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Following a Star....Continued

Hello again everybody.

Well, it,s been a long time since I have posted anything about the restoration of Cathy Witkowski's Star Roadster. Work and other issues have slowed this project to a crawl..... but we're at it again!

If I remember correctly, my last postings were of the finished woodwork that looked something like this

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I was just getting started with the sheetmetal repair of the body. We had removed the cowl and rear body sections and blasted them in preparation for metal repais.

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Next came the repair of the sheetmetal.
The bottom 6" of the entire rear body had been previously been repaired and was in poor condition and needed to be replaced.

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The cowl was also in very poor condition and needed complete new side panels installed from the bottom to about 4" above the body belt line.

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Panels were made and butt welded into place and then the body was smotthed and straightened while all the time checking the fit of the doors and deck.
Because of other obligations... this process took me about 14 months.

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More in the next couple of days..... Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Beautiful work Jim!
Right now you are my best friend!
I have to do all the woodwork too!

Where Are You From? Indiana

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1927 Model R Star Roadster

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Bill... Thanks for the nice words, but I think it's really more about the amount of time... not the quality of work.

After gettting all of the patches in the body, I contiued with the doors and the deck lid. Blasting, repair and fitting.

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Next was the tedious job of straightening, smoothing and block sanding of the urathane primered body and parts.

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Followed by the straightening priming and block sanding of the rear fenders while mounted on the body.

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It was now time for these parts to bake in the summer sun while we were starting a new part of the project.... the chassis.

More later...... Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

The chassis was the best part of the car. Most everything was original and in reasonable condition, but had been painted a few times.

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After dissassembly, we took the chassis to the blast both.

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Then after doing a very through and complete cleaning.... on to the paint room.

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The motor was in good condition, but was completely dissassembled and cleaned inside and out. The rings, valve and cam looked to be in very good condition and were left alone.

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The color was a combination of gray and green paint purchased from Bill Hirsh and mixed to match the original color that survived on my Flint motor.

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All of the external motor accessories were dissassembled and rebuilt as needed before being reassembled to the motor. Then the motor was remounted into the chassis.

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Other chassis parts were then cleaned, restored and then remounted. The more difficult items were the gas tank and clutch.

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Many of the smaller items were cleaned and prepared for paint. A good way to handle the painting of all of these parts is to put wire coathangers around plastic pipe and then hang the pipe from bicycle in the ceiling. The pipe can be easily removed and reinstalled when needed.

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Next came the exhaust. We had a good original looking pattern and took it to a well known muffler shop.

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This about completes the main chassis. Time now to start choosing a paint scheme and colors for the body.
More later.... Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Back again.
Thought I would post the next pic just to show everyone the way the Star bodies were assembled with" Time defying construction.

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and then we reassembled it almost the same way!

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Back to the paint
Thanks to Mike's suggestion, we searched through the color libraries original chips... but couldn't decide on a color. Everything looked so "regular".
Frank then passed along an original add that someone(?) had sent to him and it had caught his eye. I liked it also, so the choice was made!

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The search was now on.
Went to my local NAPA store to find some of those old VW none metallic paint colors that have always been the old "standby" colors when we paintid everything back in the '70's. I was told that they couldn't be mixed anymore and would have to go with a company in California. Really?

Sorting futher into the chip book revealed a good looking lite green color, but still no "standout" dark green non metallic to be found.
Finally, enough was enough. Time to mix the color that was stuck in my mind! This was something that I had done years ago... Sooo, time to see how good my eyes and mind were today (well... my eyes anyhow).

Sprayed a couple of base coat test spots on some sheet metal, then a layer of clearcoat to see what we had. Amost, but not quite. We repeated this process a couple of times and finally "sadisfaction"!

Naming this special color? Since Cathy is an avid Steelers footbal fan, I thought it only proper that this color be named after a player. But, none of Pittsburg players names sounded good. So finally, a different player and team that represents the past and auto town USA ... Brian Picalo (Detroit Lions) and the color "Picalo Green"!

At last, The body was final sanded and ready to spray. After carefully masking of all of the wood...the Picalo Green base coat was applied inside and out.

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all for now... more later
JIm G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Well... While the body is drying after being sprayed with the base color, We final sanded the doors, deck lid and dash. Then the base color was applied to these parts.

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Since we are planning to match the previously shown advertisement paint scheme, We masked the areas that needed to remain Picalo green and did what is called a "reverse masking" in the middle of the body bead. Reverse masking allows the paint to curl underneath the tape surface and doesn't leave a heavy paint line that would need sanded. We then applied the lite green color.

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Next... With the green colors of base coat applied and a quick masking of all but the bead, the black can now be applied.

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everything was unmasked with the exception of the wood.

