Oldsmobile Rocket 88/ 1949 > Click here to see project.

 
This car came to us from New Mexico. The customer wanted the car assembled and gone
thru out! Here’s the car in for a very detailed inspection. The car was not mocked up for
fit and finish before it was painted. This step is very crucial to a perfect fit and great looking
lines in the end. There is still some body work that needs to be done, so Prescott Hot Rods
will be doing the body and paint work.
The dash on this one was already painted. I think we might be able color sand it and buff
for a nice look. This car will be a total build for PHR.

This will be a very cool build! The drive train will be a small block factory corvette engine.
Starting the mock up and fit process, this is very vital to have a great fitting and looking car
in the end. Door, trunk, and hood gaps make all the difference between an amateur build
and a professional one.
Heres a shot of the body work getting under way. This drivers door and wheel covers
didn’t  fit very well, to get the fit and finish right takes hours of massaging and expert know how.
The car really needs straightened and body work in many areas to get the paint job looking great!
 The engine is a factory corvette TPI motor and is said to be around 375hp. This will be a
real great running car when completed.
Bodywork continues on the 49 Olds. Making sure all the door gaps and body lines are straight will make this car look great!
Heres an example of a panel that cracked after someone welded it in place. The body had stress in this
place and it caused the patch panel to fail. this will be repaired to look like new.
The bumper did not fit the body on the passenger side. It looks like someone welded in a new panel that was from a 49 chevy, not the 49 Olds sheet metal. you can see by the template made from the drivers side, that the indent for the bumper was not even close.
Here’s the panel after the correct cut was made. And here it is all welded up. This panel will now fit with the shape of the bumper.
Car is now in primer. the fit and finish is finally done and the car is looking great!
Car is now being pulled apart. The firewall will be welded up and smoothed to give this swiss cheese a much better look when painted. The car will be upgraded with air-conditioning. The car already has the IFS front suspension and steering rack.
The firewall has been filled and smoothed. The firewall is the back drop for the engine. Its vital to a clean and expensive looking hot rod to have this step taken. The only holes in the firewall now, are new ones created only for air-conditioning, wiring harness etc. The firewall is ready for paint.
With the front fenders back on, we will be creating new inner fenders. The old inner fenders were very large square and bulky. we will be creating new inner fenders to create space and a cleaner appearance. The engine has a great look to it and having a clean firewall, alone with new inner fenders will really clean up the whole engine compartment.
The new inner fenders are roughed in and will be painted to match the firewall. There will be a battery tray area cut in on the passenger side. 
The firewall is all painted and the engine is ready to install. The engine looks large in this photo, but it will fit perfectly because we have spent the time to mock it up before hand. Mock up is always a step you don’t want to skip. The hours spent will become many frustrating hours saved.
That was quick! The engine and transmission went in without a problem. The time spent in mock up is always worth it during final assembly. The new Air-conditioning and wiring harness are being installed. Just a note here about wiring harnesses, you get what you pay for! don’t buy the cheapest kit!
49 Olds dash is now together. The whole dash had to be repainted. whoever painted this dash originally never checked to see if the paint colors were a good match.  This is a really nice look, the air vents for the driver and passenger my need to be moved into the dash. The gas pedal and brake have been moved for a more comfortable feel for the driver.
The inside of the fenders have been coated with a heavy commercial spray liner. 
Here’s a side view of the engine compartment. The TPI Engine looks great in this project with the new inner fenders and charcoal paint. At a mile high, these fuel injected motors are the only way to go. No jetting involved…
The Olds starts right up on the first turn. Its starting to look more like a car these days, the fit on the body lines was very pain staking, but the finished look is terrific. These cars were never meant to have perfect body lines.
 It takes hours and hours, assembly, disassembly as many times as it takes to make it right. This car might have set a record. we actually lost count on how many times we had this together and apart. in the end its always worth the effort. 
Chrome being fitted before final smoothing and getting the body ready for paint. There are many many hours in the assembly and fit before a great paint job. Making sure these pieces fit correctly now will save some time and possibly damaging the paint when completed.
They don’t make them like this anymore! the chrome is everywhere, and its all pretty heavy. Did you notice the Massive visor?? Those kind of parts are hard to come by.
While the 49 Olds is being block sanded for paint, the Interior is getting started. Here you can see the new panels being made for the Upholstery. This car will receive a very classic look on the inside. The customer has gone to great lengths to locate fabrics to give this car the correct look.
