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Aluminium Bodied Spitfire GT Print
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John Bonnett
May 4, 2011, 7:51am Report to Moderator

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Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this Forum and I'd just like to introduce myself before outlining my next project.

I'm in my late 60s and have been involved in motorsport and engineering all my working life. Having retired, I set myself the challenge of learning how to gas weld aluminium and to learn the skills of metal shaping; quite a tall order for someone of my age but I'm getting there having built a double curvature body for a Classic trials car.

My latest project is to build a hand formed aluminium body using a GT6 as a pattern onto a MK1V Spitfire chassis and running gear.

It will be some little time before I can make a start but I will post pictures as the work progresses. In the meantime, I just wanted to say hello.



La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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May 4, 2011, 10:17am Report to Moderator

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Hi John- interesting project, sounds really interesting.  

"They may be drinkers Robin, but they're also human beings"
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May 4, 2011, 10:42am Report to Moderator

Steve Weblin: Forum Moderator and Blogmaster
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What type of style are you going for?  An aluminium bodied GT6?

PLEASE help us to maintain a friendly forum, use Report post button if you see anything you are unhappy with. Thanks.
Steve Weblin - AKA vitessesteve Forum Moderator and blogmaster

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John Bonnett
May 4, 2011, 1:24pm Report to Moderator

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Thank you both for your replies and interest in my project.

I shall get as close as I can to a MK3 GT6 body and I hope within the next 3 or 4 weeks to have one as a pattern. I'm buying the GT6 as a complete car although a non-runner with quite a bit of bodywork to be repaired. As a sub-project, I'd like to get this back into reasonable condition and onto the road.

The body tub and especially the scuttle of my MK4 Spitfire is very rotten so instead of rebuilding that, I'm going to make a steel frame onto which I'll build the body. This will have the advantage that the sills will be non structural so they can be made in aluminium. I'll try to source a GT6 windscreen frame rather than making one or repairing my Spitfire one and using that. The one area of the build that will be a real challenge is the bonnet. There's a huge amount of work mainly in the bits that don't show such as the inner wings with all the indentations and scallops. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. I'll probably start by making the sills and a pair of rear wings and maybe leave the bonnet until later!!


La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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May 5, 2011, 10:43pm Report to Moderator
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I have heard that Canley Classics may have a few alloy panels knocking about that they had made at another company In Coventry? They may all be gone now.
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May 5, 2011, 10:51pm Report to Moderator

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well when you do decide to make the bonnet,....make me one

beer tokens at the ready.
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May 6, 2011, 10:18am Report to Moderator

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Hi, Not entirely sure what you're attempting here but it sounds ambitious. Don't mean to insult but have you looked into the legalities?  If you want to keep registration simple do not cut or weld to the original chassis.  Your steel frame will have to be bolt on - sorry if you already know all this, if you don't just ask.  This sort of thing is getting more and more difficult to do legally.  Sounds like a hell of a lot of work to me but I struggle to patch wheel arches.  Good luck to you.
Just as a point of interest you may find a thread on interesting.  It is listed under "Non RBVs" and is entitled "GT12" - it is the build up of a Jaguar engined GT6 Mk2 in a basement on Prince Rupert Island...tell 'em Jaydub sent you.

Spoodling Harleys, a Zed Thou' chop, a '36 Austin hot rod, a Scooby Do pick up, a '67 13/60 and an old soapdish in the wilds of N. Wilts.
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May 10, 2011, 11:34pm Report to Moderator

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John, this project sounds nothing but pure awesome, can't wait to see how it turns out. Don't think I have to say it, but pics are a must?  

If you're forced into using steel panels such as the windscreen frame or bonnet due to complexity and a lack of pressing equipment, be careful about galvanic corrosion. There ARE ways around it though.

my new little triumph spitfire website!

trying to trace 1974 Mk4 Spitfire PKW155M - anyone know anything about this car?
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May 11, 2011, 12:02pm Report to Moderator
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I looked  into an alum alloy bodied GT6 with a couple of companies who do load of alloy body's for classic cars and all said that if I ntended to use it on the road and not just as a race car I would be best riveting it together. Reason being as it was not a mono body and was being mounted to a chassis if it was welded it would shake its self to bits. This companies know their stuff so I gave up I think Canleys had some alloy panes made up and sold off some on ebay they may have some left.?
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John Bonnett
May 16, 2011, 12:58pm Report to Moderator

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I've just returned from a few days holiday so hence the delay in my replying. Thank you all for your input and interest.

Jaydub. Thank you for that. I have all the necessary information from the DVLA regarding radically modified vehicles. The chassis will be absolutely standard and unmodified in every way. The body will bolt to the chassis using the same pick-up points as the standard body, and as all the Spitfire running gear will be used, it will qualify for maximum points although only eight are needed. So there will be no worries over the dreaded IVA and keeping the original identity of the car.

Bainzy, I'll certainly post pictures as we progress, (or not!!!) Thank you for your advice about the galvanic corrosion. I'm not sure yet whether to make a screen or use the Triumph one.

That's an interesting thought Hugh, riveting it together. I'd rather not go that route but I do understand their reasons for their recommendations.

