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Old 02-13-2016, 02:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My concern is the structural integrity of a unibody vehicle with the roof removed. The original Firebird was unibody with a front subframe with 4 mounting points to the cowl-back unibody of the original car. Very marginal for strength as could easily be demonstrated by lifting the car right at the lower fender mounting points in the front of the rocker panel, and watching the door gaps double in width, when the car was new. (I know, used to adjust the gaps as a part of repair processes).

It will probably take some considerable reinforcing in the rocker panel and transmission tunnel up to and including increasing the actual height of the rockers and tranny tunnel as well as significant cross bracing of those 3 areas to improve torsional rigidity.

You mentioned two prior attempts to restore the original Firebird. I think this project will make a restoration look like a cake walk in retrospect. Estimated time, about 3k hours. Lots of fabrication since no replacement parts will be available.

A tube frame structure similar to the Mercedes 300 SL roadster, integrated into the two existing structures?

Just my 2 cents worth.

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