Eric Gordon's 1954 Kaiser
Convertible Conversion




On  my nineteenth birthday I bought a  used '54 Kaiser Manhattan right off a
New Jersey automobile dealership's showroom floor. Originally this car was a 2 door
Sedan. And I made it....converted it to a "Convertible" (vin # K542-002380).

Yes, I just started with a hacksaw, pliers, chisel, hammer and screwdrivers.
Yes, and a huge amount of youthful "can do" enthusiasm-optimism and not to forget that
nebulous elusive  naiveté. Without that I would have never gotten started.
What puzzled me back then, and, yes, even today, is:
Why was a '54 Kaiser taking up space in a dealership's showroom;
almost a decade had passed, since this 2 door Sedan was new?
I saw this car late one evening while getting off a crowded expressway, and  driving
through town. It took up the whole show-window and looked phenominal and
mysterious the way it was lit with hidden spotlights. That night I could not sleep much.
I only thought about the '54. I had never seen one, and knew they only made very few.
I had gotten a really bad case of the incurable "Kaiser-Fever."
After all, I was already driving a '51 Kaiser which I liked tremendously.

At that time my family lived in an apartment and our cars were parked in city streets.
It just so happened that my mother bought a "summer cottage" a month earlier, some
forty miles outside the city, three miles from a lake. This "country-place" inspired me
to want a convertible. It had to be a car with very special lines, low-long-sleek.
My mother also liked the looks of the '54 and said :
"...almost like a brand new car...but where will you be able to park it?"
"At our summer-place, " I replied. "But we don't even have a driveway?" she said.
"So? So I'll build the driveway first." The next day I bought the 2 door Kaiser.
And now, let the following pictures, each tell a thousand words, and more...

OH ! Kaiser designer Howard "Dutch" Darrin's approval ?

Once I finished building the Convertible, I volunteered for the U.S. Air Force, and was
stationed out West, Nevada. I used my Kaiser as a daily driver on base, 99 per cent of
the time the top was down, I even upgraded  the transmission to manual with overdrive.
After serving honorably, I settled down in Southern California. There, years later, upon
a chance visit with friends to Santa Monica's Park, I noticed a distinguished elderly
gentleman taking snapshots of my Kaiser Convertible.
(I had heard that "Dutch" Darrin lived somewhere  in Santa Monica).
"Are you "Dutch" Darrin by any  chance?" I asked the gentleman.
"Yes, I am. I designed this car, but we never built a convertible !" Darrin looked closer
at my Kaiser, then said: " Very good... this is excellent work...who built this?"

"Mr.Darrin, I did it...I am the "redesign...  ahh...reworker," I answered.
Then I showed him a small photo album of the conversion work
I carried in my  glove compartment.

He then invited me and my friends to his house. I parked in his driveway. I listened
with my friends of all the cars he told us about that he had
designed and showed us photos of them.
Many were especially custom made by him for Hollywood-Stars and personalities.

Next to my car, in his driveway, was a new Volvo which he was at that very moment in the
process of redesigning.
That familiar "chrome slash" across the grill?
"Dutch" told me personally :
"In our mechanical automotive world, everything is balanced. Right and left,
top to bottom, all is equally balanced. This "slash" violates an unspoken code,
your eye is drawn to this, therefore, this Volvo becomes more visible........"

Reflecting upon this decades later, I realize I truly was in the presence of one of
the great "genius" automotive designers.

This is how Eric built the 54 Kaiser Convertible.
It's now time to look at how he found that car after some 20 odd years of searching.

That was about 3 decades ago. Today Eric was fortunate enough to get a second chance to rebuild his convertible.


c  copyright  2005 by Aigle Books
ERIC GORDON, Writer, Editor, Publisher of Aigle Books, Place ST. Georges, Paris, France  GIVES HEREBY
PERMISSION: for John MacDonald- "Sympatico Mail" <> and ,sharon@summerville- to use my writings, computer sending and pictures for the above named internet pages.
(Saturday 26 March 2005.)


