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Old 05-18-2014, 11:43 PM   #1
26or27
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Default 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Is anyone familiar with the JB Donaldson fiberglass body for 1936 Ford roadster? I would like to verify the quality.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

I have been working 10 years on my '36 roadster project that has a Fairlane body (they are now out of business). (The long term of this build does not reflect on the quality of the body, I finished 2 other cars during that time.) My recommendation is that you take a trip to Phoenix and visit their facility and look at the body in person to make your judgement. Also, check with other guys who have built f-cars and see what they like and dislike in their bodies. Bracing is the most important part. In my case, I wanted a rumble seat and I did not realize that there was no bracing or anything between the rumble area and the passenger compartment. I had to build that in and I would have had them do that had I realized it before. Also, I had to build support in the rear for a stock spare tire carrier. Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:53 AM   #3
Karl Wescott
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

36tbird's advise is spot on. Visit JB's and make your own decision.

I would welcome a phone call to discuss what we do, and why we do it to achieve the quality of fiberglass we sell to help with background information for your decision. JB will agree with much of it, disagree with some, and use other methods to achieve some.

As 36tbird also notes, having provisions for features in the completed car can be a critical time saver for the assembler, and often cost little during manufacture. Develop a fairly complete plan of what you want in the finished car so you can discuss your needs with JB.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Try doing a search here as I believe there was a lengthy thread about them a while back.
Paul in CT
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

You are probably not going to get much better info then the two replies you already have.
There was a fellow Barner at this years Bash in Florida who pulled in with a '36 Roadster hotrod. I am not an expert on fiberglass bodies but it took me two days of traveling along with this Roadster to realize it was actually a fiberglass body. I don't know if the owner built or bought that car but if/when I remember his posting name I will let you know in case you would want to pm him for his input.

His posting name here is...KM/ROADSTERS
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

I assumed that you don't make a 36 roadster body because its not on your website. Do you have it available?
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

We do not make one... I was offering general information so you could make an informed decision.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

The original glass '36 roadsters and phaetons were made by Pat Mooney in Albion ,Washington. At some point the molds etc. were sold to Fairlane Automotive. I believe they are no longer in business. I think JB Donaldson may be the only one that makes them now. The ones by Mooney were steel framed inside, much like the bodies made by Wescott. I built a Mooney bodied car some years a go and it was a pretty good product.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Pat Mooney developed his roadster bodies in the early-1980's. These Mooney bodies were designed to replace steel bodies, and looked identical in most details. By 1991 Mooney had sold out to Mike Milano after building 60 bodies. Both owners used the "Automotive Specialites" company name, but the products had changed greatly after the move to Milano. Cost reducing the labor for the molds and jigs had missaligned the bodies, and resulted in real quality issues with the product. Mike Milano sold everything to Keith Ashley of Fairlane by 1994, and Keith ended up redoing most of the molds and jigs to address these issues. Ashley shut down Fairlane a few years ago, and recently the molds and jigs were sold (for pennies on the dollar) to a shop in the Southeast region who intends to restart production.

But, those original Mooney bodies are built in the Wescott style and are of very high quality. I have one on the road now (and for sale too).

Other than JB Donaldson, Heritage Hotrods and Deuce Customs in Australia make roadster bodies.

Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ View Post
The original glass '36 roadsters and phaetons were made by Pat Mooney in Albion ,Washington. At some point the molds etc. were sold to Fairlane Automotive. I believe they are no longer in business. I think JB Donaldson may be the only one that makes them now. The ones by Mooney were steel framed inside, much like the bodies made by Wescott. I built a Mooney bodied car some years a go and it was a pretty good product.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

We have the original Pat Mooney 1936 Ford fiberglass molds.They consist of Roadster, Convertible, Cabriolet, Phaeton, and a Boattail speedster. We are building two boattails for ourselves and would be glad to pull any of the bodies for interested parties. We are retired and doing all this stuff for the fun of it and enjoying retirement. We are also building frame packages utilizing Jaguar suspensions and have completed the jigs for construction of the frames.
I would be glad to answer any questions.
Here is a photo of the boattail from our molds. It has a stylized top designed by Rikster on the HAMB in this photo and this is the photo that hooked us.
http://www.hotrodsonline.com/Photos/boattail.jpeg
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Wow - that boat-tail is stunning!
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

