'59 DeSoto Firesweep convert
big m
Posted 2015-10-06 7:21 PM (#491590)
Subject: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Now that I have put nearly ten thousand miles on my '59 Sport Fury, time to start the next endeavor, '59 Desoto ragtop.

This car was purchased by the previous owner in the early eighties, where some restoration was started, but then abandoned and rolled into a walnut shed where it remained until I bought it in 2009. Looks to be fairly solid, although I see lots of quickie type repairs, so I might as well start over. Hopefully not too much missing, I haven't inventoried everything yet.



('59 DeSoto convertible 002.jpg)



('59 DeSoto convertible 004.jpg)



('59 DeSoto convertible 005.jpg)



('59 DeSoto convertible 007.jpg)



('59 DeSoto convertible 008.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 002.jpg (146KB - 123 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 004.jpg (148KB - 133 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 005.jpg (158KB - 120 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 007.jpg (148KB - 121 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 008.jpg (142KB - 128 downloads)
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ronbo97
Posted 2015-10-06 8:55 PM (#491597 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: RE: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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An amazingly rare car. Never, ever seen one. Makes 59 Dodge converts look commonplace.

Ron

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Lancer Mike
Posted 2015-10-06 9:16 PM (#491604 - in reply to #491597)
Subject: RE: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Ooo! John and M'Lisa - I love it when you do these threads. I am always amazed to see the fantastic things you do and how efficiently you get the job done!
Cheers and congratulations. I will follow this thread! Of course, there are NONE of these in my local junkyards. But if there is anything I can do, you know I will.
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guyman
Posted 2015-10-06 11:37 PM (#491612 - in reply to #491604)
Subject: RE: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Good Luck John....I am sure you will do an amazing job!....Thanks for the hospitality on Saturday!...Always a pleasure.

Guy
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2015-10-07 12:06 AM (#491614 - in reply to #491604)
Subject: RE: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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This is good news John. I'm looking forward to some interesting reading during the winter!

Greg
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big m
Posted 2015-10-29 2:39 PM (#493541 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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I've removed the body from the chassis, now time to scrape all the tar off and find out what's really beneath it. Passenger compartment floors are actually in great shape, just a couple half inch holes near the inspection cover on the left front, the trunk has several holes and pop-riveted repairs made that need correction.



(1959 Dodge Custom Royal 003.JPG)



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Attachments 1959 Dodge Custom Royal 003.JPG (126KB - 104 downloads)
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big m
Posted 2015-10-29 2:47 PM (#493543 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Started stripping the paint, and found a large patch of filler in front of the wheel opening on the LH side, all that was beneath were some pinholes. Behind the wheel opening was an overlapped patch piece welded in, over an inch thick of bondo in spots, the panel is badly warped from this "repair" I'll have to cut this out, repair the damage, and install another piece. The rear deck panel was also slathered with filler, but haven't found out exactly why yet.

---John



(1959 Dodge Custom Royal 001.JPG)



(1959 Dodge Custom Royal 002.JPG)



(1959 Dodge Custom Royal 004.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments 1959 Dodge Custom Royal 001.JPG (126KB - 132 downloads)
Attachments 1959 Dodge Custom Royal 002.JPG (125KB - 137 downloads)
Attachments 1959 Dodge Custom Royal 004.JPG (124KB - 107 downloads)
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2015-10-29 3:35 PM (#493550 - in reply to #493541)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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floor pans look great John! For the age, the other panels don't look bad either. Looks like a good project!
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Rebels-59
Posted 2015-10-29 4:17 PM (#493554 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Hell Yes, this is the next project i was looking forward too.. Keep us posted regular John with updates,

Hoping this one is a quick restore for you as i guess M'lisa will want it done quickly for her..