For family reasons Eric had to trade this car for an airline ticket back East,

to help his mother who had gotten very ill; twenty-five years ago.
Ever since then he had tried to locate his Custom Convertible.
After a nearly 20 year search, Eric's car was found by a Kaiser-Frazer
Club member.  On January 14th 2006 the present owner allowed Eric 
and this K-F Club member to view  Eric's car and take some snapshots.

Surprisingly, it is only 99.9 miles from the New Jersey driveway where 
Eric had built/rebuilt this convertible in the early 60's. 
It is now stored in a barn and needs lots of TLC. There are no major damages,
as these pictures show..........

!!!!Coming Home !!!!
The following announcement was received from Eric Gordon 
on the 28th of April 2006.



And now the story continues

Early in the morning of April 29'th Eric took a little drive to Pennsylvania.

The following pictures will tell the story of the start of a new life for


:"Jersey boy....standing proud....
  some three decades ago...
"standing proud"  with "MY" car that
  I built/rebuilt some 30 years ago....


So my machine must now be on it's own, for a while...
I have done the best I could within my range of mechanical awareness's and home-garage tools available.
Now off to the mechanic-specialists that are going to refine it.

I take this very personal...
After all, I worked on my convertible again for seven months; and the elation, the surprise, the good luck of finding it again?
Well, it took a month for the  "nostalgia worship" to wear off.

I then settled down to brass, aluminum and copper tacks and started restoration.
That part that needed it most: the floor. While simultaneously writing a "photo-essay" documentation. The continuing restoration work, aided by the razor sharp editorial
skills of John MacDonald of Summerville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
John has several chapters about my "Kaiser stories" in  his 
"Automotive Library of Congress."    and

Now, I have guided this  >one-of-a-kind-machinery< again towards its reawakening, towards a new future...
I have some bruises, cuts and scrapes and my hands feel a bit swollen.  I also learned new mechanical skills, and writing skills. 

My convertible is only seven miles away, awaiting a space on the new lift.
Quite frankly?
I am grateful to the many mechanics, and various auto specialist,  who will work on needed items....
who have skills and tools beyond my specialty. "

And now the work on Phase II begins Page 2

I found an automotive shop, taking on the needed 
work to be done on my convertible was the way to go.

Page 2

...panel adhesive is removed with a scotch brite
wheel which doesn't grind the sheet metal.
This repair method is used for the left lower fender...
as well as the right fender.
Close-up of splash pan...
...and right lower fender.
This repair method is applied...
to backsplash panel...
as well as bottom line of fenders.
Driver's side new floor panels were previously welded into place...
...are now already painted in red primer.
passenger door's bottom hinge needed to be reset
with new screws...
...while some other door parts needed welding
and grinding.
Passenger door is now re-installed. Also the underside of the floorboard now gets painted by Matthew and David  with seamsealer, then red primer paint sealer...
and finally shutz undercoating.
Front hood latch filler  panel...
is now being prepared... Mel who is removing old paint...
...and David then uses the scotch brite wheel to smoothen the panel before primer and undercoat
is applied.
Trunk lid is primered and block sanded smooth
Kaiser factory specifications called for a rubber grommet to be bolted and stapled to the backsplash within the  massive sculptured corner bumpers. 
Dirt, grit and rain had a tendency to settle there and 
lead to rust and corrosion.
Mark is 'imagineering' a plastic template to find the exact dimensions...
...while David is positioning the proper bumper angle...
...Mark is trying out different temporary templates for the exact measures...
...that he will replace with sheet metal welded solid
to the backsplash panel.
Mark is  already welding the left side of the corner backsplash...
...while the right side is "sculptured"...
...ground to fit by Matthew, and ... welded onto factory backsplash...
...and then completely welded,  before primer and 
paint is applied.
Underside  of car is painted with seamsealer...
and finally 'Shutz' undercoating.
3/8th copper-nickel alloy  fuel lines will also be installed to replace the old fuel lines. 
...finishing sanding on latch filler panel...
...before primer paint is applied.

