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Thread: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Thumbs up All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    I read an article a while back in the Petrolhead magazine about an Auckland company that built an all steel version of the GT500E or Eleanor as it is fondly known. It wasn't actually crafted in NZ as such (it was built in a shop located in Texas), but by a NZ company.

    Here is another article about it that I found on the web. This is part of my plan to post anything related to Kiwis accomplishing feats of automotive engineering.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.themustangnews.com/carnews/st-1106-steel.htm
    11-14-06

    It’s called “panel beating”. The craft of forming and creating car bodies of pure steel, using no plastic or Fiberglas fillers or parts has all but vanished in the USA. A young budding artisan in the States would be hard pressed to find any school or trade shop in which to even learn the craft today. In the 1940’s, 1950’s and even the 1960’s you could find a number of metal crafting panel beaters in the hot-rodding and custom car circles of southern California and in Michigan. This was before the advent of Bondo and fiberglas that was much easier, faster and cheaper to fill and form with. It is the American Way.

    Yet, in places like Australia and New Zealand the craft is still taught in trade schools. In the land down under you don’t have to look very far to find an expert panel beater who can repair a dented fender, or “guard” in their speak, without a single dollop of plastic filler. They can also build entire bodies of steel by hand, slowly working the metal, filling with lead and hammering out a final form. Today when you come across anyone in the States who specializes in this rare craft, they are likely speaking in a down under accent.

    To this point, we present here the all-steel 1967 Mustang GT-500 E body that was shown at the 2006 SEMA Show. This one-off hand crafted masterpiece was built without a single fiberglas element. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. Even the original Shelby GT-500 came with a fiberglas hood, rear deck, tail panel, and front fascias.

    This car is a perfect replica of the Eleanor car that starred in the 2000 re-make of Gone in Sixty Seconds. All of the former fiberglas panels have been crafted out of sheet steel and carefully integrated into the body. Even the rear end-caps and tail-light panel are metal. They fit far better than any original or NOS fiberglas piece we have ever seen. Other elements like the upper and lower side-skirts are hand formed steel and are made one with the body shell.

    The builder of the body is Beyond Motorsports who is based out of Auckland, New Zealand but has a satellite shop in North Richland Hills, TX where this car was actually fabricated. We spoke with Steve Noyer of Beyond Motorsports who shared that this particular car was built for a customer, but they can built literally anything a client could ask for. Their company specializes in classics and new-age muscle cars. Their claim to fame of course is the craft of steel fabrication that includes anything from body fabrication and restoration to custom tube race suspensions, chassis, and roll-cages. Their experience in open road racing gives the company and affinity in the area of building and tuning race cars for a variety of venues.

    In close quarters with this all-steel GT-500 E body shell we were simply in awe at the level of quality, precision and sheer artistry that it represents. This example of an art now rare will set you back however as this will cost you in excess of $100,000. But, you get what you pay for.

    Last edited by mk2maniac; 05-01-2007 at 05:35 PM.

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    aka turbo nick Perun's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    And the best part is, it only weighs 3000kg! The shell alone that is. hehe

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    Banned ELSpeedo's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    My ZD was steel and weighed a measly 1560kg(with 351W), less than a BA. It is sad
    that panelbeating is dying and replaced by cheap plastic krud. I know what
    would be safer in a head-on crash.

    Atleast it would handle a 427 SOHC without stress fractures in the chassis!
    Last edited by ELSpeedo; 05-01-2007 at 11:08 PM.

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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    Yeah, I'm not sure it would way much more than an ordinary fastback Mustang, it's not like it's any bigger. I guess it all comes down to exactly how the panels were formed, and the thickness of the steel used



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    Senior Member RScort's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    That looks soooo slick.

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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    If there is anything you guys would reallylike to know about this car please let me know - I was Co-Owner of Beyond Motorsports at this time .

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    Forum Veteran Lyonsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    was at a mates shop the other day had an x trail on the hoist i walk up and push the gard in around 3in and say look at this.
    we had a laugh and joke then i noticed it was plastic.

    i dont know about you all but to me there really is nothing like full metal jacket with no plastic i think its the imperfections that are inherntly caused by not having it machined made.
    but it is a dying trade out here to its just not practical it costs more to repair a panel then to replace it.

    the same goes for paint jobs every new car ive seen under 150'000 the paint job is orange pealed and the panels arnt straght all having slight dints or woofs in them, i know if i was buying a say a fairmont giah id take it back have them repaint and fix all the woofs in the body before picking up.

    but the car iam currently restoring wont have a dollop of fiberglass or bog i managed to trace down an old panel beater who did a lot of v8 supercar gards panel's to flare them out but look stock.
    and getting him to do any body work that needs doing that old way with lead filling.

    and yeah mate whould be interested in any info you can provide on the gt500e or any other projects of simerlar type.
    where you the ones from n/z making alloy cobra body's?
    Last edited by Lyonsy; 28-09-2007 at 09:54 AM.
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and no one is really sure about the universe yet"
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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    There's a place in NZ making alloy Cobra bodies? If there is, I don't know about it! Don't think there is though. I know that John Olsen, (might've been one of his relatives, after he died) who was a kiwi and part of the original Cobra story in the states made an alloy bodied 289FIA, and they have a genuine Cobra, though it is a continuation car, not an original.