The seats have been rebuilt and are ready for the Upholstery, door panels and rear panels are made and mocked up for interior. 
The bodywork is almost complete. This thing is ready for a final coat of primer, then final block. Won’t be long before this car is painted.
The 49 Olds is all primered and ready for final block sanding. This is one huge car! Wet sanding this baby will take a while.
The car has been block sanded and re-primmered several times. Now for the final sanding and to get the body ready to accept the base coat clear coat paint job. These cars were never this straight when they came off the factory floor.
The Oldsmobile Sedan is ready for paint! This vehicle is pretty big, it will take lots of base coat clear coat to cover this car. The paint will be a charcoal gray. This car has all the original chrome, and the great bumpers that these cars came with. 
The car now has the basecoat sprayed and is ready for the final four coats of clearcoat. The car is going to be just gorgeous, it will sport the nice white wall tires and the very large original visor. The interior is next, it will be a recreation of the original look for these cars. 
The Olds is painted. the paint is a charoal gray, it looks fantastic. This a huge car, its gonna take some time to color sand this car.
Ok that was fast right? it took more than 2 days to color sand and buff out the car. It really looks awesome. With the details and chrome on this car, its going to turn some heads. Remember, this car was built as a daily driver. All the daily driver cars we build could easily be entered into a car show and get lots of respect. We always build these cars just like its for ourselves, the atention to detail is always a high priority.
The interior is getting started. Here is the Before and After shot of door panels that came out of the car. The New panels here on the right have the original look built back into them. Thats right, the material is Auto suede. this interior will look just like it came off the showroom floor. 
Now that the car is painted, color sanded and buffed out, its time for final assembly. There is a lot of chrome and stainless on this car. There are many many hours spent hand polishing the stainless. Many of these items can not be replaced.
Here is an example of the stainless pieces. Most of the stainless has to be carefully have the dents pounded out from the back side. This is a very long process! much care is taken so that there are not New dents made while doing this. After the dents are removed the stainless has to be sanded smooth before polish. This is another long process, in order for the piece to look good at polish, sanding needs to finish at around 3000 grit paper. This is a very very fine paper. Notebook paper is more abrasive.
Here is another example of a piece thats damaged and needs to have the entire process done. In most cases, if you polish out any of the stainless, you are then committed to polishing out ALL the stainless.
Here we have an original piece of the felt trim (anti rattle) that goes on both sides of the rear quarter windows. No one is making new pieces to replace these. In order to make new pieces there needs to be templates made of each window, the template is used to form a new piece to be fastened to the car.
The new piece is hand formed around the templates, this is difficult (in order not to kink the stainless edge) and takes 2 guys to form it properly. There cannot be wharping or kinks or the piece will be ruined.
Now that the texture has been stayed, we can make patterns  for the trunk. the patterns will be used to make removable panels for the trunk interior.
The templates where used to create these panels. The trunk will now be covered in original chain link material to give it the same look as it had in 1949.
The trunk looks just like it did when it was on the showroom in 1949. Just waiting on the spare tire and it’ll look factory.
The entire interior will get insulated with the best you can buy. then the wind lace and headliner will be put in. 
The headliner is hung and fitted before anything is done. there is no room for error when it comes to installing a suede headliner. This will be beautiful! Stay tuned to see the results..
Headliner is all in place and looks great. the suede fabric gives the car a very rich look.
The car is coming out great! the materials being used give this car the nostalgic look, the pattern is just like the one seen from 1949.
The seats are finished with upholstery and ready to be installed. The suede really shows every finger print. The look is just t like the original 49 Olds.
Its all put together and ready for its first test drive. 
The 49 Olds is on the road!! the test drives have gone very well. This car drives like a dream, its heavy and very well insulated, so the ride is smooth and quiet. This car gets tons of attention while driving around. Stopping for gas will always be a longer process.
The Oldsmobile”Rocket 88″ is ready for delivery. It’s a bitter sweet thing when the cars are finished and they leave the shop. We’re excited for the Owner, but it’s hard to see something you put your heart into drive away…

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3 Responses to: Oldsmobile Rocket 88/ 1949 > Click here to see project.

  1. Gorgeous car and great build!

  2. DICK T says:

    GOOD JOB. WHICH IFS DID YOU USE?

  3. DICK T says:

    I have viewed the coupe build many times. A true work of art. These guys know their profession.