Given the number of 142 project cars that have shown up on the Swedespeed 140 forum in the recent past, I feel like a bit of a bandwagon jumper; however, I probably have a history with this car that is longer than most of the others who have posted about their projects. The car in question is a 1971 142E that I purchased after graduating from University in 1975. It had about 50,000 mi on it and had been sold to its first owner in Manitoba. The build date on the VIN plate was June 1971 so it must have been close to the last of the 1971 model year 140s coming off the assembly line. I drove it until about 1981 when I noticed rust perforations on the inner front fenders just behind the headlights. It also had some rust around the rear wheel arch on the passenger side. With about 110,000 miles showing on the odometer, I decided to park the car in my Mother's garage (I am sure she didn't mind!) and started doing some sheet metal repair. I had purchased a new 242 GT in 1979 so I didn't need the 142 as a daily driver. Removal of the front fenders and the front sheet metal showed that I also had some rust perforations on the inner fenders just back of the hinge mounting points. No biggy! I got out my oxy acetylene torch and started forming sheet metal and hammer welding in the new pieces (MIG welders were not so commonly available or cheap back in those days). Shortly after getting started on the project, I got distracted with the usual stuff, promotions, house purchase, travel, competitive sports, marriage, children ..... Anyway, the car kind of sat until my Mothers house went up for sale in 2004 and it was either pick the car up or its going to the scrap yard!
When I parked the car in 1981, it was a classic case of ‘ran when parked’. I did not put it into storage mode (I wasn't planning on leaving it for 23 years) with the result that it was not in good shape when I got it back in 2004. If what I wanted was just a nice 142 E, it would have been much smarter and cheaper to search for a nice survivor from the US West coast or Southwest; however, that would have been too easy. About a year after I got the car back to my house, I started pulling it apart to check the condition of its various components. It needed a lot of work including a complete engine rebuild, some interior work (mainly to deal with cigarette burns on the door card, the seats and around the ashtrays from the previous owner) and slightly more extensive sheet metal repairs than I had initially anticipated.
I spent about 3 years sourcing the various components that I needed for the repairs. Most of the engine rebuild parts came from IPD when they had a more extensive line up for the older Volvos. The majority of the body parts and miscellaneous bits including the exhaust system came from Scandcar with some other parts coming from CVI, Genuine Classic Parts and Iroll. Ordering parts from the European suppliers is easy; but, expensive because of the shipping.
I knew that there was no way that I could do a repaint of the car myself. I also came to the conclusion that I was not up for completing the body repairs myself. More poking around showed more rust and I did not have an enclosed work space to do the repair work. I took the car to the point where it was a rolling body shell, wrapped the shell up tight to minimize further deterioration and started work on the engine rebuild and the repair of the interior. Through a gearhead friend, I got the name of Dave Cape who runs Just Dave's Hot Rods. He is a one man shop who normally does muscle car rebuild / restorations and what I would refer to as classic US rods. He was interested in doing the project as it gave him an opportunity to work with some European product; however, he had a 24 month back log (it turned out to be closer to 36 months) before he could get started on my car, so we had a bit of a hiatus.
I took a lot of photos during disassembly of the car; however, they were for the purpose of assisting with reassembly. As such, they tend to show the location of parts rather than showing the car and probably are not of much interest. Work finally started on the car body in late April of 2013 and that is the point in time that most of the photos that I am going to post start. When I have a pre restoration photo that directly relates to a post restoration photo, I will include it for reference.
The first set of photos shows the rolling shell pretty much as it arrived at Dave’s shop; however, by the time these photos were taken most of the major sheet metal repairs had been completed. The significant rust repair areas included:
• Both front inside fenders just back of the hinge mounting points for the hood
• The seam between the sill and the rear quarter panel on the passenger side
• The passenger side rear wheel arch
• The lower part of the rear fender where it joins the well that holds the spare tire.
• Both wells behind the rear wheels because they were kind of beat up.
• The upper mounting point for the rear shock absorber on the driver side
• The floor pan on the rear seat passenger side and a small hole on the rear seat floor pan on the driver side.
• Patches in the rear wheel arches around the reinforcements for the seat belt mounting bolts.
First some photos of some of the rust damage
The following photos show the right and right rear side of the car after the repairs. Eagle eyed observers will note the recessed license plate arrangement (my opinion is that the stock license plate bracket and light is ugly and looks like an afterthought), the flush Mocal fuel filler cap and the elimination of the side marker lights. I also eliminated the existing turn signals on the front (more on that later) and had Dave fill in the hole for the antenna on the right front fender and fill in all the holes for the trim strips along the belt line (although he clearly has not done that yet in these photos). At a later point, I had Dave fill the seam above both sills with a weld bead so that we would not have that join between the panels which is impossible to paint. Dave suggested that we do the hot rod thing and shave the door handles; however, I wasn't prepared to go that far.
Aside from the other repairs noted previously, I had Dave weld up those 5 cm holes in the floor pan which are normally filled with those glued in metal plugs. No need for another seam at which rust can form!
As soon as I get some time, I will post some of the photos after getting the car back from the sandblaster.