PM
A couple of arty farty shots of the car I took recently




08-12-17, 02:07 PM
You were going to take some photos of the engine bay for me Nigel (remember I commented on a facebook post?)

Seeing as you are testing your new photo host, any chance?

08-12-17, 02:45 PM
You were going to take some photos of the engine bay for me Nigel (remember I commented on a facebook post?)

Seeing as you are testing your new photo host, any chance?

Sorry about that, things got a bit manic here and I had a senior moment and forgot. What would you like photographed?

08-12-17, 03:12 PM
No worries :p

I am interested in the area in front of the drivers footwell as I would like to extend the footwell to give more driver legroom

09-12-17, 10:59 AM
No worries :p

I am interested in the area in front of the drivers footwell as I would like to extend the footwell to give more driver legroom

Here ya go.


At the bottom of the footbox were it rests on the chassis, there's 3" gap between the footbox and the inner arch. No doubt you could cut the inner arch back for a bit more room if needs be. Hope that helps

29-12-17, 07:10 AM
I have had another idea to create more legroom.

How does the seat position against the rear bulkhead look?
Is the seat angle parallel to the rear bulkhead angle?
Does the base of the seat go right back tight to the bulkhead or is there a gap at the bottom of the seat if the top of the seat is touching the bulkhead?
Does the base of the seat go over the horizontal box section of the chassis at the rear of the floorpan, or butt up to it?

06-01-18, 12:55 PM
I have had another idea to create more legroom.

How does the seat position against the rear bulkhead look?
Is the seat angle parallel to the rear bulkhead angle?
Does the base of the seat go right back tight to the bulkhead or is there a gap at the bottom of the seat if the top of the seat is touching the bulkhead?
Does the base of the seat go over the horizontal box section of the chassis at the rear of the floorpan, or butt up to it?

The seat angle isn't parallel to the rear bulkhead.

The back of the base of my seat almost touches the box section, but with a 13mm gap to it. At this point, the top of the backrest just touches the rear bulkhead

The base of the seat almost butts up against it as above.

Unfortunately, there is no wiggle room to be able to put the seat any further back, if you need more room then you'll need to make it in the footbox area,:cry:
hope that helps

06-01-18, 06:04 PM

I think with some careful planning I can get the seat backrest parallel with the rear bulkhead and the base of the seat over the top of the floorpan box section, which by my reckoning will gain nearly 2" legroom

07-01-18, 09:30 AM
... base of the seat over the top of the floorpan box section, which by my reckoning will gain nearly 2" legroom

I may be stating the obvious but there's a pitfall if the seat is too high in that you may be looking at (or even over) the top of the windscreen frame if you are tall. This then gets worse if you have a roof.

07-01-18, 10:23 AM
I may be stating the obvious but there's a pitfall if the seat is too high in that you may be looking at (or even over) the top of the windscreen frame if you are tall. This then gets worse if you have a roof.

You’re right David. The seat on my Viper sits right up to that rear box section. I would have thought it would be possible to modify the seat frame to go over it.
How’s the ankle? Are you off work watching Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women? :)

07-01-18, 12:53 PM
Yes well aware of the height issue.

At the moment I am going down the route of exploring the possibilities of a modified seat base to allow it to travel over the chassis rail without raising the seat up. I am also considering modifying the lower chassis rail.

10-01-18, 05:20 PM
Hi Nigel,

Any chance of a photo of the front suspension assembled on your car please?

I would like to see how the front damper assembly fits to/with the lower wishbone

10-01-18, 06:58 PM
Hi Nigel,

Any chance of a photo of the front suspension assembled on your car please?

I would like to see how the front damper assembly fits to/with the lower wishbone

I'll post it on your thread when I get a chance as I'd like to keep this thread dedicated to
the build of my own car ;-)

10-01-18, 08:11 PM
Hi Nige
check your PM's please,

11-01-18, 06:39 AM
I'll post it on your thread when I get a chance as I'd like to keep this thread dedicated to
the build of my own car ;-)

Ok thank you.

Hint taken, I will stop spamming your thread :oops:

21-01-18, 04:42 PM
Thought I'd get on with making the aluminium dashboards for the Viper and the other two Cobras I've got here at the moment. The former is made from an old kitchen work top and the bottom edge and glovebox opening were routered to give the bevelled edge. The aluminium was then hammer formed over that. Quite a nice, therapeutic thing to do, seeing it all take shape. The holes for the steering column, speedo and rev counter still need to be cut out, but the major work is done.






21-01-18, 10:14 PM
Nice job Nige, as always. That poor kitchen work surface...:)

Lloyd Barnes
22-01-18, 07:59 AM
Very impressive work, bonnet, boot and doors in ali next?

Ian C
22-01-18, 08:15 AM

Beautiful work, what finish are you going to apply to the dashboard?

Excellent build thread (and work!).

Best regards,

22-01-18, 08:43 AM
I believe the "originals" were covered in a particular vinyl with no padding (not leather).
Kev W has the specs I think. LOL.

24-01-18, 06:37 PM
That looks fantastic!

Don't suppose you fancy making them to order? ;) :mrgreen:

22-03-20, 09:17 AM
What thickness aluminium did you use?

neil still building it
22-03-20, 06:37 PM
I believe the "originals" were covered in a particular vinyl with no padding (not leather).
Kev W has the specs I think. LOL.

my uncle -who worked at thames ditton ac cars(paint shop) -said it was fablon.........if this helps ,and yes no padding

22-03-20, 07:56 PM
my uncle -who worked at thames ditton ac cars(paint shop) -said it was fablon.........if this helps ,and yes no padding

Ah Fablon. When my mum discovered that she stuck it on everything that didn’t move fast enough!