    I know they are Cobra mad, but I'm not sure if they (his family) have any or much involvement with Cobra building, but I could be wrong, I've pulled this info from somewhere in my mind, will have to dig up a few old car mags to be sure. During the 80s Olsen built or was building a Daytona Coupe, not sure if that was built here or in the states, but I'm fairly certain it got sold to somebody in the states, might've been after he passed away.

    As far as I know, the only place making Alloy Cobra bodies is Kirkham Motorsports in the USA, though the bodies are made in an old aircraft factory in Poland, then shipped to the US where they are finished, I guess quite similar to the originals, bodys from the Uk shipped to US. These things are so accurate that virtually every single part is interchangeable with a genuine/original, only better and lighter e.g the diff housing made from cast alloy as opposed to the iron of the originals.

    Here is their website.

    Amazing, they even make a Le Mans type roadster fitted with the hardtop and featuring the cut back boot lid. Fantastic!


    427 SC Le Mans


    289 FIA Le Mans


    I think I'm in love! Not that I wasn't already.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQQQxAyH87U
    Last edited by mk2maniac; 28-09-2007 at 11:46 AM.

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    Forum Veteran Lyonsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    only reason i say is a couple of gray beards i told about the mig cobra go oh you mean that one from new zealend?
    and yes they can have my right nut left kidney and first born if i can have a 427sc rep from them.
    ill also donate all my bodies parts to them to be sold when i die
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and no one is really sure about the universe yet"
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    The mig Cobra? Care to elaborate.

    There's no way I'd donate any body parts to get on of those, I'd want them all to be in tact to enjoy the rush of drving one, they have got to be the most exciting car in the world. Every drive is an experience, and they have so much character and so many quirks. Believe it or not, they are useless for cooling you down on a hot day, the hot, humid air just swirls around the cockpit. Even as a passenger, you'll feel tired after a long drive in one because you sort of have to squint when driving because of the air, though of course the wind deflectors help with this, and wearing sunglasses, or some form of eyewear helps.

    I remember there was a place that made steel bodied ones, but I'm not sure if they still exist. I'd rather have alloy, less chance of rust and much lighter. Though an alloy body is so easy to dent. I heard a story of an owner of a Kirkham, who had some drunk idiot fall on his car and dent the bonnet quite heavily. Of course there's glass, which doesn't dent in that way, but can crack if not manufactured properly, and with screws or bolts holding things to the body.

    Some replica manufacturers, ERA in particular say they will make an aluminium bodied one as a special order using original jigs. I've never seen this though.
    Last edited by mk2maniac; 29-09-2007 at 06:12 AM.

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    Forum Veteran Lyonsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    the one you are showing that is buillt in the mig facotry in poland hence the mig cobra.
    ey i left enought body parts for me to enjoy till i die.
    and driving one for extended periods of time granties to grow testicles back scitenficly proven
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and no one is really sure about the universe yet"
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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    Big V8 XB351Hardtop's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    Looks hot.....now I want an XB coupe body on a BF floorpan....
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    Ah, I didn't know that's what the factory was called, but indeed I did know it was in Poland. I can't stop looking at that FIA with the fuel filler in the roof, that's awesome. I love the cut back boot, needs FIA suitcase dimples though.

    We're hoping to be cruising in ours again today, it's finally pretty much all done, painted, put back together, all the little bits on just a few little bugs to iron out before we can leave, but nothing major, and just waiting on some upholstery to finish it off, mostly carpet.
    Last edited by mk2maniac; 29-09-2007 at 06:13 AM.

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    Forum Veteran Lyonsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    you have a cobra? you lucky sob i should kill you then steal ya car
    i dont what its called its just a mig factory where they made mig 29's and still do.
    so you can buy a cobra next time you buy a mig lol
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and no one is really sure about the universe yet"
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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    Senior Member mk2maniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: All steel GT500E crafted in NZ!

    Yeah, it's my old mans, though I had major inputs in the building of it. We fired it up for the first time in December last year, ironed out any little issues, drove round in it for a while, then it's been at the painters for a few months, having all the bodywork done, then the paint (which I had a few days off school to go watch ).

    Had it back from the painters for a while, and been putting it all back together, and finished off the upholstery, carpet, door panels etc (seats were done a while ago).

    He took it for it's first drive after paint on Saturday, had a minor fueling issue, and the speedo wasn't working, but they're sorted now. We're still waiting for some carpet from overseas, and the uphosterer will come finish that off, as well as a few other little trimming jobs. Can PM you some pics if you like? Though I've only got a $hitty camera phone shot of it all complete. I have pics of during painting etc.

    Yeah, it's an old Aircraft factory in Poland, not sure that they still make planes there though, but they have some amazing skills. Screw the Mig, a Cobra is much more fun.
    Last edited by mk2maniac; 02-10-2007 at 12:46 PM.

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