Clive

.
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bbrasse1
Posted 2015-10-29 6:28 PM (#493569 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Unbelievably good body. I love what you folks out west call rust. Most cars that age don't have a floor here so rust means looking for west coast donor parts from Big M! I too will be watching and learning some tricks as I am just slightly ahead of where you are with the car. I know you will turn it into another beauty.
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58 DESOTOS RULE
Posted 2015-10-31 3:00 AM (#493702 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: RE: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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1959 De Soto convertibe - sweet!! A car not often seen now but well worth the effort, particularly in light of the good condition of the sheet metal. It should be an easier restoration than the 1959 Plymouth, that's for sure.

I remember a 1959 De Soto convertible that was restored by White Post Restorations in Virginia that was the highlight of the 1990 De Soto National Convention that was held that year in Winchester. I have some pictures somewhere as it was a super job.

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big m
Posted 2015-11-15 12:25 PM (#495235 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Thanks, guys!

Moving kind of slowly on this as I have a customer's '62 Galaxie convertible along with some other projects at the same time.

The body is now up on the rotisserie, cleaning the massive amount of tar and Blackjack the previous owner had applied. really messy stuff.



('59 DeSoto convertible 001.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 002.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 003.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 001.JPG (126KB - 137 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 002.JPG (126KB - 120 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 003.JPG (126KB - 135 downloads)
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bbrasse1
Posted 2015-11-15 4:26 PM (#495257 - in reply to #495235)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Looks great John! What are you using to cut the old tar?
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cbrayinga
Posted 2015-11-15 4:28 PM (#495258 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Wow, that's AWESOME project you have there, John!!

What color(s) is it going to be?
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FIN ME
Posted 2015-11-16 4:26 PM (#495373 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Here you go again, John, working more miracles!

Great project, and I can't wait to see how your awesome talents bring another great F.L. car back to life.

I know the results are going to be beautiful!


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big m
Posted 2015-11-16 8:00 PM (#495389 - in reply to #495257)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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bbrasse1 - 2015-11-15 1:26 PM

Looks great John! What are you using to cut the old tar?


Old gasoline, and elbow grease with scrapers.
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big m
Posted 2015-11-16 8:02 PM (#495390 - in reply to #495258)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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cbrayinga - 2015-11-15 1:28 PM


Wow, that's AWESOME project you have there, John!!

What color(s) is it going to be?


It was originally all white, but we're going towards either two-tone whit with light green or turquoise sweepspear, or two-tone green.
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big m
Posted 2015-11-16 8:03 PM (#495391 - in reply to #495373)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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FIN ME - 2015-11-16 1:26 PM


Here you go again, John, working more miracles!

Great project, and I can't wait to see how your awesome talents bring another great F.L. car back to life.

I know the results are going to be beautiful!


:cool:


Thanks, Rosy!!
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guyman
Posted 2015-11-17 10:17 PM (#495497 - in reply to #495391)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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WOW John., that looks really clean!...sweeet!
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cbrayinga
Posted 2015-11-18 6:45 AM (#495518 - in reply to #495390)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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big m - 2015-11-16 8:02 PMIt was originally all white, but we're going towards either two-tone whit with light green or turquoise sweepspear, or two-tone green.


COOL!!
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wizard
Posted 2015-11-18 6:49 AM (#495520 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Great to follow your new thread/Project John! I'm doin the scraping work myself now, I use heatgun and scrapers and then paint thinner - whimsy
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59 explorer
Posted 2015-11-18 12:56 PM (#495542 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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John: Don't forget to check for the VIN on the frame. Looks like you have the perfect opportunity to do so

Will we see this car at Carlisle?

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ronbo97
Posted 2015-11-18 2:52 PM (#495557 - in reply to #495542)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Spring Green (Lt. Green) body with white sweep and white conv top would be a great choice.

Ron

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big m
Posted 2015-12-06 12:37 PM (#497101 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Haven't had much time to advance on this as I'm resurrecting a friend's crashed Galaxie convertible, along with some metal fabrication jobs. Finished removing the majority of the tar, bondo, paint, etc so I can see exactly what needs repairs. The previous restorer didn't do too badly on some of the patch pieces, but there is overlapped metal, not butt welded, and there is major heat distortion, so these sections will have to be cut out and new pieces fabricated, then welded in more carefully. A trunk drop off on one side was home made, not too badly, but affixed with pop rivets and tar. the trunk has several places as well that were doctored up in the same manner. Luckily, the front floors just have a couple tiny holes on the driver's front.

