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Fiberglass top for a Vello Rossa


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#21 Dan Juday

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 08:56 AM

Hey Larry, just an FYI.
You may already be aware of this, but Rory has prodused a prototype hard-top for the S30 and Z31 models. Getting a finished production unit from him is another issue though. It took me a year to get a dashboard and I asked face to face, AND it actually came from a kit owner that didn't use it.

So, ah, making your own is actually a good idea. In fact, if you produce a couple, I may have a few buyers for you. Recoup some of your investment.

#22 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 11:52 AM

Pictures avaialable ..Nezzie 76 adjusted the Yahoo setings from private to public. DUHH! We are on laying the fiber glass for the copy today..

#23 280Zone

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 12:14 AM

Cool, now the link is working! That top looks pretty cool, keep us posted as the project progresses.

#24 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 03:19 PM

Weather is against us today (cold and wet). A difficult time in getting the parting film to dry.We have the top mold and and the header flange mold in a storage shed with a space heater trying to cure the parting film. Would not be of much problem if the gelcoat was sprayed on.. With a brush application the wet parting film may get seperated from the mold and cause release problems after final fiberglass curing.If the parting film dries we can probably get the gelcoat on but no fiberglass lay-up today... Dan Juday... Nezzie and I have been studying your rear fenders and have came to the conclusion they are modified Vello Rossa fenders. He would like to have some on his V8 hybrid.Even if I could wait on a top from Rory.. I could not afford it at today's prices.

#25 Guest_Drewz_*

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 05:38 PM

Lookin' good guys. Ditto on making a couple to recoup some$$$$. Of course I would be in for the right$$$ Say 50 bucks!!!! LOL jus' jokin'. graemlins/cheers.gif

#26 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 09:07 PM

We spent time sanding and making small repairs to the 2 new molds which were caused most likely to acetone penetrating the tacky gelcoat.We run the fiberglass lay up almost immediately after the gel coat is spread on the work surface and get acetone on the gelcoat from placing the "dab" brushes in the closed lid acetone jar to keep them from stiffening from the curing gelcoat resin. Also some damage around the rear window from the red engine paint I used to smooth out blocking off the rear window hole. Managed to lay fiberglass in the header flange mold but the parting film inside the convertible top mold did not dry in time to apply the gelcoat.We use both green wax and a brush on parting film. Found it is best to spread gelcoat,lay fiberglass and resin all in one breath Will not be long now and the new top will be on the Vello Rossa.May just learn how to do this before our beginner's luck runs out. Dab.... ..don't stroke!

#27 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 10:50 PM

web page Some new pictures Jag flip top gas cap on Tomahawk. VW headlight ring on Vello Rossa, T nut and stainless steel hex button head to attach body panels . The prongs on the t-nut are removed and a hole is drilled into the sheet metal with the T nut mounted flush and welded in place. Cracked the new convertible top header flange from the mold. Best piece made so far.Amazing luck so far. Should have the top layed up in the mold soon.An oddity but too early to tell for certain but it appears the gel coat does not appear to fully cure if trapped or under masking tape. The masking tape is used to outline the work and keep fiberglass resin or gel coat from adhering to the surface under the masking tape.

#28 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 06:35 PM

Nate and I layed up the fiberglass in the mold for the new convertible top today.. Should be able to "crack" it loose Friday.We dispensed with the woven cloth and used mat exclusively with a lot of hand cutting and shreading.Also used the gelcoat as a wetting agent on the first couple layers of mat.The gelcoat compacts and lays the fiberglass mat down better and smoother than the initial wetting of resin on the fiberglass mat A down hill slide now. web page

#29 John Washington

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 06:59 PM

I wish that I'd known you guys were working on this...I have been so busy with the lawyers that I haven't had time to keep up with the posts.

I think we may be able to resolve our problems and get me up and running again on Monday.