Front panels...
...and trunk lid get final sanding by David and Mark...
before primer paint is applied, and hung up to dry.
Fender/rocker-panel well area gets new sheet metal...
... and then "Shutz" undercoat is applied.
Kaiser has large full sheet-metal air intakes on 
each side of engine... under the fenders.
These air intakes are sanded and painted 
with red primer.
Headlight housings are prepped,
...while some welding is being finished on the trunk area's corners.
Now that the backsplash's corner additions are
solidly welded,
the preparation for primer paint started by applying
  light weight new polyester body filler...
...and after body filler is dry,  it is  block sanded.
Here is an interesting way of "block" sanding the round section of backsplash, by using part of a rubber hose as guide for sandpaper.
Soon ready for primer paint.
Previous 2 door roof attachment area's
metal-foundation, reworked and strengthened,
...for the 'cradle' of the convertible top's 'imagineered' solid metal cover...(no vinyl/cloth snap on boot)
Art Griffin, president of the 'KF Club's Sunshine Region' helped out with some spare parts from some  parts cars parked in his back yard in nearby 
Melbourne, Fl.
Carlson Auto needed better hinges for the newly reworked trunk lid. A "counter balanced" trunk-lid was a new idea in the early 50's. Kaiser Motors was the first to install this on their  'later' model 2 and 4 door sedans
David is preparing these "new" trunk hinges...
...for installation.
A Perfect fit ...
... for the trunk lid.
Meanwhile the front splash-pans are painted 
with primer...
... and shutz undercoat...
...and when dry, the top sides get painted with      98-48472  00(P) Lt Montana Blue Metallic 
CODE:20  1994-1995 Cadillac.
This matches in modern urethane paint,  my first 
restoration : 1958 Olds Blue Metallic enamel.


Mark Carlson is "Imagineering" a metal top for
the rear deck area.
Carlson Auto is "Imagineering" a metal  cover
for the rear deck. 
 A rough cut is prepared...
 ...and placed in the right position...
...precise measures are now evaluated...