---John



(002.JPG)



(003.JPG)



(006.JPG)



(007.JPG)



(008.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments 002.JPG (126KB - 113 downloads)
Attachments 003.JPG (124KB - 138 downloads)
Attachments 006.JPG (125KB - 138 downloads)
Attachments 007.JPG (126KB - 106 downloads)
Attachments 008.JPG (124KB - 126 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2015-12-06 2:21 PM (#497115 - in reply to #497101)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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A heat gun will make the job of peeling undercoating with a 5-in1 paint tool/scraper
MUCH easier. Fan the gun at an angle ahead of the area being worked to pre-warm
that "elephant skin" to make the most of the heat energy and speed the work.

It's still a tedious job, but the heat helps.
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old mopar guy
Posted 2015-12-06 10:57 PM (#497164 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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WOW! John thats great… Keep up the great work.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-12-07 1:08 AM (#497176 - in reply to #497164)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Let the fun begin
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big m
Posted 2015-12-07 11:22 AM (#497202 - in reply to #497115)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Doctor DeSoto - 2015-12-06 11:21 AM

A heat gun will make the job of peeling undercoating with a 5-in1 paint tool/scraper
MUCH easier. Fan the gun at an angle ahead of the area being worked to pre-warm
that "elephant skin" to make the most of the heat energy and speed the work.

It's still a tedious job, but the heat helps.


I wish it was just the factory applied undercoat, that came off easily with just a scraper. The roofing tar with pop rivets hidden within made scraping rather tough, though.

---John
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2015-12-07 5:11 PM (#497223 - in reply to #497202)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Awesome, John and M'Lisa:

As much as we scratch our heads as to why they repaired 'em that way, you have to go back in time to when these cars were worth, on average, nothing. If this car was repaired in the late '60s up to the early '80s, the more time the repair took, the more the owner spent and the more they were simply throwing away.

Flash forward to now, these things are so valuable, nobody repairs them anymore - it is a full-on restoration; and it is a good investment of time. If John ever sells it, he will be darn happy he didn't just do a quickie repair.

Well done, John!
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big m
Posted 2015-12-08 6:53 PM (#497360 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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So true, Mike, so true!
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bbrasse1
Posted 2015-12-08 6:56 PM (#497361 - in reply to #497115)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Doctor DeSoto - 2015-12-06 2:21 PM

A heat gun will make the job of peeling undercoating with a 5-in1 paint tool/scraper
MUCH easier. Fan the gun at an angle ahead of the area being worked to pre-warm
that "elephant skin" to make the most of the heat energy and speed the work.

It's still a tedious job, but the heat helps.

Doc, that's good to know. i have a whole floor of "elephant skin" to do. John, when butt welding do you go back and fill in each tack weld until filled or do you use some body filler to smooth it all out?
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ttotired
Posted 2015-12-08 7:18 PM (#497363 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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You need to go back and keep putting tack welds until you fill the seam and fully seal it (look for light coming through)

If filler is applied over a leaky weld, moisture will soak into the filler and the metal underneath will rust and the filler will crack/fall out (filler is porous)

You could try and lead fill it (John is good at that), but I do wonder if the flux will cause the same problem

Main thing to control is heat to prevent panel warpage (really hard to fix)

Patience when welding in a repair section is a must

Often not thought about, but care is also needed when grinding the welds down flat, a grinder can also put a lot of heat into a panel and cause warpage

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big m
Posted 2016-01-13 7:02 PM (#500980 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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I cut a trunk floor section out from the remains of a '57 Chrysler. Looks like this will have everything I need for that portion of the car. Now to scrape undercoating and crud from both sides.

---John
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PlymouthFury
Posted 2016-01-13 7:43 PM (#500984 - in reply to #500980)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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TECH SEZ: POP RIVETS ARE PROFITABLE REPAIRS!

