View Full Version : 63 Convertible Project [take 1]

05-27-2013, 11:25 PM
I met a number of people at a gathering in Golden Gardens back in 2006. At that time I had just purchased a 63 convertible with hopes of quickly restoring it. Well now, seven years later, I am finally at a place where I can start moving forward with this project.

I spent sometime reading different threads this afternoon, but would still welcome the opportunity to hear from others, as there might be new experiences, new shops, and new ideas.

Please keep in mind that the end result is NOT a show car, but a car for family fun. I'd like the result to be clean and professional, but am not looking for perfection.

1) Windshield: can anyone recommend a local vendor for both the purchase of and installation of a windshield for my 1963 Futura Convertible?

2) Chrome: I am thinking of Art Brass Plating for my two bumpers and three interior windshield pieces. Are there any other places I might want to call, especially around the three smaller pieces?

3) Bodywork: I am thinking of Elliot (Elhot Metal Fabrication), but would welcome another shop that isn't quite as expensive. Can anyone recommend another shop?

4) Paint: I have read that Fenders & Fins does exceptional work, but (again) would welcome another shop that does great work on older cars for a fair price.

Thank you for any advice you can pass along, and
I will be sharing pictures (and experiences) as the Futura transitions from project car to neighborhood classic.

05-28-2013, 12:57 PM

I will not begin to be able to suggest to you where to go, since I tend to do all my own work on all these things. But I will say most of these places you suggest will probably want to do, and charge for, show quality work.

For instance, just about every swap meet I go to have bumper rechromers all with front and rear Falcon bumpers - for about $250 exchange. You will be hard-pressed to get a single bumper done for $500 at Art Brass. Some things, like your interior chrome-work will have to go to someone, but for a driver you might consider just doing something on your own to be unique.

Windshield glass you can still usually get locally from most glass shops without paying the high shipping costs when buying them from a catalog vendor. These are all rubber imbedded, so they go in pretty easily when you have a couple guys around to help. As a tech day we've done a few as a club already.

How much bodywork is there to do? Any clue? Most body shops who'll touch an older car will be able to do any rust repair and paint as well. But I don't know whether they have a "driver quality" versus "show quality" level of work and service.

Just as an example, I needed to have a couple fenders painted for my wagon. I had already decided to locate a couple and have them done rather than to hassle with having my car apart for an extended period of time. I was also working on a big project at work and didn't have the time to do it myself (as I had for the tailgate and other vehicles I'd done before) - so I took it to a street-rod shop in the Lynnwood area and had them fill the holes and paint them for me. 2 fenders... $2800. :WHATTHE: But at their $89 an hour shop time that's only 15 hours per fender. I could have easily spent the same amount of time on them, maybe more, filling holes, rusted out parts, prepping, priming, sanding, painting. Even still there were things I would have done they didn't do.

Anyway, just a few cents worth of opinion. It may be worth only that much, but it was free today. [thumb]

05-28-2013, 03:27 PM
Hi Roger-
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

The bumpers are two of the last items that will actually be needed to finish the project, so I really appreciate the tip around swap meets. I am planning to do a careful cataloging of the car in the coming days (a father / son project), so that will give us a list of things to look for at swap meets - front and rear bumpers will top the list!

I am also glad to hear that windshields are still available locally. I was looking at them online and, yes, the transportation charges really added up.

I realize that it becomes hard balancing the cost of restoring a vehicle verses making one presentable. The car probably has bodywork that is beyond Maaco, and I probably want work with a little more polish than they may offer…especially as the exterior color will change from white to red (Ballard High School colors: RED and BLACK – the only way to reach consensus among three kids).

I do not, presently, have access to photos of the rear 1/4 panels (that is where most of the bodywork is required), but I can post some later tonight. There are also smaller projects, like holes to fill, etc. I wish I could do more of the work myself. So with that in mind, I will research (YouTube, etc.) – and, perhaps, find a couple of projects I can tackle together with my kids.

The car is not going to be completed overnight, so I remain open to hearing suggestions around possible body / paint shops.


05-28-2013, 04:08 PM
I looked up where I went before and the place is called Street Rod Visions in Lynnwood. Nice guy that runs the shop. He even came out to my place one evening and had a look at what I was doing at the time in my garage... almost offered me a job. :D

05-28-2013, 07:56 PM
Roger, thank you for passing along the name of the shop in Lynnwood. I tried to open up their web-page, but my browser stopped me. I will try again later from another computer, and see if I get the same results.

Anyway, as promised, below are some images of the rear 1/4 panels, which, in addition to the front driver side floor panel, require the most attention.

Kindly let me know if there are any issues with the images, and
Thank you for taking a look.

05-29-2013, 12:52 PM
Yes - I see the web site error here on my browser. I opened it yesterday on my phone and didn't see the error, but it is probably a warning because there seemed to be some interactive viewer thing on their site home page. I might have to contact them and suggest they might want to know that they won't get much site traffic if everyone is afraid they'll get hacked if they continue.


That's pretty typical rot on a convertible. Floors rot too on any Falcon, but floor rot usually begins from above in the dash cowl or due to a leaking windshield seal. You might want to lay on your back and look up at the sheet metal under your dash - with a bright light shining down into the vent-work from outside. You should not see any light except from inside the DS vent door and the PS heater coupling (which has probably long-since rotted away).

There is no access to the cowl through the vent-work and the drains, which are under the fenders, get clogged easily and let crud build up and rust the cowl. Even if you don't see light, that doesn't mean that if you don't clean out the crud, you won't expose the holes.

