Today was a BIG day in the 2CV Coupé project. After months of work on separate body sections, and endless head-scratching trying to imagine where each bit would start and stop, today we brought together the modules for the first time.
The heart of the new body is the central cage, which replaces the original body shell (roof, door frames and pillars, sills, and windshield bay). This is the section that we have been bending and welding for so many weeks. This section has to accommodate many original reference points, as well as the following customized aspects:
- fitting onto the new hand-built shortened chassis (10 inches, 25 cm shorter)
- the shortened roof length (less than 10 inches shorter, due to complicated geometry);
- the reduced windshield bay height (air vent deleted);
- our intention to lower the entire body over the chassis by 2 inches (5 cm), aka channeling
The day started with the central cage located and clamped to the new chassis.
We then assembled the entire front body section including the fenders, sail panels and hood. This assembly is referred to as a front clip in the body shop business. This section was located by the original headlight bar, which was temporarily clamped to the front of the chassis. That allowed us to move the clip forward or backward, to match to the lower edge of the windshield bay on the central cage, and to suit the location of the drive shafts.
We then laid the roof onto the central cage. The roof is not yet completely trimmed to fit the cage, to which it eventually will be welded. None the less, we were able to align the roof on the passenger side of the car.
Finally, we clamped the passenger-side rear fender to the rear corner of the roof, to check the alignment of the lower corner to the central cage.
As we proceeded, we got more and more excited as the parts began to line up, one after the other. Every time we took a measurement, it made perfect sense. When we realized how many ways we COULD have got it wrong, we could not believe how well the assembly worked.
Soon, we were able to stand back and appreciate the complete shape of the 2CV Coupé, for the very first time. It is so satisfying to see our original drawings transformed into metal. And we LOVED what we saw!
There is a long way to go, but this assembly has given us a lot of confidence that we are on the right path. Woohoo!
Take a look at these photos: