I realize these updates have been coming further and further apart, makes me admire those YouTubers that can push updates on a daily basis. Things have been moving at a very fast pace for the last 2 months and many pieces are coming together. The cool thing about this stage of the project is that the progress yields some amazing visual results as final finishes start to emerge.
It’s not easy being green. We knew that choosing a final colour was going to be tricky, all we really knew at the beginning was that we wanted something different than the normal Guardsman Blue and Whibleton White. For some reason, to make things as difficult as possible, we went GREEN. Green has so many different variables in the underlying tones, just think of the differences between typical army greens/tan greens, to olive greens, to jade greens as well as the British racing green variants, it gets overwhelming in a big hurry. Add to this that as much as you want to search on the internet for pictures, it really doesn’t reflect what the final product will be as you have to account for monitor calibration, the type of camera source, lighting etc etc.
After mulling over literally thousands of google searched photos and trying not to look like a psycho stopping in parking lots and writing down reference OEM car colours, Dave Pratte at Speed Academy shot me a note referencing a colour called “Porsche Irish Green”. Dave also sent over the video that finally sold me, Magnus Walkers ’66 Irish Green Porsche.
The benefit of choosing an OEM colour is that Porsche has done a lot of the hard work in tweaking this shade to look its best in many different lighting conditions.
A huge shout out and thanks to Luke at 242 Customs located in Stoney Creek Ontario. Luke was faced with not only having to guide us through the process of prepping a fiberglass body (big job), choosing a final colour code (there are 4 different Porsche Irish Greens as an FYI), but also had to get straight stripes down the body of an otherwise completely not straight car.
After final high build primer and sanding, the stripes were applied.
The black in this application is ‘Jet Black” from Axalta Paints.
Above is without clear coat, notice how much the paint comes to life with the clear applied.
The amazing thing about this Porsche colour is just how much it changes depending on the lighting conditions. In low light the paint is quite dark, almost what you would call a traditional British Racing Green, however in the sun (below) the paint ‘pops’ to a very bright finish. We are very happy with the result – you’ll notice how in each shot down this page the colour seems to be different depending on the local light source.
While Luke as busy painting, my father finished out the interior with carpeting and upholstery work from Tom’s Upholstery in Brantford Ontario.
In addition to this we had to eliminate the lowest spot on the chassis for a little more ground clearance. This involved cutting away the bottom of the bell-housing flange to make sure we don’t hit anything raised on the road.
Completion of the firewall and last minute wiring additions,
Body Delivered, reassembly begins:
We chose to have the body delivered back to Cambridge via an enclosed trailer, no need to get a stone chip before we get out on the road.
To say this moment was nail biting is a serious understatement. With three of us carefully moving the body forward the bottom of the shell had to be pulled open to make room for the chassis. The Factory Five body is extremely stiff and the chassis had been modified in several areas, this was no easy task. To add to the complexity, the rear hatch area had it’s carpet lining installed making for an extremely tight fit where the body hatch entry meets the top of the chassis.
Happy to report that the body eventually made it’s way on without a scratch.
With the body in place, all of the fine adjustments start up. Factory Five has a good amount of adjustability in the frame components to allow movement of body panels, this is a very tedious job as moving something like the hood back towards the driver on one side would open new gaps or rotate a seam on the passengers side. Every step has to be considered carefully and of course everything has to be taped to ensure we stay away from scratching anything in the process.
Wires, lighting and screens etc:
With the body in its final placement, finishing work can begin on the body as well as interior parts to tie things together.
These are stainless steel mesh wire, first pressed using a template of the body openings to help them conform to the outside shape of the car, then bonded to a backing plate and the underside of the body using epoxy. The epoxy takes at least a day or so to cure, these are shots of them tied in place until the process is complete.
Here’s a shot of the side vent,
……and the rear kidneys
A substantial amount of work was also poured into connection and closing of the areas between the interior and exterior. In many track builds these areas are left unfinished, however in order to help with keeping the noise and heat out of the cabin the additional work was a must.
On to lights!
Here you can see the lexan covers and turn signals installed. On the original coupe the turn signals would have been a couple small indicator lights at the very base of the headlight bucket, they’re not really bad, however they don’t have the brightness or visibility that we wanted for this road car. In addition, the dual filament motorcycle signal that we picked can act as a lit side marker as well as a turn signal meaning we don’t have to mount any other exterior lights to pass safety in Ontario.
The backside of the buckets have some protection, but stay tuned for more on this.
Rear tail lights are standard Factory Five gear and location, with the addition of two Lucas Electric white lens backup lights at the base of the tail.
To meet Ontario regulations, a third brake light was mounted on the tail. These are the only LEDs on the exterior of the car and had to be used in order to fit in the space inside the spoiler (very tight).
Here you can see the mounting for the rear view camera in the license plate recess.
Spare tire hold down installed with a billet aluminum “twisty hold down thingy”.
Side exhaust reinstalled
Notice the hood gap with the body – this will be made up once the rollers and bulb seals are installed to make up the space and push the fiberglass hood sections out to meet.
Interior lighting is also hooked up,
Glass Hatch installation:
I’m sure that regular FFR builders out there probably have some neat tricks up their sleeves when it comes to glass hatch installation. So far we haven’t found any! To say this was a bit of a nightmare installation is again a major understatement.
During the fiberglass correction and body work phase, we took great care in test fitting the glass, this caused areas of the hatch opening to be relieved/built up depending on the shape and conformity of the glass supplied by FFR. Once the paint was finished, we had a decent fit between glass and opening with the supplied rubber seal – HOWEVER – the hinges to hold everything had to be seriously manipulated (bent, twisted and reamed) to make sure that the tempered glass was not under stress in the closed position.
The interior hinges were on and off at least a dozen times or more to make this work. Add to this that the gas shocks pushing up on the hatch also wanted to pull on the hinge mechanism meaning we would have to overcompensate on placement to make things happy when the hatch is closed. It’s a hard thing to describe, but trust me, not a huge amount of fun.
Finally we had the glass in place, only to find that the hatch loop and latch simply didn’t meet……out of the box. I see more metal bending and fabricating in our future…ARG!!