RESTORATION FROM THE GROUND UP – GUTTING.
Following the vehicle’s assessment by the BMW Group Classic Team, the next phase in the restoration process was ready to begin: the complete gutting/disassembly of the car.
Disassembly allows the car’s individual parts to be expertly reconditioned, restored or replaced should reconditioning no longer be possible (the interior, for example, was not original and was in poor condition).
Quality takes time.
Disassembly of the car took around a week, even though the estimated timeframe for this stage would normally be just two days. The extra time was required to separate the aluminium body from the sheet steel underbody assembly. This was necessary to avoid damage to parts during the upcoming paint removal process and to preserve as much of the original substance of the vehicle as possible. The separation process required every individual rivet to be drilled out and removed from the frame. The underbody assembly will subsequently be stripped of its paint in an acid bath, while an alkaline solution is used to remove the paint from the aluminium outer skin and aluminium components.
New engine for an old master.
The disassembly of the car also involved dismantling all the add-ons and parts which could be separated from the basic frame – including the suspension and the interior. The original dashboard, which was entirely missing, was recast. Using old photos for reference, the interior is being reconstructed to its original delivery specification, featuring two-tone leather. The suspension, i.e. the torsion bar springs and axles, has to be disassembled and reconditioned. As there was no longer a BMW engine under the bonnet, a V8 is being built from scratch to BMW 507 specification.
The team has applied the most painstaking care to all aspects of the disassembly process, with the aim of preserving as much of the car’s original substance as possible.
The next step will involve stripping the paint from the sheet steel underbody assembly and body components.