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Try and Try Again

Chopping the targa top off the 914 was the easy part. Figuring out how to put it back together is the fun part. Over the last year, ( yes it has been a year), I have been obsessing over what to do about the area of the body where the b-pillar used to be. Here’s my first attempt at buttoning up the hole.

Healing the turtledeck: the first patch

Healing the turtledeck: the first patch

This first patch was simply a flat piece of 20 gauge steel laid flat over the the top of the cut and seam welded shut. This looks pretty horrendous. This is equivalent to giving the car a bowl-cut. I’m actually kinda ashamed and surprised that I thought the patch job would be this easy. This patch didn’t last long on the 914 before I ripped it out and tried again. On the second attempt I used paper to figure out where the steel would eventually go.

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Now that’s starting to look right. Using paper to mock-up the patch was a big help as I could cut the steel to match the pattern. Here’s what it looks like in steel.

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I’ll have you know that this patch, while not perfect, contains exactly zero Bondo. I pounded out the curve by hand and welded it in place with no filler. I was pretty happy with the improvement my skills as well as the improvement in looks. But,… the patch still wasn’t right. The turtle deck patch needed to look seamless. It needed to look like the car had always designed to be an open-top speedster. So, once again I ripped the patch out, and tried again. The results were much better, but that’s a post for another day.