Several generous businesses within the auto repair industry have agreed to donate their labor to media blast/prep the vehicle, do the body work, and re-do the upholstery. We are still working to secure a painting location.
Work will begin within the next two weeks to strip off the trim, bumpers, grill, and door handles, in preperation for the media blasting.
A team of voluteers began the work of preparing the vehicle for media blasting. We also put some treated gas in the tank and ran the engine; it didn't sound too bad!
The vehicle was media blasted by S&B Soda Blasting. It was taken down to bare metel, stripping away all the paint, and much of the surface rust. Rust inhibitor was then applied, and it was then painted with an epoxy primer. The primer will further seal the vehicle, prevent rust, and prepare it for the next step: the body work.
The vehicle is now at Napa Ford Lincoln Mercury getting the brakes worked on. This is an important step because once the brakes are fixed we will be able to drive the vehicle to its various restoration work sites, as opposed to much more involved trailering which we have been doing.
The vehicle's engine is being worked on at Silver Auto Service. In addition, Soscol Auto Body has agreed to do the body and paint work on the vehicle. We were able to drive it and put it on display at the Main Street Reunion Car Show in downtown Napa; we raised over $250 for the project and made some important contacts with fellow car buffs.
Research for the project has revealed at least three other restored 1957 Ford Custom fordor police cars throughout the country: a Illinois State Police car restored by a gentleman for his father (who is a retired state trooper), a Santa Cruz Sheriff's car owned by that department, and a LAPD car in the hands of a private collector in Southern California. We have been able to contact all three owners, and have received invaluable restoration information, and even effected a trade of parts with one person.
As we pass the one year mark of the project, the vehicle is now ready for perhaps its most important transformation: body work and paint. As you can see from the photograph, we've stripped all the bright work off and removed all the glass. The vehicle is now in the capable hands of Soscol Auto Body. It is sporting a new set of tires, from B&G Tire. Although not the period-correct 4-ply bias tires, they will do the trick until we can raise the funds for the pricier historically accurate tires.
The new year had brought new activity to the project. The vehicle is nearly done with the body work and paint at Soscol Auto Body. Believe it or not the photo below is only primer; it will look even better with the paint and sealer on it!
The restoration project was featured in a front-page article in the Napa Valley Register newspaper; follow this hyperlink to read the story:
The car has officially been re-born, thanks to the efforts of Ron Pippert and his dedicated team at Socol Auto Body! We took delivery today, and it is hard to believe this is the same car we dropped off four months ago. Next steps include installation of new glass, and work on outfitting the car with police gear.
The car is at Rods of the Valley getting the re-chromed bumpers put back on & other miscellanous parts installed. The replacement glass is also being installed by "Bear" of Clear Choice Auto Glass. We hope to get the upholstery done within the next two weeks. As of now the unveiling of the fully-restored vehicle will take place at our annual meeting, on June 10th, at the NPD (more details to follow).
The car received new upholstery courtesy of La Guadalupana Upholstery. It has now been outfitted with emergency equipment, and is awaiting the re-installation of its exterior trim. Check back soon for details on the official unveilling, scheduled for June.
The car was officially unveiled at a ceremony held in front of the Police Department. In attendance were many of the volunteers and local businesses who worked on the project, as well as retired Chief of Police Ken Jennings (who is pictured driving the original car in the photograph at the top of this page).
The link below features a photograph of retired Chief of Police Ken Jennings in the car, parked in front of the old police station:
See the "NEWS" tab for more updates about how we're using the car.