Now exact and precise...
cuts are outlined...
...this includes bending...
...and hammering the sheet-metal into place.
Weakened deck area needs to be strengthened...
...while some rusted side metal is removed,
and new steel added/welded...
...including steel bars as foundation  for the metal cover.
Mark is spot-welding center bar, while assistants 
are pressing with gloved hand and an extra long
screwdriver both sides into place. A smaller steel
bar, already curved,  lies on the rear fender to 
be welded next.
Spot-welding ...
...continues... strengthen rear deck area...
While the metal top is "imagineered" the vinyl "Pinpoint GM White"  top arrived from New Jersey 
and Long Island.
Here it is laid out including padding strips
and foam padding
And the rear plastic zippered window.
The underside of the top is beige to match sthe top frame's color and interior wood trim.
Steel bars are now...
...completely welded onto deck frame.
Two steel bars supported by wood are...
...aligned side by side, to the underside
 of the metal cover.
The front contour of metal cover... cut to match the curvature of the back seat...
...while this steel tube gets welded to the very front underside of the metal cover...
and this small strip will be hammered "tucked under"...
Metal cover is welded to deck, then Mel and Matthew each drill... 
...through the cover and onto the two parallel steel
support bars...these drill holes in the metal cover
then get welded to each steel bar.
Matthew then cuts metal cover very precisely
between the parallel steel bars, while Mark is
balancing the tensile strength of the two sides.
The front part of the metal cover is now removed...
...from the rear part of the metal cover...
...which is now solidly welded to the trunk deck area...
Five steel support  bars give strength to welded rear metal cover {now solid part of deck} and to 2 trunk hinges from a Chevy Cavalier.
These salvage yard hinges, receive a solid "imagineered" framework (r/l middle)...
...these late model hinges, can now pivot...
{onto which the front metal cover will be attached}
some 90  degrees straight up from the trunk floor.
Cavalier trunk hinges now fold forward and upwards.   Five steel support bars strengthen the entire trunk area...
...from  the "new solid trunk-deck area" to the trunk floor... visible here.
Mark now welds fastening braces onto          "imagineered"  movable front metal cover. precisely match the Chevy Cavalier 
'former trunk support hinges.'
Cover is now fastened to hinges, as seen from rear...
 while trunk lid is removed temporarily for easy access. 
Cover and  its new support is seen from front...
...and a close-up of  cover hinges.
Meanwhile, underside of removed trunk lid gets painted.
...rough metal cover seen from front...
...and side, now in down position.
Mark explains, "I also made support bars for the
rear window area. This makes up for the support 
that was lost from the roof and...wheel wells... 
... they follow the sweeping curve then hook 
through the interior sheet metal at the back... tie in....I was able to weld the top of the wheel wells to these support bars also."
special anchor hinge plates for the convertible top's frame are manufactured...
Rear anchor for convertible top is "imagineered" with strengthening bars and special plate-hinges
(behind clamps)...
...after several attempts, to find  the absolute exact 
place, special anchor plates are fully welded...
... hinge plates are clamped into exact  place...
...plates are now spot-welded into exact place... fully welded.  These "imagineerd" pivot plates,
 with adjustable check bolts keep the convertible top
 aligned, and from sagging in the middle of the frame. 
 The only other fastening point is now  the top of the
 windshield frame locking mechanism.
In order for the "pivot-point-bolts" to  operate 
exactly copper bushings were manufactured for 
the rear frame-to-bolt contact.
Three additional wide steel "back seat support bars"
were also welded into place, not only for back seat strength, but also for more room once top is folded
into the top cradle area.
Even I help out with grinding with an air drill,
with various sizes of scotch wheels or wire wheels.
Mark and crew: Mel and David, are discussing
door repair work.
Totally rusted out sheet metal at bottom
of door is removed.
New sheet metal is shaped on a bench-press...
...and then hammered into somewhat rounded
shape on an antique 1730's anvil.
Mark is explaining the exact restoration
(at times he calls this type of work "resurrection.")...
I also see the painted fenders and underside of 
the hood for the first in a storage shed
...damaged sheet-metal is refurbished with the "lost-lead-process"...
...the area to be renewed is first heated up
(while protective fiberglass cloth >center of photo<)
protects other auto-body parts...
 ...then lead is melted over the area...
...and smoothened, "sculptured" with a wood dowel
into the desired shape...
 ...once the area has cooled, it is filed into shape
even more...
 ...metal files...
...scotch-brite and wire wheels...
... smoothen the desired shape even more... the arduous procedure of filling in and block sanding continues with polyester body filler.
Very often up to 7 to 15 times. 
The final smoothness is only accomplished with
sandpaper, up to 600 grade, and using only the sensitivity, the feeling of smoothness, with hand and fingers over the sandpaper. A hair thickness, a size of a pinhead, will show up as a major infraction on the final paint. 
...polyester body filler is a flour like paste,it is applied sparingly in small amounts since it hardens within a few minutes, it is applied with a plastic spatula to imperfections ...
...the sheetmetal is fine tuned with many applications
 and with much sanding in between.
...the car is prepped for primer (grey) paint.
Doors and convertible top bonnet cover are
painted separately.
...between the primer paint coats there is still  an opportunity to correct infractions with body  filler and fine tuned sanding.  The car cannot be touched on the primer paint since prints will show up on the final  paint.
I help with small, yet tedious, jobs
such as taping the id plate for
the upcoming paint jobs, and...
...replace the huge air-ducts...
passenger side fits directly over the heater/fan motor...very few cars have this 5 in size...
...I install new clamps also...
These are "aftermarket new," this side
supplies air directly to driver...
 purchased from a Corvette sales store...
are used on mid 50's Corvettes. 
..David wears special face protective shield
for final scotch-brite work on rocker panels.
 Mrs. Mary Carlson is amazed at the work progress
in just 4 days...
Mary likes the way I arranged these various intricate,
yet very rare, fasteners designed to attach Kaiser
stainless steel trim.
...while waiting for primer to dry, the front cowling
already gets painted.
...other jobs I help out with are prepping
bumper steel braces...
...underside of front splash pan, which comes
in 3 parts.....
...buying new rear air shocks.
...I purchased new passenger side glass, and protective taped it for installation, then...
... installed new chrome around instrument cluster.
 Passenger door is out of alignment, an anchor plate is welded to bottom of door, chain attached...
...a hydraulic puller goes to work ...
attached to a sturdy chain, pulls door back into
proper shape...
...door is corrected, then  removed, anchor brace cut
off, and prepped for primer.
3 and often 4 coats of primer paint is applied.. 
Paint must dry for at least 15 minutes, before
another coat is painted.
Modern urethane paint comes in two main coats.
The first one is the BASE COAT.   It must be
applied with a 15 minute drying time, no later than
one hour between paint coats.
Mark is applying 3 coats and often 4.
Each coat is dry, yet still somewhat moist. The actual 
color of "Light Montana Sky Blue code # 48472" has
a dull look" not yet fully recognizable...
...the second coat of modern urethane paint is the CLEAR COAT.
Once the BASE COAT painting is done (there can be 3 or 4 or even 5 of the BASE COAT) then the CLEAR COAT  must be painted in the 15 minute to one hour time...
( again there can also be 3 or 4 or even more)
The convertible top bonnet cover shown here in total of BASE COAT/ CLEAR COAT has as much as 12 coats all together. (This does not include the gray primer paint which might have an additional 7 to 15 coats)
 The  "urethane" painting procedure of BASECOAT/CLEAR COAT is an extreme labor intensive job.  Once finished it gives a mirror like appearance. "The enemy" are bugs, some so small one cannot even see them, they are attracted to chemicals in the urethane...

