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Contessa Gold SS


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#1 Ando

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:30 PM

My project for the new year is our Contessa Gold SS with Chamois trim. It's an L31 M21 GU7 car, built 22nd September 1976.

This build date slots the car into the 1977 model year as stamped on the VIN tag eg. 8D77TG....

 

My initial intentions were to do a full nut & bolt restoration to it's factory originality but I have now compromised a little to suit my own taste with some finishes & overall look. That said, It will look factory standard to most people. The purists may a have field day I guess but I don't care.

 

So far...  

The car has been cured of tin cancer & repainted last year. The car had minor rust in some of the usual places but still needed lots of time to do the job properly. Overall the car was a "very good shell" to start with.

I've gone with the clear over base paint because I think this colour really comes alive & stands out far better than the original acrylic finish could do.  

 

I made sure the blackout placement & side accent stripes were as accurate as possible using lots of photos I took from an original stripped SS hatch, a mate had at the time. I decided to go the the darkest black in gloss rather than satin finish. The other change I made was to blackout below the firewall seam & engine bay chassis rails. I personally like that area to disappear into darkness which helps the motor "float" in the engine bay.

 

It's been sitting, painted, for almost 6 months, waiting for me to finish the new garage. So now the fun begins! 

 

I'll start with some photos of the car when I first purchased it last year, then follow with some progress shots to bring everyone up to date. 

 

Cheers Ando 

Attached Files


Edited by Ando, 11 January 2018 - 07:02 PM.


#2 MRLXSS

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:32 PM

Sounds like an interesting build - Looking forward to seeing some pics! Who cares what the 'purists' think - as long as you are happy that is all that matters!



#3 Liz Clare

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

Sounds great, Ando. I can't wait to start seeing pics of your build.

 

Cheers,

 

Liz :)



#4 Ando

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:55 PM

Generally the 13 year old respray was still in reasonable condition but bubbles of rust was evident in places & holes around the plenum duct hole. Other areas included behind the bonnet hinges (minor), bottom section of radiator support panel (previous dodgy repair).

 

The major body repair was replacing the hatch floor not because of rust but was previously cut & a flat tin sheet was patched over later on.

I'm guessing it was for a rectangular fuel cell in it's Pro Street days. I don't have a photo of that one but it was pretty ugly!

 

The rear roof section where the hatch hinges are located was a concern but it looked worse than expected.

The middle section was cut out to get access to the affected area & replaced.

 

The other area that comes to mind are the doors. The bottom of the door frames were almost perfect but rust was evident where the hinges bolt to the double skinned vertical part of the door frame. Rust both sides! I'm not sure if that's a common problem but it's fixed now.

 

Surprisingly, the left side C pillar was basically rust free. Both C pillars were explored & now have internal drain/vent holes at the join to keep them as dry as possible.

The right side needed rust chased out half way up the C pillar with the inner & outer sections replaced. It only showed a few rust bubbles from the outside.

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Edited by Ando, 11 January 2018 - 07:05 PM.


#5 purrlx

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:07 AM

Another build I will be following with intrest .



#6 Liz Clare

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:51 AM

I really like the colour combination of the Contessa Gold and Chamois trim :) I don't think I've seen that before.

 

Cheers,

 

Liz :)



#7 Ando

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:34 AM

I really like the colour combination of the Contessa Gold and Chamois trim :) I don't think I've seen that before.

 

Cheers,

 

Liz :)

 

Hi Liz, If you search on YouTube - Holden LX Torana  RTS  Peter Brock TV Comercial, you'll see the gold camera car in motion as a good example.  :)



#8 Liz Clare

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:13 AM

Hi Liz, If you search on YouTube - Holden LX Torana  RTS  Peter Brock TV Comercial, you'll see the gold camera car in motion as a good example.  :)

WoW! Yes, looks great. I wonder how many in that combo were made? Funny how the camera car is better than the test car ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Liz :)



#9 308 Sunbird

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:18 AM

Excellent another SS resto

#10 livo74

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:19 PM

In 1994 i went for my first loan on my first car... a contessa gold 253 SS hatch with body kit for $7000 at car supermarket. Got Knocked back and never got the car.

So.. this brings back memories, and

am jealous!

 

Good luck with the build. Looks like a great condition hatch!



#11 Rockoz

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:03 PM

You beauty.

Another build thread to keep the interest up.



