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1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible.

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Well, I decided that it's about time to start another build thread, so for the past few months, I've been toiling on another full detail, "kit bashed" project.

This time an old AMT 1964 Pontiac Bonneville convertible annual.


I started a considerable time ago by removing mold lines, drilling out the molded in head lights and having the bumpers, grille halves and wheel covers re-plated.

The model will have optional up top, (from a '62 Buick annual) and top boot for display options, and at this point, the color will be correct "P" code "Aquamarine" from MCW.


I have already made some progress on this project, so I will post the progress in a series of posts rather than just one.












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My first order of business was to find a suitable donor for all of the innards for this build.

On my previous '64 Grand Prix project, I used the AMT '62 Catalina for most of the guts, but being as I have a couple of spare Moebius '61 Ventura kits, this time I'll give one of them a roll.


The first task was to stretch the chassis slightly as the Ventura and Catalina sat on a shorter wheel base than the Bonneville.

I decided to make this modification to the frame and floor plate just behind the front wheels.

I wasn't sure whether to place the splices there, or somewhere in the rear of the chassis, but this seemed to make the most sense because although the bulk of the length difference appears to be in the rear quarters ahead of the rear wheels, this modification was easier, and would actually afford me a little extra room in the engine compartment between the back of the engine and the firewall, which seems to be a perpetual "bone of contention" for me.

Not only that, but moving the entire front half of the frame forward would have either required moving the firewall even farther forward, (it's almost too far forward already) or making even more modifications to move it back.

I think this will work the best.

















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I'll be following along on this one Steve! I too have a built annual-----had it for years, and it's screaming for a resto one of these days. I have the hardtop also, but that may be the one I restore first as I've always thought that roofline looked best on '62-'64 Pontiacs. 👍🏽

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Next, some refining and fitting of the up top, as well as the addition of the boot snap trim was required.


At the same time, I decided to add a little detail that kind of grabbed me on a few 1:1 examples that I had seen online, that being a molding around the fuel door.

I think it will add a little extra interest.












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It became apparent to me at some point while looking over the body, that AMT made a goof on the '64 Bonneville kits.

At least that's my assumption, although I don't have anything to compare it to.

But on my example at least, it had become obvious that the hood corners were not symmetrical, and neither was the cowl


The hood is longer in the rear corner on the driver's side than on the passenger's side, and as a consequence, the cowl thicker on the passenger's side as well.

This anomaly might have been missed if it were not for the fact that I began adding some panel lines throughout the body, and it became obvious very quickly that there was a variation in the thickness of the cowl in said corner.

So I went to work trimming back the cowl and adding material to the back of the hood to try to even it out.


It's looking better, but I may try a little refinement at a later date.













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Next I began adding a few extra bits under the hood, which included the top portion of the firewall as well as the inner fender "lip" for the hood to rest on.

I also began the engineering required to get the radiator bulkhead and radiator to sit where they needed to be, by grafting in the top of the bulkhead to the body.












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Looks good Steve. Is that anomaly only on the Bonnie convertible or is it on the hardtop also? 

I never noticed it on the Grand Prix I did and not on the Parisienne either of course as it's basically a GP with the top and cowl from the Impala. 

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1 hour ago, Can-Con said:

Looks good Steve. Is that anomaly only on the Bonnie convertible or is it on the hardtop also? 

I never noticed it on the Grand Prix I did and not on the Parisienne either of course as it's basically a GP with the top and cowl from the Impala. 

Nothing like this on the GP, but I’m unsure of the hardtop.

My guess is that the hard top might be the same, but we would need verification from someone who has one.

I had a hard top at one point, but have since traded it.





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As has become "standard operating procedure" with me, I'm not able to leave a interior alone, and in this case, the interior will be readily viewable, so it's even more on my radar.

The first thing on the list was to blow apart the original interior so that I can use some of the original parts on the Ventura floor plate.

Then I dove into the door panels.


I decided that, much like my last '68 Coronet project, I would scratch together at least a portion of the panels by grinding out and replacing the fluted portion of the panel so that it would be easier to replace items such as arm rests and window cranks. 

Likewise, I re-scribed and reshaped the pleated portion and replaced all of the trim and the piping around the perimeter of the fluted portion.

Some added material at the front kick panel area and the rear seat area, and a little bit of top mechanism well detail, and the door panels are nearly done.




















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Next, I began some work on the rear seat area.

A rear shelf was taken from a Monogram '59 Impala, and then the rear seat needed to be widened just slightly to fit into the newly shaped space. 

the "cheesy" looking rear seat speaker was also removed for replacement, and I began adding some seat "buttons".


The new rear seat speaker was fashioned from a speaker taken from the Monogram '59 Impala, the center was ground out and replaced with some PE grille.

A strip of aluminum and short pieces of wire were then installed to try to replicate a '64 Bonny speaker grille as closely as possible.














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The front seats needed attention in my opinion as well, so the first task was to cut the front "skirt" from the seat, angle it back, and re-install it.

Some sanding and shaping, and the ugly seat bases will look much improved.

The seats were then re-scribed all over to enhance details, and seat "buttons" added.


Next, the pleated portion of the backs were removed and replaced, along with some piping added.



















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Good to see you doing a build thread Steve, whilst the subject matter does not interest me I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into your builds.

Also I think many people are thankful for the knowledge and skill you share through documenting wip process.

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Thanks guys.


Of course, the dashboard is not to be ignored. :)


I started by first removing the Bonneville badge and then grinding out the fluted dash molding and fashioning a piece of rocker panel molding from a Revell '67 Chevelle to fill it's place.

Then I removed the better defined gauge pods from an AMT '65 2+2 kit to replace the originals.

A tail light bezel from the Revell '68 Charger will do nicely to replicate a dash mounted tach, and a set of new dash knobs made from plastic rod will help to make detailing the dash more precise.


I was originally going to upgrade the lower dash to console molding, but being as this will be a console delete 4 speed car, I decided to add ash tray detail in it's place.


Finally, a steering column collar and new ignition switch were added to the lower dash, and the defroster vents opened.

Panel lines and trim was also scribed deeper for better definition.























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Which brings us to my current position.


The top boot from the Monogram '59 Impala fits quite well in this instance, but I did want to add a little bit of material in a few places to make it look better, and to make it slip into place, and remain in place better.












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Always enjoy watching your builds and learning methods on how to overcome problems in my own builds. Thank you for the detailed information here. 

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Thanks guys.


I've got one front seat to finish up, a steering wheel to basically scratch build, and the interior should be about done.

That is except for making some arm rests, and making or robbing some window cranks, pedals, shifter, etc. :rolleyes:


Once the interior is done, I'll have the most difficult portion finished and I can move on to more body mods, and then begin concentrating on chassis and engine stuff.


Summer puts a real damper on bench time, so updates might be a little slow in coming.






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