Exhaust fans are running at full capacity.  Doors are not opened, and even lights are turned off completely during the drying times. The best time to paint is when it rains.  Most bugs are absent.

The next day the convertible is put outside to dry faster in the sun. When a slight rain started to appeared, I mentioned: "The car is being baptized," we then quickly put the car back inside.
Convertible top bonnet cover, trunk lid and hood are painted separate from auto body.
This includes doors, door trims, front splash pan, dash parts,  windshield frame and front cowling not 
shown here.
The "showpiece of custom imagineering" is the
convertible top bonnet cover, still in BASE COAT,
is attached for a test fit.  It will be removed again
for final CLEAR COAT paint process.
Stainless steel trim surrounding the convertible top cover, Mark holds in place over dried final clear coat. The BASE (color) COAT/ CLEAR (clear} COAT urethane, arduous painting  process, takes then
30 days to fully cure.
While painting continues I refurbish the headlight housings...
and spray paint them with a rust preventive black.
I also paint ...
...floor of car with rust preventative black paint
The trunk separator is custom made out of pinewood
in two panels and 6 custom made holding clips seen 
here, they will be folded upwards for final installation.
Trunk panel is painted white..
Front side panel I varnish.
 A metal art shop from Boston crafted Kaiser scripts 
out of steel for me.  Scripts are larger than twice the normal script.
Bill, father of David, volunteers by painting this custom designed metal  Kaiser script for me.
Bill checks to see if the colors match.
It fits perfectly on this area of the front facing pinewood.
After 30 days  the paint is cured, the car then gets 
buffed to clear ever so slight paint imperfections.
In the top -up position we test the flow of the future vinyl top with an old blanket.
The yellow tape shows approximate future area of the large plastic-zip-out rear window.
In the down position,  the top's frame is tested 
with a neon tube for clearance.
New wiring with exact instructions is purchased
from a Kaiser Club member wire specialist.
A unique tool measures the exact wheel bolt 
placement of 4 1/2 inches for future steel rim 
or spoke-wheel purchase.
... dash metal gets refurbished...
...and primed...
including rear floor and new "imagineered"
back seat steel braces.
Smaller items are meticulously primed with many coats
also...  hood latch - steering column cover - 
inside door metal, customized from a 52 Buick.
and then, like this glove box door, gets painted:
 3 base coats and three clear coats... sometimes more.
Driver's door now gets needed attention parts of 
bottom were paper thin... after new metal is welded
in and dented areas are pulled straight...
Mark again applies the "lost lead procedure"...
...then smoothened with file and scotch brite wheel.
Now ready for the 6 to 8 primer applications, with
lots of sanding in-between.
New script " Custom Designer Classic by EG"
is now installed below the Kaiser name ...
...on the pinewood panel between trunk and front.
all other scripts were removed from the convertible.
Now that the paint is dry, car gets a good washing.
Carlson  Auto tested various "bonnet" fasteners. 
Seatbelt lock and receivers proved to be the strongest...
...once "bonnet" is locked in the down position.
Bill, Mel, Matthew and Mark are now installing 
the heavy door.
Mel and Mark are now carefully lifting the already painted fender into place.
...while protective tape is applied not to damage the painted parts.
Beltline stainless steel now gets adjusted.
A new slot is now...
"wheel-cut"  into top of inside door metal.
Stainless trim gets adjusted to fit the newly made slot...
...for proper fit...
...since I am using the inside door metal of  a 1952 Buick  >with window and vent glass and their manual crank mechanisms/lifters< that will fit the 1952 Cadillac convertible windshield and frame.
Door mirror is installed...
...for proper positioning,
including the new driver's seat.
A new copper fuel line is installed; unfortunately a recent, previous installer had used "brake line metal tubing" for fuel supply lines,this could cause rust and cause damage to mechanical gas pump.
A new 6 volt booster pump will also be installed 
shortly after the fuel tank, with a new on/off switch 
on the dashboard.
I help install new antenna wiring which Mark prepared for me, using coaxial TV type wire...
...onto an aluminum bracket, I designed myself, to fit onto the refurbished bumper bracket...
...which will be hidden from view behind the massive
Kaiser's driver's side bumper guard.
The six unit bumper (not counting the many bolts, etc.)
is now assembled by David and Mel...
...and then installed, under Mark's supervision.
...Mark also gives "booster"  or auxiliary fuel pump
a final check... all  A-OK ! 