#12 Redslur

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:47 PM

Looks just like the one I sold. Same colour trim combo but not a 5.0L. Will also watch with interest. Keep the dream alive and personalize it to your taste. Subtle changes won't affect pricing etc..



#13 GMH-01X

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:53 PM

Always good to read another hatchback build getting underway Ando and for it to spark my interest back onto my hatchback build,

#14 Ando

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:45 PM

Some rust repairs.. 

 

New centre section between hatch hinges.Attached File  IMG_2903.jpg   42.23K   6 downloads

 

Plenum repair patch. Attached File  IMG_2904.jpg   21.33K   6 downloads

 

New metal reinstated. Attached File  IMG_2905.jpg   40.58K   7 downloads

 

The only photo I have of the ugly hatch floor section is when it was cut out & sitting beside the driver front guard. 

Lots of unwanted drill holes to fill in the engine bay as well.Attached File  IMG_3059.jpg   82.25K   6 downloads

 

I got an original sedan boot floor section from Jimmy Torana on FB. Shane..my panel restorer & painter did a fantastic job welding in the replacement floor section & making it seamless on both sides. Attached File  IMG_3053.jpg   56.89K   7 downloadsAttached File  IMG_3054.jpg   57.46K   6 downloads

 

All of this was happening when I was deep into my shed build. It was indeed hectic times! lol 



#15 Ice

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:47 PM

Looks like a great body Ando I'm sure this will be as good as the white one
will be keeping an eye on this one love your builds ✌️

#16 Ando

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:46 AM

Preparing for respray..

 

We examined the existing paint & decided it was acceptable as a good base to work with. No need to take it back to bare metal.

 

The car is going to be driven so I decided not to spray the body colour for a show finish underneath.

It'll be road friendly & neat but that's it.

 

Really not interested doing the car show finish thing with mirrors etc. Been there, done that!

Besides, you tend to drive a show car a lot less because it becomes a pain in the neck keeping the undercarriage clean. 

 

Amazingly, there was no rust in the rear taillight buckets or rear valance. Just a little pitting in the hatch rubber channel. Nothing serious. Attached File  IMG_3055.jpg   61.74K   6 downloads

 

It took 3 attempts with the colour cards to get a good match.  Attached File  IMG_3056.jpg   72.03K   8 downloads 

 

I installed a new door hinge pin kit for both doors while the they were off being repaired. Attached File  IMG_3057.jpg   79.36K   6 downloads

 

Lots of extra unwanted holes welded up in the engine bay. Attached File  IMG_3058.jpg   81.61K   7 downloads

 

Engine bay was the first area to be resprayed. Attached File  IMG_3204.jpg   86.14K   8 downloads

 

Next were the bumpers & air-dam. Attached File  IMG_3206.jpg   93.15K   7 downloads Attached File  IMG_3210.jpg   106.51K   8 downloads

 

Paint booth pics next..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#17 Shiney005

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:57 AM

What causes the hatches to rust at the hatch hinge area? How does the moisture and dust get in there to start the whole process?


Edited by Shiney005, 12 January 2018 - 08:57 AM.


#18 CI 0308

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:17 AM

Watching with interest.



#19 Bigfella237

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:17 AM

Condensation... it forms on the underside of the roof and runs into the cant rails (rusting the gutters from the inside out), hinge area and especially the C-pillars.



#20 Ice

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 01:11 PM

Are you replacing those plastic suspension bushes with rubber ones Ando ?

#21 LJ RB30

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 01:54 PM

And The steering coupling!!!

#22 Ando

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:11 PM

Are you replacing those plastic suspension bushes with rubber ones Ando ?

 

Yes Gene. I'll be restoring the front end using standard rubber bushes. Much better ride & will last longer. 

 

Hows the heat over WA mate? Friggin muggy here! 



Oh & using rubber in the steering coupling too Trevor..



#23 hanra

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:28 PM

Is that a Repro front air dam? Or were the SS's one piece? 



#24 LJ RB30

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:49 PM




Oh & using rubber in the steering coupling too Trevor..[/quote]

👍👍

#25 Ice

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 06:02 PM

Yes Gene. I'll be restoring the front end using standard rubber bushes. Much better ride & will last longer. 
 
Hows the heat over WA mate? Friggin muggy here! Oh & using rubber in the steering coupling too Trevor..

Good to hear

Yeah not to bad this week couple hot days ahead then storms from cylone up north




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