What happened to the whitewalls that were on the car in the first photos?
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big m
Posted 2016-01-14 11:47 AM (#501072 - in reply to #500984)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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PlymouthFury - 2016-01-13 4:43 PM

TECH SEZ: POP RIVETS ARE PROFITABLE REPAIRS!

What happened to the whitewalls that were on the car in the first photos?


The radial whitewalls had to go back to the seller of the car, he mounted those to roll the chassis out of his barn.
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cbrayinga
Posted 2016-01-14 6:07 PM (#501119 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Hang in there, John!! She'll be GORGEOUS when you're all
done. Heck, that 59 Sport Fury Vert is a sure illustration of
your talent and dedication. That DeSoto should be a cake-walk
for you compared to the Fury.
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big m
Posted 2016-01-15 12:15 PM (#501189 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Thanks, Chris!
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big m
Posted 2016-01-27 12:08 PM (#502475 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Trunk floor is completely removed, as well as the lower quarter panel sections, and driver side trunk drop off. Spliced in a section to repair the flanged trunk drop on the passenger side, and welded a few pinholes and smoothed it out.

I had a replacement [aftermarket] trunk drop for the left side, but there is no way it can be used, not anywhere close to what's needed, so I'll salvage what I can from the original, and rebuild it.



('59 DeSoto convertible 005.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 006.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 007.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 008.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 009.JPG)



('59 DeSoto convertible 010.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 005.JPG (126KB - 101 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 006.JPG (126KB - 106 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 007.JPG (126KB - 102 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 008.JPG (126KB - 102 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 009.JPG (126KB - 102 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto convertible 010.JPG (126KB - 95 downloads)
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2016-01-27 1:05 PM (#502479 - in reply to #502475)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Whoa, Mama! We are well beyond a frame-off restoration here. This is a complete dismantle and re-fabrication. Very impressive, John!
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Windsor59
Posted 2016-01-27 2:23 PM (#502482 - in reply to #502479)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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You do a Great Work. I like what I see.
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wizard
Posted 2016-01-27 2:30 PM (#502484 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Wow - it's a convertible either way you turn the body John

Joke aside, great progress and very interesting to follow this Project!
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Windsor59
Posted 2016-01-27 2:36 PM (#502488 - in reply to #502484)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Yes Sven
( i will text (write) more But my poor english, stop me.
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bbrasse1
Posted 2016-01-29 6:49 PM (#502701 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Keep going John you are in deep but good work. There should be more of this on the site in my opinion. I think there are a lot of people out there that can learn from work like this because you show step by step what you are doing. Not everybody has this level of experience and yet there are a lot of our FL cars in this or worse condition. I would love to see some experienced people like yourself and others I have learned from to put some type of training videos or step by step methods used to repair bodies, engines, transmissions etc. It's all good stuff for people who want to fix their own ride.
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guyman
Posted 2016-02-18 6:49 PM (#504558 - in reply to #502701)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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GO JOHN GO!
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big m
Posted 2016-02-29 6:46 PM (#505507 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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I used pieces from the aftermarket trunk drop panel, and the original, and made my own replacement, then installed it in the car.



('59 Desoto convertible 001.JPG)



('59 Desoto convertible 002.JPG)



('59 Desoto convertible 003.JPG)



('59 Desoto convertible 004.JPG)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments '59 Desoto convertible 001.JPG (124KB - 100 downloads)
Attachments '59 Desoto convertible 002.JPG (123KB - 95 downloads)
Attachments '59 Desoto convertible 003.JPG (127KB - 100 downloads)
Attachments '59 Desoto convertible 004.JPG (126KB - 106 downloads)
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cbrayinga
Posted 2016-03-07 5:12 PM (#506084 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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GREAT JOB, John!! She'll be worth every drop of sweat in
gold that you're putting into her!
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big m
Posted 2016-03-15 11:36 AM (#506934 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Being that the best trunk floor I could find was from a '57 Chrysler that had the quarter panels torched off, but I wanted the floor to appear just like factory, it was time consuming, but I used a shear and cut two strips of metal, one for each side, then added a double flange using a box brake to bend the metal. These strips were then butt-welded to the main floor pan. There were a few other areas of concern where weak metal or rust was found, so patches were made up and carefully welded in.

