Tuesday, January 1, 2013

After Hours Restorations is Golden!

After a detailed 11 month restoration at After Hours Restorations the 1971 Plymouth GTX made its debut at the MCACN in Chicago.  As you may remember this is the same GTX which was in our 30 day body and paint / tech section.

The MCACN (Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals) is a prestigious show which hosts one of the finest muscle car displays in the county.  Held Annually at the Donald E Stephen Convention Center every November showing the finest examples of muscle car power.

This was a special occasion for After Hours Restorations.  In addition to the debut the GTX was being judged in the concourse class and also being presented to its owner Rich Warner from Arlington Texas for the very first time.

As expected Rich was blown away by the restoration performed on his GTX.  The car was restored to factory original specs just the way it rolled off the assembly line.  You are looking at a numbers matching, date coded, part numbered restoration.  This is by far one of the nicest 71 GTX’s in existence!

Some of our readers may have noticed the 1966 Hemi Charger parked next to the GTX.  This is the car After Hours Restorations restored last year and displayed at The Muscle Cars at the Mansion show in Beverly Hills California last year.  This Charger was also featured in our May of 2012 Chrysler Power magazine.

The Hemi Charger was also judged at the MCACN.  Both the GTX and the Hemi Charger earned GOLD awards in the concourse class.  In addition to the GOLD award the GTX also earned a PLATIMUN award and was named the best restored Plymouth in the concourse class.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1971 GTX - Drive Train and Final Assembly By Roman Sobilo

Ten months ago we started documenting and disassembling the GTX.  It has been a long journey of disassembling, metal work, ordering/ tracking parts, and component restoration.  However, we have enjoyed every minute of it and we are honored to be entrusted by the owner to perform the restoration.

After five long months of being at the body shop the GTX was brought back to After Hours Restorations the first week of September.  During those five months we have been busy restoring all major components preparing for assembly. 

Of course the engine and transmission was coupled together and set on the K member.  From that point we began to assemble some accessories.  As seen in the pictures not all were installed.  Some were still on order and many were left off for ease of joining the drivetrain to the body.

For example the RV2 A/C compressor was left off which decreased the height the body had to be lifted.  The fan was also left off intentionally to allow more room to move the drivetrain forward and aft. 

The complete rear end assembly was built and also set on a movable stand.  The complete dash assembly, heater / AC box, e brake pedal, brake pedal assemble were also built and set aside awaiting their turn to be installed.

The five months of preparation really paid off.  By the end of the first day we worked on the car it was sitting on four tires. 

First, we put the shell on the hoist and installed all of the brake/fuel lines and gas tank. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

1971 GTX - Body and Paint Work By Roman Sobilo

Body and paint work is usually the most costly expense of a restoration.  In my opinion dealing with body and paint work is also the most difficult part, both selling the job and knowing when to call it good enough. 

We must keep in mind that these old muscle cars were never engineered to look as good as they do these days.  By yesterday’s standards we are over restoring these cars.  Body gaps were not always consistent, color depth and shine was nowhere near what they are today.  Today’s paint products have the capability of laying down flat, with a deep shine that brings out every imperfection. 

A few weeks ago at Carlisle I had the pleasure of taking pictures of a Superbird.  It was a documented original 6500 mile car.  All of the paint work was original and untouched.  The door to quarter alignment was terrible, there were paint runs on the rear tail light section, and the entire body was loaded with orange peel.  However, it was an awesome car and I would love to be the owner!


There are many tricks used to make these cars look better than they did when new.  However, these tricks take time and time is money.  So when a customer restores his/her vehicle they must decide what level the paint work should be when completed.

Since most customers do not have extensive body/paint knowledge it is sometimes difficult justifying the expense.  As a restorer one of my biggest fears is delivering a car to a customer that would later be scrutinized by others at a show. 

The customer may be satisfied with the paintwork at the time of delivery due to their lack of body/paint knowledge.  But after showing it at a few shows and receiving negative feedback they will realize why cutting cost on body/paint work is not recommended.  For that reason After Hours Restorations will only take part in museum quality restoration work.

It is standard practice to install and properly align all body panels once the car has been stripped down to bare metal.