Fortunately repair panels are available for the floor and the quarters. I see them from most Falcon vendors and on ebay. Doing this sort of patch is pretty simple, but it's still hours of cha-ching at a body shop. It might be time to invest into a small MIG welder and learn how to weld - assuming you don't know how to already. So handy and so easy to learn. Floor pans are not seen, so would be a good place to learn the patching process. You can look at my Ranchero thread and see all kinds of shots of rot being cut-out and panels installed.

The cowl, if rusted - is not a fun job. Or easy. If my Ranchero rust had been simple pin-holes, I'd have just opened the ends of the cowl (where you can't see them under the fenders) and fiberglassed it or something. But mine (if you look) were way beyond that.

Anyway, all part of the "joy." [yay]

Link to my Ranchero thread. Just about every imaginable repair was done in this thread.


falcon cobra
05-29-2013, 03:37 PM
Hey lawrence I know a bodyman friend that could fix your quarter pannels, the shipping on those large pannels is really high, and it would cost about 800.00 each or more to install, he made the bottem of my front fenders on my 51 ford pickup and did a good job...jh

05-29-2013, 09:40 PM
I am slowly making my way through your thread. I think I got to post #36. By the looks of it, you rebuilt from the ground up! (Need a new project? -jk). The Falcon has been garaged in Edmonds for a couple of years. I'm cleaning out my garage to bring it back down to Seattle in a couple of weeks...but my space is nothing like yours.

It would be great to get a quote for the bodywork. Might you be able to eMail me the contact details? -->63FordFutura[at]comcast[dot]net

Thank you both,

05-29-2013, 09:44 PM
I forgot to ask about the bumpers on your Falcon. I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but I noticed, from your thumbnail image, they are red.

I ask become, one option (I have been thinking about) is painting fiberglass bumpers black.

Thanks again,

05-30-2013, 06:30 AM
If your bumpers are straight you could always powder coat them as well. We might have a club member that could do that for you.
If Rogers thread isn't enough for you check out the "Reconstruction has begun" thread on my 63 delivery.
I think I'm going to go into business with roger and start a falcon restoration shop?!?

05-30-2013, 11:27 AM
I think I'm going to go into business with roger and start a falcon restoration shop?!?


When is this going to happen? Am I moving to Sequim?

05-30-2013, 11:33 AM
I am slowly making my way through your thread. I think I got to post #36. By the looks of it, you rebuilt from the ground up! (Need a new project? -jk). The Falcon has been garaged in Edmonds for a couple of years. I'm cleaning out my garage to bring it back down to Seattle in a couple of weeks...but my space is nothing like yours.

I'm tight. I have a lot of tools to do just about everything, but oh so wish I had a bigger garage to do it. Lot's of shuffling things around. But we make do with what we have sometimes. The Ranchero was a ground up reconstruction. I wouldn't even call it a restoration, since there was so little left I could restore on it. Similar to what you'll see on Steve (Doghows) reconstruction thread. Sometimes we just don't know better and stop. :D I still think back on that time period and it seems very surreal.

05-30-2013, 12:51 PM
Well hopefully in the next few weeks I will be doubling the size of the powder shop.. I am way to busy and way to full need more room. Figured I might as well take the whole side of this building Im in and start flipping falcons in part and powder in the rest...
Should have about 7000 sqft or so...
Sorry for the side track, but yes your car can be saved all it takes is time and the desire to do it.. (maybe a little lack of common sense sometimes helps too)..:rocker:

05-30-2013, 08:35 PM
Powder? I read about powder and powdering in Roger's thread. I need to learn more about it, as it sounds interesting. I wonder if it would work for the three chrome pieces along the top of the windshield (interior). They are small, and if memory recalls - in decent shape. But they need to be re-chromed. Perhaps powdering would give it a custom feel. Oh well, step by step.

The bumpers need some straightening. I'm headed back up to look at the car soon, so I'm making a list of things to inspect closely, take photos of, and look for.

Thanks again!

05-30-2013, 08:54 PM
Tight? Take a look below...of course I can back the car all the way in when the garage is empty and still have a couple of feet, but there is absolutely no room for error on the sides. LOL!!

05-31-2013, 08:31 AM
Anything metal can be coated, as long as it can take a 500 degree oven. Those pieces could be powdered I have done a bunch for other types of cars. Needless to say I powder coated my entire car...

Roger I think he has you beat as far as a smaller space to work on cars goes. I think that would be hard just to get out of the car when it is in there!! Anytime you guys want to come out here for a tech day there is plenty of room. Just make sure we can get the work done in the time we have. Sequim is a pretty good drive..

Keep us posted Lawrence..

05-31-2013, 02:53 PM
Much thanks for the clarification and words of encouragement. I’m still making my way through Roger’s thread – after which I will take a look at yours “Reconstruction has begun.”
Today’s sunny weather has me wishing I’d done all this back in 2006 – like originally planned.
I’ll try and make it worth the wait!

falcon cobra
05-31-2013, 03:07 PM
Lawrence. are you going to the ford picnic on sunday? it would be a good time to talk to falcon people and kick it tires, it could help alot for your resto convert job...jh:rocker:

06-01-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the reminder about the picnic. I won't be able to meet at Burger King before 9...but I'll try and swing by the college a bit later.

June 2
41st Annual Early Ford V-8 & All-Makes Car Show and Picnic
Bellevue College

Read more here: http://calendar.thenewstribune.com/bellevue_wa/events/show/313610803-41st-annual-early-ford-v-8-all-makes-car-show-picnic#storylink=cpy
3000 Landerholm Cir SE
Bellevue, WA 98007