No leaks... works great.  This 6 volt pump was bought at the last  "Daytona Beach Spring Swap Meet."
It was tested thoroughly...especially when "shut off "
... that the "Kaiser mechanical fuel pump" can pull gasoline through.
A 2 barrel air filter was purchased at a local auto
salvage yard...
received a fresh coat of primer...
and "imagineered" ...
...for the Kaiser's 226 engine...
...then,  with a new 6 volt battery the engine was
finally started...
.'s alive!" a 'milestone' is reached...
photo shows whirring fan blade and new 6 volt battery.
 I removed the heater motor unit from passenger side cowling, then...
...the heater motor ...
armature core...
is reworked...
copper core is filed...
new wiring is carefully installed...
and housing, the 'squirrel cage' are primed and then painted black.
This is reassembled, and  the passenger side front fender can now be re-attached.
Passenger door is prepped for primer...
and then tested for proper alignment...
...also new mirror installed.
New battery and fastener clamp is installed.
New fuel filter...
...lines for rear air shocks...
New 'bump' stop plate...
is made, as well as...
...a new bump stop support, 5 inches long, is welded directly to the frame.  This is needed, since the rear wheel wells were shortened for the down position of 
the convertible top.
and transmission floor-shift chrome knob are installed
New wheel well structure is welded...
...and cut.
New metal...
is hammered into place...
and then welded.
new wheel well as seen from the bottom,
and from the top.
Now that the rear wheel wells are finished,
attention is again focused on the doors.
Primer is applied, ready for paint, however...
...Carlson Auto is re-welding the door metal
around the  vent window... is the work for the driver's door, and... is the work for the driver's door, and... for the passenger door. for the passenger door.
...a piece of steel is "imagineered" ...
...for the passenger side
Both sides are slightly different
therefore "double steel" is welded together ...
...and then adjusted with body filler
similar to this finished driver's side work.
The 1954 Kaiser Manhattan Club Coupe 
 'roof' had a strong connection at the beltline.
 The undercarriage was strengthened and new
 adjustments are welded and installed at the beltline
 including this door part to fit the 
1952 Cadillac/Buick side windows.
My original design, are now corrected to
professional standards.
The front doors are now somewhat too large
and are "shaved."  Only half of each door needs
to be cut by 3/8th of an inch hammered into new
shape, welded shut, and repaired with body filler
To fill the gap between side glass and
rear Cadillac convertible frame
 Mark and I decided to use a "middle"
window similar to a 1951 Frazer Convertible.
Plexiglas and an"imagineered" removable
window frame is manufactured.
To secure the top cover "bonnet"
while top frame is lowered... 
...Mark installed this slide-lock device.
Fenders needed to be installed for door clearances.
Mark stated that they do not  have to be removed again.
...after doors are painted, door handles get installed...
... primer is first applied against metal rust.
...side clips...
...for stainless steel trim...
...are next...
...massive hood... moved from storage shed...
...including trunk lid...
...are installed, trunk pull wire visible...
...trunk separators,
are next with script:< KAISER Custom
Designed Classic by EG >
new tail lights grommets,
and massive tail lights, next...
...grill and 
1953 Lincoln bumper...
is installed by Mel, Mark and Matthew.
rear bumper, including antenna mount
is installed.
...also rubber
trunk seal.
I help by sanding primer of repaired steering wheel...
then Mark paints it...
and installs steering wheel; partial dash is also installed.
Carlson Auto welded 4 lift metal blocks to frame...
now get special markings
belt-line trim
interior and windshield trim are installed...
...this includes 1992 Fleetwood Cadillac
interior side panels.
new front bucket seats redesigned in Kaiser pattern
from mid 60's GM car frames...
rear seat is also from a 1992 Fleetwood
some photos
on front lawn
Temporary top is attached, the Cadillac 1952 top 
will be installed in Daytona.
"...ready to roll!" after 4 and 1/2 years of...
..."resurrection" as Mark Carlson calls it, just like this bridge took 4+ years...
traffic jam on NY Thruway taking a 3 hour pause here.
.....On the way.... 
The Carolinas have the very best rest stops! 
After three days...
I finally arrive at home!
Next day into garage.
Now to the refurbishing work that I can complete
on my “one of a kind Kaiser” convertible’s 4th restoration project: 
I first install the newly chromed side ventilator 
window (vents) frames
 with new rubber weather-strips; 
holes are drilled since the rubber has metal guides embedded inside the main rubber, this then gets
riveted to the frames... 
... then vent  windows are installed...

