Bonnet Frame

Hot Rod Steel Scuttle

With the scuttle 80% done, this Locost was starting to look less and less Hot Rod and more 70’s saloon. I want this car to look like a modified late 30’s sedan, not like a PT Cruiser or a Morgan.

I’d extended the scuttle to add support for a pair of BMW 3 series e46 Bonnet hinges. This somehow made the whole bulkhead look like it had been cut from a modern car. As a newbie to metalwork, I was both pleased with what I’d achieved and somewhat disappointed at the outcome.

Originally I thought using an MG Midget windscreen was a cool idea and initially on the buck it looked fine. Now however, in steel, I wasn’t so sure.

The side extensions still need quite a bit of fab work as the vent for the heater need to pass through them. For now, the basic shape is there.

I’ve rounded bottom edges of the scuttle into the chassis. The reason being is, eventually the engine with get rounded aluminium covers to disguise it. There are some engines that are symmetrical and pretty. The fuel injected GEMS Range Rover V8 is best off hidden.

Bonnet Choice

I have a couple bonnets that I could use as donors. One from a ’39 Austin Eight, the other from a ’53 Ford Prefect. Neither bonnet was long enough and both were way to narrow.

Without a bonnet frame it was tricky to hold them in place, but it was obvious neither had close to the profile I wanted. The Austin had the closest of profiles, but I’d have to cut them up into many pieces.

I have them as a back up, but I think I’ll try to fab one from scratch.

I’d made a large U shape rim for the bonnet sides to hook over and the bonnet to slam down on to.

With the bonnet edge roughly in place, albeit too high, I’m a little happier with the shape. It somehow magically gave shape to the whole front-end.

All of a sudden, it’s starting to look a little more Hot Rod.

Limitations of a Wireframe or Buck

It’s becoming more and more obvious that a buck or wireframe has it’s uses, but will not solve all your requirements.

So far, of all the steel work I’ve done, only a 2″ wide strip around the windscreen would contact the buck. A buck, doesn’t tell you how panels join together and it doesn’t outline the substructure.

I currently have no idea of what is going to support the front edge of the bonnet surround and even less idea of the bonnet slam panel. Both of which will somehow have to blend into the fan shroud. Air flow through this engine bay will need to be guided by smooth, rounded steel panels. I know this Hot Rod has a Haynes Roadster / Locost underbelly, but I don’t want that obvious as soon as the bonnet is popped.

When I start the bonnet, that’s when my solid buck will find it’s role.
I can see the buck taking a proper hammering!

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