After doing some trimming and measuring, the floor pan was ready to install. After grinding, the floor was complete! Once etching primer and paint is applied, the work performed will not be visible, top nor bottom. No need for messy tar and Bondo!!

---John



('57 Packard, '58 Dodge 007.JPG)



('57 Packard, '58 Dodge 008.JPG)



('59 DeSoto conv. floor 001.JPG)



('59 DeSoto conv. floor 002.JPG)



('59 DeSoto conv. floor 003.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments '57 Packard, '58 Dodge 007.JPG (125KB - 105 downloads)
Attachments '57 Packard, '58 Dodge 008.JPG (125KB - 99 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto conv. floor 001.JPG (126KB - 105 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto conv. floor 002.JPG (126KB - 108 downloads)
Attachments '59 DeSoto conv. floor 003.JPG (125KB - 97 downloads)
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1961plymouthfury
Posted 2016-03-15 3:03 PM (#506959 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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good luck with it John . I am taking a little break from mine for a while, I hope you can bring Rusty to the PACE car show in Pulaski, TN on September 24th it will be held at Martin college. I will be more than happy to mail you a flyer
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big m
Posted 2016-07-18 12:31 PM (#516981 - in reply to #497101)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Been too busy with other folks' cars, but found the time to fab up a lower quarter section on a slip roll, and got it welded in and mostly metal finished.



(DSCN5119.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments DSCN5119.JPG (124KB - 48 downloads)
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bbrasse1
Posted 2016-07-19 7:09 PM (#517109 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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Really nice work John. You do miracles with cars that others would give up on.
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big m
Posted 2016-07-20 11:43 AM (#517169 - in reply to #517109)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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bbrasse1 - 2016-07-19 4:09 PM

Really nice work John. You do miracles with cars that others would give up on.


Thanks, Bob!!
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Chrysler Power
Posted 2016-09-07 9:41 PM (#520742 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Wow nice work. Ill have to come up and check this one out!
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mogge65
Posted 2017-05-09 1:00 AM (#539741 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Nice work John, any update ?
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Coronet 59
Posted 2017-06-15 6:38 AM (#542171 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Nice work John it's going to be a beauty :-)
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big m
Posted 2017-06-16 11:11 AM (#542269 - in reply to #539741)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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mogge65 - 2017-05-08 10:00 PM

Nice work John, any update ?


I haven't had time to touch the car for nearly a year, doing rust repairs on a customer's rusty Plymouth 4-door HT, as well as several jobs for a local body shop that won't do any more restoration work, and sends the owner to me. I'll find some time this fall to continue, I want to get the bare metal blasted and in epoxy primer before next rainy season.

---John
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mogge65
Posted 2017-09-21 5:12 AM (#548842 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Totally awesome John , Me and Thomas (Cowboy joe , you met him when you stayed at his house during Power bigmeet this year ) are checking your work and we are stunned. Thomas are a bit interested in a Firesweep 59 at kpusabil . Do you have parts for him if he needs any....
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big m
Posted 2017-09-21 11:32 AM (#548863 - in reply to #491590)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert



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Morgan,
I do have a number of '59 Firesweeps for parts. If Thomas buys the car, let me know what he's needing!

---John
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oldwood
Posted 2017-09-28 10:21 PM (#549375 - in reply to #542269)
Subject: Re: '59 DeSoto Firesweep convert


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big m - 2017-06-16 11:11 AM

mogge65 - 2017-05-08 10:00 PM

Nice work John, any update ?


I haven't had time to touch the car for nearly a year, doing rust repairs on a customer's rusty Plymouth 4-door HT, as well as several jobs for a local body shop that won't do any more restoration work, and sends the owner to me. I'll find some time this fall to continue, I want to get the bare metal blasted and in epoxy primer before next rainy season.

---John
I don't know why you want to DogMouth a Plymouth 4dr HT. You know thats a solid car!!! He He He
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