I should mention again that all GM convertible
products of the years 1949> Chevy-Pontiac-Olds-Buick-Cadillac< have the same windshields; side windows and mechanisms; and top-frame structure until 1952.
(There are various minimal variations such as placement of interior lights) 

New weather stripping rubber gaskets are glued
in place.

From the beltline up, my car’s windshield is 1952 Cadillac, and has 1952 Buick side glass mechanism.
(Metal top-storage lid of ‘down-top’ is my own invention/Imagineering, with ‘Carlson Auto’ designing/Imagineering special metal hinges.)

... new 5 inch vent rain-drain stainless steel...
and newly chromed, intricate 1952 Buick slide vent window locks after being re-installed again... tinted green safety glass is installed,
... an all new gasket for a better fit, than the original of over 50 years ago, is installed. 
This was designed by an after market company.
I Upgraded a rear 1992 Fleetwood seat, covered in 
royal blue leather,  to custom fit the rear space of
my 1954 Kaiser. This also includes the side panels,
in a tuck and roll design, with burled wood trim.

This matches the design of the...

...1952 Buick Roadmaster custom tuck ‘n roll door panels, that are in near perfect condition from my original design.
I upgraded these also with Fleetwood dark blue 
carpet kick panels. 
Buick armrest/door handles were also customized 
to fit my convertible...
they still need some matching color work. 
For now, I installed a sporty natural leather cover,
to protect the white steering wheel.
Installing now the custom  padded-dash including
windshield’s inner framing.
Mr. Robert McBride, a wiring expert from the
Kaiser Club;  from whom I purchased
the new wiring in 2009,  is helping to install it.
He lives two hours from my garage.
The most difficult wire installation is the
instrument cluster. 
The designers removed the gauges for oil
and volts/amperes, of the new 1954 Kaiser design
and unfortunately  installed ‘ warning lights’ only.
The proper re-installation of electrical and
mechanical instrumentation takes time and
a lot of patience !
Reworking the glove-box with sturdy duct tape
is certainly worth the effort, as can be seen... this photo. This is the original glove-box
from my very 1st restoration.
Being able to keep this intricate hand-sewn 
matching color, " tuck ‘n roll  "...
makes this 4th restoration, glove-box installation enjoyable.
I brought some left-over urethane from
Carlson Auto of Connecticut, 
to a paint shop here in Daytona, Florida;
they turned some of this paint into spray paint.

So, I can finally paint these custom door handles...