I have a mold for a hardtop that was made to fit the VR and I have basically been selling them for cost, which is around $300. The top is just a shell to which you have to fit your own seals and latches. If you want to save yourself some trouble and are not too far along to stop before you hurt yourselves, let me know.

Direct email is best, as I don't have much time for surfing these days.

Also, for those of you wanting some history, Rick Hammond (aka 'Pablo Bondo') used to work for me and did a lot of the prototyping on the original Velo Rossa. Then he went over to the Dark Side and did some work for Dave Epstein at AZ Z. After all the fun he had there, he decided he needed some real brain damage, went into business for himself, and put together the Origin kit.

I believe that he had the Origin kit out long before the Z Therapy kit came on the market.

#30 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 07:31 PM

John .. actually we are having a lot of fun with fiberglass and learning graemlins/bonk.gif a few things. So far with knowing very little fiberglass fundementals, we have had some good luck. Actually we were scheduled to crack out the first copy from the new top mold today. After we complete the VR top shelter, a top will be made for the Tomahawk.I would like to make a unique dash replacement somewhere between the Tomahawk and GTO dashes..We are also considering ways to molest a 280 ZX or 300ZX with Ferarri appendages.Would not know of a handheld ES MFG chopper gun and about 6 miles of woven roving. BTW Rick Hammond spoke highly of you..

#31 John Washington

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 12:20 AM

Rick is a good guy...very talented.

Good luck with the project. Who knows, if you come up with something better than what I have, maybe we can work something out!

#32 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 15 December 2002 - 08:14 PM

Finally got around and cracked the first Vello Rossa convertible top out of our mold today. No unpleasant surprises either.Good smooth white gelcoat finish with no aligator wrinkling. I had read that if you applied the fiberglass resin and mat to a wet gelcoat the alligator wrinkling would occur. In my experiece this is not true but that acetone contact with gelcoat causes the wrinkling of the gelcoat.We used the gelcoat to wet in the first couple layers of shreaded fiberglass mat which really packs the glass fibers down onto the gelcoat with no hint of air bubbles.After two layers of gelcoat on the shreaded mat, we dished out the resin with more fiber onto the fully packed gel coat saturated fibers..We are patiently fitting the first copy of the Origin convertible top to the Vello Rossa body. Will get some pictures up because the trial fit reveals a very pleasing top addition to the VR body.We decided to add a small overlay on the top to cover the windshield gasket which will provide another weather seal to the covertible top in addition to a seal between the two flanges of the top and windshield . There is a gap about one inch across from the bottom of the convertible top to the rear deck of the VR.We had earlier made a flange for this "gapping" event that follows the exact contour of the VR rear deck We originally considered providing an angled contour to the base of the convertible top to cover the gap but will go with a flat lip from the bottom edge of the top to cover the gap onto the prefinished flange which will eventually become part of the convertible top.We have the windshield header flange fitted to the now slightly trimmed outside corners of the unattached new convertible top flange. We will glass in the outside corners of the convertible top flange for a closer marriage to the windshield flange. We will obtain the side window gaskets from a 80's Toyota Celica and then fit them and fiberglass strips to the side window areas of the top. Un-believable, but the new parts are coming out of the molds better each time.For two guys that have not a clue to what we are doing our luck is still running strong on this enterprise.

#33 ToplessZ

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 04:24 AM

Hey guys that is some awesome work and very inspiring. I sent you some email larry
Keep up the great work! graemlins/rockon.gif

#34 Guest_Drewz_*

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 08:59 AM

Nice can't wait for the new photo's!!! graemlins/2thumbs.gif graemlins/2thumbs.gif graemlins/2thumbs.gif graemlins/2thumbs.gif

#35 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 01:43 PM

If John Washington gets his molds back, what I would suggest is obtaining the Vello Rossa convertible top from him for $300.00 in addition to also obtaining the Vello Rossa separate fiberglass windshield flange which would leave only the convertible flange for the rear deck copied from your vehicle to be adapted permanently to the VR convertible top...... BTW.. the total center length of the "prototype" convertible top from the windshield rubber gasket to the rear deck covering the passenger compartment is approximately 43 inches including the 1 inch gap.I would assume John Washington's convertible top for the VR would be in the neighborhood of 43 inches and the Origin top slightly shorter but both in the same shape style.The VR top would also have slightly more height at the rear deck flange to work from (about an inch more than the Origin convertible top). The top has more than adequete headroom.

