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Why don't you just dye the parts that show?
June 22, 2010 10:07 PM   Subscribe

What do you do when your 40 year old, 1 of 377 351 343 ~350, vintage Japanese sports car's original body is too far gone to repair? If you are Shin Yoshikawa, the man who wrote the book on the 2000GT, you hand fabricate a new body (and some trim) completely from scratch in aluminum.

Jag E-Type vs Toyota 2000GT.
posted by Mitheral (32 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy crap, that looks like a lot of work. I always used to dream of doing things like that, but lack of money, time and talent always seemed to get in my way.
posted by pjern at 10:41 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


People doing this routinely isn't far off. 3D scanning and fabrication have both advanced by leaps and bounds in the last ten years or so.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:23 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


But is panel forming something that the fabrication people focus on? Machining the body out of billet aluminium is not really a practical solution.
posted by Harald74 at 12:03 AM on June 23, 2010


I made Rear panel by just wooden hammer.
*sigh* I painted the kitchen yesterday. It was hard (for me) and I got paint all over. This FPP did not make me feel better about my lack of manual ability.

(Cool post, though!)
posted by Harald74 at 12:06 AM on June 23, 2010


Holy crap. Just wait until he finishes!

Look at his restoration of Twiggy's 2000GT!
posted by gen at 12:45 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glad I saw this post before I got out my checkbook.
posted by klarck at 1:48 AM on June 23, 2010


That car is a work of art. Forget paintings, if I had the money, and wanted an art collection, I'd start with that car. *Drool*
posted by salmacis at 1:52 AM on June 23, 2010


klarck: "Glad I saw this post before I got out my checkbook."

I was drooling over that post on BAT yesterday and then did a Rodger Rabbit reaction when I read the asking price. Who knew that Toyotas could get Bugatti prices?
posted by octothorpe at 4:12 AM on June 23, 2010


But is panel forming something that the fabrication people focus on? Machining the body out of billet aluminium is not really a practical solution.

Not practical, but certainly awesome.
posted by delmoi at 4:50 AM on June 23, 2010


I wish toyota still made sports cars. I mean, obviously there are some sporty Lexuses and scions I guess. Growing up I always thought Celicas and Supras were pretty awesome.
posted by delmoi at 5:02 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Growing up I always thought Celicas and Supras were pretty awesome.

I just bought a used Celica. It's not a beast like a corvette or even the later Nissan Z cars, but it's just the right balance between between sporty, peppy & aerodynamic and having decent passenger & cargo space, and being quite fuel efficient, as in 30 mpg in the city. Very solid and smooth-running, too.

I have had the most practical of mid-life crises.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:15 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great post. I hope the car winds up polished aluminum and not painted.
posted by exogenous at 5:32 AM on June 23, 2010


delmoi: Wish Granted (spectacularly). Review by Top Gear.
posted by costas at 5:48 AM on June 23, 2010


delmoi: "I wish toyota still made sports cars. I mean, obviously there are some sporty Lexuses and scions I guess. Growing up I always thought Celicas and Supras were pretty awesome."

I had a '76 Celica in the '80s. Fun car but had that '70s body rot that I couldn't keep up with.
posted by octothorpe at 6:15 AM on June 23, 2010


I don't have time tonight, but I had to go through every long page on his site, and then look for his shop on Google maps out in the middle of -- excuse me, way out on the edge of the middle of nowhere. Breathtakingly cool is this guy's commitment to craft. Thanks for the link, Mitheral. I just took a picture a couple days ago of a gorgeous Datsun Fairlady 1600 convertible in my neighborhood last week.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:20 AM on June 23, 2010


delmoi: Wish Granted (spectacularly). Review by Top Gear.

A little unattainable for most of us, no? Especially if they only plan on making 500 of them over the course of 2 years. On the other hand, there is a new hachi roku concept that looks like a really fun car, if they manage to produce it (target date is 2013 I think).

As a former owner of both a Supra and a couple MR2s, I definitely hope Toyota gets back in the game of making fun cars. Even better, make it electric (or at least a hybrid).
posted by knave at 6:29 AM on June 23, 2010


> Wish Granted (spectacularly)

That's an awesome car, but you have to pass an interview before you can even pay your deposit on it. It's a far cry from fine proletariat sports cars like the Celica (I had a 1981 GT in high school and loved everything about it even though it was old then, including the hand cranked moonroof.)

But anyway, I was blown away by this guy's craftsmanship and dedication.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:43 AM on June 23, 2010


That is quite something. Reminds me of the guy--a machinist--who lived across the street when I was growing up. He built an airplane in his garage. Took him years. And every year he seemed to have one fewer digit.
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:47 AM on June 23, 2010


This is really a monumental job, but to be picky it appears he chose to weld with the MIG process which is faster but results in crappier looking welds than the more labor intensive TIG process. This is only really visible when the doors or hood is open, but if you're going to make a work of art...

Although I understand that factory made aluminum bodies have historically been welded with an oxy-acetylene torch.
posted by digsrus at 7:11 AM on June 23, 2010


Awesome post! Gives me some perspective on my own various Toyota project vehicles.
posted by mosk at 7:29 AM on June 23, 2010


Japanese Nostalgic Car did a photo shoot of the Lexus LF-A and Toyota USA's own Toyota 2000 GT.
posted by gen at 7:45 AM on June 23, 2010


Here's Kissy Suzuki and her Toyota 2000 GT from You Only Live Twice.
posted by gen at 7:57 AM on June 23, 2010


"Now I weld quater panels."

I am such a pussy but I probably have a better marriage.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:59 AM on June 23, 2010


My apologies- I was mistaken. The 2000 GT in 'You Only Live Twice' was driven by Tiger Tanaka's assistant Aki (portrayed by actress Akiko Wakabayashi.)
posted by gen at 8:04 AM on June 23, 2010


thats dedication, got a friend who did the same with an old Marcos, recutting the chassis bit by bit to rebuild a new frame. Love to do this stuff if my garage was bigger.
posted by luckylarry at 9:13 AM on June 23, 2010


My efforts with various old cars and bikes look a bit pathetic in comparison.
posted by maxwelton at 9:55 AM on June 23, 2010


favorited just for this part:

1 of 377 351 343 ~350, vintage
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:59 AM on June 23, 2010


My favourite part is where he has to rework the windshield frame because the original windshield isn't mirrored left to right.
posted by Mitheral at 10:37 AM on June 23, 2010



posted by Kevin Street at 11:02 AM on June 23, 2010


This person is amazing! The craftsmanship is incredible. Replicating the precision of a factory (wipers! gas tank! headlights!) takes serious dedication, hard work, and a damned good brain.
posted by milestogo at 4:33 PM on June 23, 2010


Yipes. Me want. Me and this other guy had a Datsun 280ZX, back in the day.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:06 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Growing up I always thought Celicas and Supras were pretty awesome.

I have fond memories of riding in the back of my dad's early 70s Celica GT swinging side to side from the grab handles in the back seat as Dad fishtailed down a dirt road on the way to a catfish joint outside of town.
posted by fogovonslack at 8:10 PM on June 23, 2010


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