...both door kick plates were in deplorable shape...
...however with careful wire brushing and polish...
 ...I was able to restore the driver's side door plate, and...
... for the passenger’s side I was able to use a near
new  ‘92 Fleetwood kick plate.
The paint dried on the door closure-armrests and they are installed... including Buick chrome window handles.
Now the convertible vinyl top to be installed next 
and the completion of the rebuild.
For full details on this go to:

New special  www - wide white wall - with red line,
tires were delivered just in time for Christmas;
ready to be mounted and balanced at the nearest
tire store. Most stores will not balance other tires.
I found one that was willing to work with my special
tires and spokes-wheels which also need inner tubes.
Modern mounting and balancing machines display the...
...precise amount of weights each wheel needs in ounces, and shows the exact location on a large monitor. 
When left and right side of wheel is in perfect balance, "OK" appears on screen.
Then I clean...
 ... and install the new wheels with - www - tires
and  custom-special-red-line.
Finally 1950 type spinner caps are installed
onto the spokes chrome wheels. 

Return to Phase II Page 1

Use the links below to continue viewing the various stages of the reconstruction

Coming Home
Under the Hood
The Convertible Top
Body Work

John's Old Car and Truck Pictures
Historic Aircraft Pictures
A Deck of Cards showing
The 1952 cars of The World
Eric Gordon's Kaiser Rebuild
There are many pictures showing the details of this Rebuild
Eric Gordon's First Kaiser
A 1951 Deluxe which comes to a startling end
Visit our Home in Summerville Nova Scotia. This house was built in 1873.
Where we live and what we  do
The Early Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
The Model T Ford and Model A Ford
The Model A Ford
Click here to View the Famous Chevy Tri-Five 55, 56 and 57 Chevrolets
The Chevy Tri-Five
55, 56 and 57 Chevrolets
The Chevrolet Corvette
From 1963 to 1970
Don Pate's 1947 Chevy Aero Sedan 
View the rebuilding of this car from the
bullet holes to the trophy winning
The Early American Sporty Cars
The Oshkosh The Truck that all other only dream of becoming
The Oshkosh 
The Truck of Trucks
The Divco Truck
America's Milk Truck
A Picture Review of 
the Ford Mustang

The Cars Dreams are made of
Those Old Classic Convertibles
Cadillac, Duesenberg, Cords and many more
Anthony Hazelaar's Model Trucks and Cars
Yes you can get a Jeep stuck, Really stuck if you just half try.
Have a look and see how a 
Jeep can get really stuck
A Picture Review of the Cars
of the Chrysler Corporation
A Picture Review of the Studebaker 
If you remember it, could you
ever forget it ?
A Picture review of the Packard
A Picture review of the Nash and Hudson
A Picture Tour of the
Hudson, Essex, and Terraplanes
that were found in Australia
A Picture Review of the
Pickup Truck from 1940 to 1969
A Picture review of the Volkswagen
A Picture Review of the Jeep
from 1940 to the present
A Picture Tour of the Crosley
A Picture Review of the Chevrolet
from 1916 to 1970
The Corvair 1960 to 1969
A Picture Review of the Ford
from 1908 to 1969
The Oldsmobile
The Pontiac
The Cadillac
Wouldn't you rather have a Buick
Wouldn't you rather have a Buick
The Chrysler Airflow
The Tucker '48'
The Amphicar
A Picture Tour of the Henry J
A Picture Tour of the Kaiser Frazer
The Stanley Steamer
View some of John Evan's  Artwork
View some of John' Evan's Auto Artwork 
Click here to View the Jeeps of World War II
WW II Jeeps
James Rucker's Car Collection
A website featuring many articles on many different cars
If you can't find it anywhere else, try here and
if you can't find it here it isn't anywhere
Jim's Old Car Page
A good page for Kaiser information
  View the steam locomotives of the CNR
  Another fun page involving a Jeep
 Tour the 64 remaining Covered Bridges
  of New Brunswick
The Covered Bridges that once dotted Nova Scotia.
If any one is interested in Microsoft's Flight Simulator 
I have written some scenery files for Summerville. Maitland, Windsor and Hantsport.
Summerville now has an Airport
E Mail

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