#36 Guest_trickz_*

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 06:07 PM

Tomahawk Z - I purchased a Velarosa hardtop and a
hardtop for a convertible "z" from John Washington. He told me they were not finished and
they were not. We've been working on them for several months. The top for the Jim Cook racing kit is finished and the convertible soft top is, too. (the frame and the top folds up and fits in the trunk)

The lines of the hardtop, which look like the one in your pictures, lacks something to be desired, but we are going to alter it, via changing the rear window to change the shape of the top. The Velarosa top now looks great and I am in the process of making a mold for the rear glass or backlight, and will fabricate my own rear glass.
This top is longer from the sideglass to the back of the top, giving the car a much sleeker appearance, and not so bluntly chopped off as the
other top on the Jim Cook racing kit.

I'll be glad to send you some pictures as soon as my friend feels a little better.

trickz - Ain't no 6 bangers here - we're packing 8!!

'72 240 327 4-speed flared and dropped
'78 280 400 350 turbo Velarosa
'73 914 283 5-speed flared and dropped
'87 944 LT-1 6-speed

#37 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 06:28 PM

I would be glad to recieve your pictures of the modified top.I did not understand your reference to the Jim Cook Racing Kit. Did Jim Cook offer a convertible Kit??

#38 Guest_Drewz_*

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 07:31 PM

DITTO THAT??? John if the hardtop is available from you or the mold I would be interested for sure. If it works either way for you. graemlins/hail.gif graemlins/hail.gif

#39 John Washington

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 08:14 PM

I got some of the molds back today and hope to have full control of the rest tomorrow. I actually laid eyes on those two top molds, so I know they are still there.

As TrickZ says, they are rough and require finishing, seals, and latches. Definitely a do-it-yourself proposition. Not trying to sell them short, but that's why I'm only selling them for my cost...that and the desire to support the customer best I can, until I can put together a nice top for which I can charge a lot:)

TrickZ, I'd love to see photos of what you've done. I'm sorry but I don't remember you...too much brain damage over the last year and maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, when I get the business back to the point that I'm can eat something more than peanut butter and Ramen noodles, I hope to put some time into documenting customer cars and making the information available on the website.

#40 Sleek Z

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 01:50 PM

Posted Image

Example of New 4 piece removable solid prototype top now being produced for Tomahawk Z Kit. Larger View
___________________________________________

I reviewed this thread today after several contacted me about assorted news contained herein.

You go for it Tomahawk. I've always wanted to get some hands-on fiberglass experience myself, but neighbors here would go balistic if they ever got a wiff of the fumes. Nevertheless, I am looking for a clandestine solution because, like you, I am quite curious about the process and it's creative potential related to some projects I have in mind.

Seeing that you've put so much work into these projects and many have requested to see your progress, it might be possible for me to work with you to build up an illustrated project-in-progress gallery for you at ZPARTS.COM, but I must caution that I am badly over extended time wise and updates might not be as quick as hoped for. Let me know if you are interested and I will give you some photo pointers for illustrating your project at it's best it will make everything "pop".

Welcome back to the Kit building world, John. You've been sorely missed during your brief absense. I am still interested in photo documenting interesting examples of your VR kits running aroung my area (SF-NorCal) if you can ever hook me up with the owners of the best examples. Harley mentioned a Guy in Davis, I believe, but that's all I know of. So far, all I have is that modestly finished Red one that you baby sat for the owner at the NCKCC Berkeley Marina show back in 1998?




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