Thursday, 14 January 2016

FHC resto nr. 45; A numbers game

Or the devil's in the detail ... Over the Christmas period I have been working on some smaller and less  vital parts for the car. But for the car's identity and looks they are crucial. In this case I have been busy remanufacturing the two body number tags and VIN plate for this car. As you can see in the picture below they were not really suitable to fit to nice & shining restored vehicle.


The two tags might have been salvageable, but the VIN plate was beyond repair. Time hadn't been kind to it, as a result of which the surface was badly corroded. Sadly "remanufactured" plates available through the usual channels are of rather poor quality and not very cheap. So I decided on a little experiment, using my computer and modern fabrication technologies. From a vector file of the VIN plate, constructed from a scan of the original plate ...


To a printing and machining file generated from an AutoCad file and the software provided by Schaeffer a.g....


To the finalised product  ...


Not counting my own hours behind the computer (...), it even turned out to be a rather cost effective solution. And you have to be a real anorak to be able spot the difference, if at all. The biggest difference from the original being the thickness of the plate material used. Where the original plate is only 0.5 mm thick, the minimum material thickness Schaeffer can process is 1,50 mm.
The body number tags luckily were far easier to reconstruct. Here I thought it would be nicer to have them fabricated in black, so they contrast nicely with the car's bright orange paintwork. The material thickness is less of an issue here as the original tags are 1,25 mm in thickness ...

And to finalise polishing the cars identity, I ordered a set of period dark blue licence plates. As the car dates from before 1978, it was fitted with blue licence plates when the car was first registered. So it is still legal to use them.


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