Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/18/15 11:01 a.m.

With the Tornado mounted on the now repaired frame and with the roll cage firmly in place we could actually address the door, hood and deck lid gaps.

Specialty fiberglass cars were not known for their attention to panel gaps. But if you want to enter a big time concours, like the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance we would need to get these gaps perfect.

At this point, you could accuse us of over-restoring this old special, but at the concours level, that's the way the game is played. And personally, we have no desire to own a car with terrible panel gaps and doors and hood that do not shut correctly.

We started by fitting all the aforementioned panels and measuring with a gap gauge. We quickly determined that the hood would need some type of positive latching and positioning system. We also didn’t like the original external-mounted door hinges. We had seen some Tornados with this hinge system and some with much better looking concealed door hinges.

From there it would just be a matter of cutting, sanding and remaking these panels to fit the body perfectly.

Where the hood sits above the fenders we literally had to slice the fender and add nearly an inch of fiberglass to make a nice even gap. We were quickly figuring out that Tornado was not a world class car builder. We had a lot to fix if we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves at Amelia. Thankfully, while messy, fiberglass is very cheap and easy to work with. Anything is possible if you are willing to put the time into it.

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