ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Fit and Trim

All of the stock chrome trim on the car is actually anodized aluminum.  Anodizing is an electrolytic process that increases the thickness of the outer oxide layer on metal to prevent corrosion. Apparently, the anodic film on aluminum is actually harder than the underlying metal, so it also provides some additional scratch resistance.  Very good for aluminum trim, except when it eventually becomes dull and worn (like mine).  To restore it, the anodization needs to be completely stripped before the metal can be polished and then re-anodized.  The cheap way to restore trim is to strip it yourself with oven cleaner, polish by hand, and then spray with clear coat rather than re-anodize. The less cheap option is handing it all to a shop that specializes in restoring auto trim.

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That’s exactly what I did. Not wanting to hassle with all of the messy and tedious manual work, I took my box of trim to Bumper Boyz in the industrial area of South Central LA. They are a much larger operation than I expected, filled with racks and racks of restored and re-chromed bumpers from classic cars of all ages, makes and models. The price he quoted me for my box of trim was about what I would have expected for the restoration of a single classic chrome bumper. I had previously shopped around, and accepted the fact I was not going to get off cheap. (The above image was borrowed from Google street view.)

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I picked up the finished trim two weeks later, and was mostly satisfied with the results. Here is the windshield trim installed. The original couplers did not make it thru the stripping and polishing very well. They lost a couple mils of surface metal and came out much thinner and flimsier than when they started. So I purchased a new set from Auto Atlanta, which arrived just a few days later. Once the trim was in place, I was able to install the wiper arms and new blades.

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This shows the trim installed on the targa bar and sail panels. It went on pretty easily using the existing trim screw holes, although I needed to peel back some of the targa bar vinyl at the edges to locate them. By far, the most difficult part was installing the swoosh trim to the vertical trailing edge of the sail panels. The lower clip stud on each protrudes down into the rear fender well, making it impossible to maneuver and tighten the mounting nut without removing both rear wheels.

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All of the trim immediately surrounding the side windows on a 914 also serves a practical purpose by holding the rubber seals in place. The targa top and window seals can not be fitted and adjusted until the trim has been installed. Above you can see the channel in the sail panel trim where the rear window seal slides into place. There is also a similar trim channel on the front edge of the window, adjacent to the windshield frame.

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It seems like such a long time since the targa top was restored, so it’s especially satisfying to have all the targa rubber installed and the top fitted in place. It required some adjusting at the front and rear targa latches, but overall, the seal seems pretty tight. Although I’d love to test it, I’m saving Driving in the Rain for another blog post.

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For those who have been asking for a picture of the entire car, here’s a shot with everything finally together. All that remains before it’s fully functioning is to balance the battery pack charge, adjust the shift linkage, align the steering wheel, fix the passenger door interior latch, and troubleshoot a blown fuse issue with the power windows. With some luck, it will be ready for the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo in 2 weeks.

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4 Responses to “Fit and Trim”

  1. Ahhhh, but does it have an ejection seat?

  2. Do I need to worry about unsavory passengers?

  3. Congratulations it’s a beauty!!! Well Done!!


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