Current Restoration Project


The current project looks like a fresh barn find. However, this particular '39 Ford DeLuxe was used in the 1977 movie remake of "Lolita", starring Jeremy Irons and Melanie Griffith. It is now owned by Santa Cruz Woodies member, Matt Jacobs.

The "patina" on this original, unrestored woodie is left over from the movie filming. and the owner plans to keep it that way. The doors got a workout during the filming and are misaligned and sagging. The plan is to fix the sagging doors and make them as solid as the rest of the car.

After the initial inspection, I removed the doors and found that the front door hinges were worn and loose fitting pins were used, possibly to make it easier to remove the doors for filming. The lower drivers door hinge was cracked and the others were all loose.

I removed the inner door panels to gain access to the hinge screws and nuts. I removed the cracked hinge and will weld it up before reinstalling with fresh fasteners.

The upper front door hinges had the most wear and were drilled for oversize pins.

The corresponding hinge halves on the doors were drilled to fit the oversize pins as well.

The lower drivers door hinge was cracked at both bosses and these cracks were welded up and ground smooth.

On the insides of the doors, new T-nuts and machine screws were used where necessary. All door joints are checked for tightness.

Here the driver door is rehung using the new hinge pins. The hinge mount mirror also needs to be drilled for the oversize pins.

The passenger door was hung in the same manner, with oversize pins on the top hinge. The door latch catch needed to be adjusted for the now non-sagging door.

The rear doors were rehung after straightening the passenger door hinge and shimming the bottom to make it align better.

Now that the doors are rehung, all the hardware and inner door panels can be replaced.

All the door catches are checked and adjusted for proper operation.

Here the happy owner prepares to load the project on a trailer for the trip home.

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