I'm intending to build the body on a steel tubular frame so that it is well supported and as rigid as I can make it. The sills will be non structural and in aluminium. The bonnet too will be fully braced. I'm intending that none of the aluminium panels will be stressed. Should it all fall to pieces thaen I'll be the first to say that it should have been riveted.

I'm collecting the GT6 later this week. The car is very rough but alongside the Spitfire project I'm hoping to do what's necessary to get it back on the road.

Finally, as I'm actually making a standard body albeit in aluminium should this thread be in the Spitfire/GT6 section rather than Specials?


La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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May 16, 2011, 5:21pm Report to Moderator

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John, seen the aluminium panels on Ebay? Just wonderin'. (No connection to me, etc. etc.)

Do not touch the glass. Do not approach the glass. You pass him nothing but soft paper - no pencils or pens. No staples or paperclips in his paper. Use the sliding food carrier, no exceptions. If he attempts to pass you anything, do not accept it. Do you understand me?
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John Bonnett
May 16, 2011, 6:32pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from smithy
John, seen the aluminium panels on Ebay? Just wonderin'. (No connection to me, etc. etc.)

No, could you email me the link @

La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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John Bonnett
May 16, 2011, 7:21pm Report to Moderator

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I've just seen the rear wings on Ebay. I don't know if these are the ones mentioned above but if I can't do better than that I'll take up knitting!!

They are paper thin and what a price.

La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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John Bonnett
May 16, 2011, 8:55pm Report to Moderator

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I've just re-read my last post and must apolgise if it came over as arrogant and insesitive to the work that someone has probably done their best with. I'm not sure how the shape was obtained but it does look very much as if some kind of pressing was involved. He does mention splits which can easily be invisibly welded but 1mm thick aluminium is certainly not that easy to weld and for the asking price one would reasonably expect the panel to be ready for paint without needing welding or hammer and dolly work.


La Coupe Florio 2015
GT6 to Spain

Located Whiddon Down Devon
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Paul Spencer
May 19, 2011, 12:19am Report to Moderator

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I can't believe the last comment

Quoted Text
the work that someone has probably done their best with

I'm not at liberty to say who's work that is but these are pressings. just think about that for a second. You don't knock them up in a shed.

Please let me know of anyone who can do the work affordably, it would be a great help to me and a couple of other people who are busy trying not to be ripped off. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ALLY WINGS FOR 100 QUID A SIDE HERE. Just think about the cost of the sheet. Think about the price of steel ones that don't fit. Ally bodies are for people with Aston Martin wallets. Read the description you will see that it is open and honest. Then look at the wings and I can assure you they are worth every penny even with a little retrospective corrective work. Look they are off the same presses as steel panels [ don't you get it .... haven't you wondered why it's 1mm ally when it would normally be thicker for bodywork ...

I think you'll find nearly all ally panels need work and are finished off once riveted in place. as the metal heats and cools it deforms, inevitably. These are perfectly shaped a fact which is what I don��t understand about these comments. How are you going to make precise panels out of a single continuous sheet of aluminium then?

These panels were  pressed using the wrong aluminium and the wrong tools and they are the wrong bloody panels for me anyway! I don't have flared Spitfires. If you look at the price of steel panels and can find ally panels at a comparitive price please let me know becasue I'm missing a trick here.

I would suggest that buying three correctly formed/shaped wings in aluminium with imperfections due to the wrong pressure/material for the presses but which can be quickly and effectively corrected at a price based on offers on  �100 pounds per panel is a f***ing good price. Especially if you knew how much they owe me (yes they are mine) you're welcome to come round and have a look, Bring your knitting becasue I need a bonnet too.

And I am NOT INTERESTED in making money. Turning a couple of thousand quid I can't afford into some bits of metal I didn't ask for or need pretty much proves that. I'm just sick of being ripped off and losing money. That is why I was reluctant to put these panels on Ebay. People would assume that it was a revenue stream and it most certainly isn�t. I've sat on the bloody things for ages. These are a huge loss taht I can't affod. If they sold at 300 I would still lose 200. So I don�t think they are expensive.

To be honest if there is anyone out there with a genuine project and the ability to do something with them and maybe give me a little advice because I haven't got a a clue about what I'�m doing:

I will give them a pair of aluminium wings. One of the four sets I have. Two have been retro-fitted for the two 1964 Sptfire GT4s leaving me with two, one was to be spare and the idea was to sell one pair to mitigate the colossal cost

PM me.

That's a genuine offer. Club members only. I'll pull the bloody things off bloody ebay and only none-knitters with a genuine project can have them. They are not to be resold. I haven't got much left but I do have my own twisted iintegrity.  I'm close to Stratford on Avon.

Yes, that comment has caught me at a bad moment. I was a little chippy anyway ...

They don't look good in the photos, as shiny things reflect ... they have been roughly snipped out but they're the exact shape and size (obviously). So if you can tell me where I can buy perfect aluminium wings, already painted for £100 a side I may just pop down there. As this is expensive for ally, can you let me know how much you pay for steel? As ally runs around three times the price about £50 fully fitted and painted I guess?


Quoted Text
another day older and deeper in debt

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Triumph Torque    Cars    Specials  ›  Aluminium Bodied Spitfire GT

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