HR40,
I er ah whoa.....that's a jaw dropper!!!!
Edsel would be jealous.
Charlie ny
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Does anyone make 3 or 5 window coupe bodies?
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:35 PM   #14
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Donaldson used to make a 3 window.
Paul in CT
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:41 PM   #15
hotrod1940
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie ny View Post
HR40,
I er ah whoa.....that's a jaw dropper!!!!
Edsel would be jealous.
Charlie ny
Speaking of Edsel, we have a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr front end that we are considering putting on one of the boattails. Actually I think Bob Gregorie would be more proud than Edsel. He designed most of the coolest bodies at Ford.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerlot View Post
Pat Mooney developed his roadster bodies in the early-1980's. These Mooney bodies were designed to replace steel bodies, and looked identical in most details. By 1991 Mooney had sold out to Mike Milano after building 60 bodies. Both owners used the "Automotive Specialites" company name, but the products had changed greatly after the move to Milano. Cost reducing the labor for the molds and jigs had missaligned the bodies, and resulted in real quality issues with the product. Mike Milano sold everything to Keith Ashley of Fairlane by 1994, and Keith ended up redoing most of the molds and jigs to address these issues. Ashley shut down Fairlane a few years ago, and recently the molds and jigs were sold (for pennies on the dollar) to a shop in the Southeast region who intends to restart production.

But, those original Mooney bodies are built in the Wescott style and are of very high quality. I have one on the road now (and for sale too).

Other than JB Donaldson, Heritage Hotrods and Deuce Customs in Australia make roadster bodies.

Steve
Per the post from Cornerlot on the sale of Automotive Specialties. I, Mike Milano, did NOT buy the business or build poor quality bodies. My work on the bodies ended with the sale of Automotive Specialties by Pat to a party in south/central WA. I too heard of the quality issues related the work AFTER the business was first sold, but that work was NOT done by me!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palouse Milano View Post
Per the post from Cornerlot on the sale of Automotive Specialties. I, Mike Milano, did NOT buy the business or build poor quality bodies. My work on the bodies ended with the sale of Automotive Specialties by Pat to a party in south/central WA. I too heard of the quality issues related the work AFTER the business was first sold, but that work was NOT done by me!!
Yikes, sorry Mike! I got my 'Mike's' all mixed up. It was Mike Morris who bought out the company from Pat Mooney. Sorry to use your name.

Steve
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Thanks Steve... I'm a little touchy on the subject. We did some great work there.

Interesting I even read your post. I was on the hunt for another glass 35/36 roadster body too. I have a meeting with a gent soon that is interested in building one. I'm on the hunt.

Cheers,

MM
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Some clarification on the status of these molds. There is not and never was any problems with the molds. They are in great condition and I am one by one mounting them on rotisseries. The problem was the interior framework was off, and we did not acquire any of the interior framework. We are building all new jigs and have a mint condition 1935 that we are using for measurements and copying. All glass work will be top notch and use multi layer and cross directional layup.We fully intend to maintain the high quality that Fairlane produced and no one did better glasswork than Fairlane. Working with several top names in the fiberglass business and looking forward to producing some cool stuff.

Last edited by hotrod1940; 07-07-2014 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1936 Ford Roadster Fiberglass Body

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod1940 View Post
Some clarification on the status of these molds. There is not and never was any problems with the molds. They are in great condition and I am one by one mounting them on rotisseries. The problem was the interior framework was off, and we did not acquire any of the interior framework. We are building all new jigs and have a mint condition 1935 that we are using for measurements and copying. All glass work will be top notch and use multi layer and cross directional layup.We fully intend to maintain the high quality that Fairlane produced and no one did better glasswork than Fairlane. Working with several top names in the fiberglass business and looking forward to producing some cool stuff.
Think this one through and do some test panels first. Our experience is that ANY woven or unidirectional fibers will tend to show a fiber pattern on the exterior, especially with extreme hot/cold temperature swings away from the temperature the car was painted.
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