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Next posting.... applying the clearcoat!
Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Hello again everyone:

After the basecoat dried for a couple of days, I grabbed some wet and dry 400 grit sandpaper and gave everything a quick sanding to remove any dust and dirt. You can only do this sanding process on non matealic colors which makes it nice for this car.

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A good cleaning and after using a tack rag.... the clearcoat was applied.

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Finally, removing the mask paper and resting the body back on the chassis for now. Then another drying period.

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After drying for about 3 or 4 days, we sanded all of the cleared surfaces about 2/3 of the way smooth while it could still be sanded easily. Waiting any longer would make this job a lot harder.

Results will be posted next.... later Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

4 cyl durant Engine for sale

Hi, I have a 4 cyl Durant engine I am selling,http://www.ebay.com/itm/400596261551?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

w5534949 is the engine block code, turns freely, has compression,no spark

Where Are You From? Michigan

Do You own a car built by Durant? no

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Back Again:

After a few days of the clearcoat drying in the sun, We began the process of wet sanding the surfaces with 1000 then 1500 grit 3m sandpaper. Earlier we had sanded 2/3 of the orange peel out, but this time we sanded til it was all gone.
Next, we got out the buffer and compound and gave everything a good enough rub so it could be assembled. The dash, doors and deck lid were all mounted to the body.

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Now it's time to work on all of the smaller items that need done and mounted as the next step will be to get her started and running.

Next week, a trip to the "Hookstown Star Museum" with my camera in hand!

Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Hello again everyone:

Well, It's been a long cold winter here in Ohio. I've been working on several items during the winter including the windshield, some chrome plating and the covertable top.

Frank droped off a set of new wood steam bent bows a while back and I finally got a chance to try my hand at the convertable top.

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The old top bows were not in bad shape and allowed me to form and replace them with the new ones 1 at a time.

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Everything measures good to the original... but I can't find any of the original looking "cloth style" tape to wrap around the wood bows.
Does anyone know where I can get some??

Later, Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued


I haven't used it but Lebaron Bonny has Bowdrill...Check it out at http://www.lebaronbonney.com/webcatalogs/fabric/index.html#3/z

They say it is for wraping bows.

Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Hi Jim.....

Sure is looking good.

What do you think about not wrapping the bows. Leave them in natural wood with just a clear coat.

I think our B-22 is done that way.

As always we are open to suggestions.....

Frank ---

Where Are You From? Hookstown Pennsylvania

Do You own a car built by Durant? 19 and counting

Re: Following a Star....Continued

I have heard that the bow drill is to help keep your top fabric/canvas from wearing against the bows....On my A-22 I had left over leather from the upholstry and wrapped the bows with that...On my 18 Overland touring I just varnished the bows and used nothing...They both look great.

Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Hi guys... Thanks for the replys.
My first thought was to leave the bows natural as they are, but I was told it would be better if the top material was "cushioned" with the wrap in the places it formed over the bows.
Also...The bows fit pretty good, but not perfect. I think I could use the tape to help them fit or "blend-in" better to the metal top irons and top mechanism. Of coarse, I will seal and varnish the bows first and any place the wood is not taped, would be natural.
Thanks again, Jim G.

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Hey Jim!
I found a set of sockets for my top but need the bows made. The gentleman who is making the bows needs some measurements. Did you happen to keep that info? A small sketch maybe????

As always a Hearty Indiana Handshake!


Where Are You From? Indiana

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1927 Star Six Coupe - 1928 Star Six Sport Roadster

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Jim, your reports with ample photos are really useful. It inspires procrastinators like me to actually get off my butt and do something!! Keep it up with these progress reports, including the little tips sprinkled throughout.

Where Are You From? New Zealand

Do You own a car built by Durant? Rugby 4 door sedan, 1928: in many pieces

Re: Following a Star....Continued

A wonderful photo montage. I'm curious, was it difficult to match the wood frame to the old steel skins? How did you do it? Match the wood to the steel? Or reverse?

Where Are You From? North of SF

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1925 Star

Re: Following a Star....Continued

Your blog here is a blessing for someone like me. I have just recently bought the 1926 Star Landau and have not even taken delivery of it. I noticed that there are only three others in the registry so I guess these are a little special. This one appears to be mostly there but partially in pieces so will need a frame up restoration similar to what you are doing. If you have time would you mind sending me an e-mail? If at all possible I'd love to have a copy of your progress video or pictures to help me in my project. I would, of course, be very willing to pay any expenses incurred including time making the copy so long as that would not infringe on the rights of your Star owner. I plan to make a video guide of my restoration (with accompanying book) that I will eventually make available here on the forum.

I want to repeat that your posts are an inspiration and a blessing for me and I'm sure many others out there. You are doing some truly good work.


Where Are You From? Northeast Tennessee

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes, 2, 1926 Star 6 and 1926 Star Landau (project)


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