"Riggs" My 1964 Ford Falcon Ute (lots of pictures)
I've been a bit of a lurker on here for a while, so I thought I might show my build I've currently been playing with. It is the first car I've tried rebuilding, so I'm learning everything as I go, and making mistakes and fixing them as I go. But I think I'll start from the beginning.
This is my ute in 2000. Dad bought it for me for $50 at a clearing sale (country auction), and I was using it as a paddock basher. I started to strip it down, and strip some of the paint off, but being about to finish high school, it kind of got away from me, so it was left in the back paddock and there it sat for another 10 years.
Fast forward ten years, and I'm now married and have a backyard of my own, I hooked it up to a car trailer, and drove it from Rural Sydney to Adelaide (anybody who'd done that trip will know the fun it is). And dropped it off here. That was May last year...
I figured give me until christmas last year, I'd be able to have it on the road. Didn't go according to plan.
But I started stipping all the surface rust off, and cleaning down the body. I sprayed it up in etch primer, followed by a coat of Red Oxide Paint, it's out in the weather because I don't have a shed big enough, but the red oxide primer keeps the moister out of the body.
After stipping it down, I thought it was time to start on rust repairs. Which I discovered why it took so long to finish, I had no idea at all how much rust was hidden in the 47 year old car. I'm kind of glad I didn't know, but if I did I probably would have never started on it.
And trust me there was far far more.
Never welded a day before in my life, I bought myself a cheap gasless MIG off ebay, and started doing some horribly dodgy repairs on my ute. I didn't discover most of the bad bits in the photos yet, but I did a few practice welds, and started on the ute...
And then came far too much practice, most of it on the ute, because I had plenty of bits to play with. I'm pretty sure I've made the gasless wire people very rich.
But the reason for the ute being named "Riggs"
The guy it was bought from, he didn't want his wife getting the ute in a nasty divorse, so he sat on his balcony with his shotgun and started taking shots at the ute. So it had bullet holes along the lenght of the ute, but I cut them out and welded them straight again, so like riggs from Lethal Weapon, he was shot, and healed up nicely.
And more rust repairs...
^^ That one is still my worst welding experience, it was upside down, underneath the ute, with spot of molten welds constantly falling on me, was not fun^^
But with that frame rail completed, I stepped it up to the next stage.
I borrowed a car rotissier from a friend, and proceeded to hook it up.
I stripped down the majority of the underside and painted it up with POR15 (if you're doing any resto project, look it up).
Which is when I discovered the ungodly amount of rust. Pretty much the entire rear of the ute needed to be replaced. It was either holy, very thin, or recovering from a dodgy repair.
I won't go through all the photos, because there is a lot of them, and I won't go through all the rebuilt bits, because there is a lot of them. But after 4 months of long painfully annoying welding. And me wishing I'd bought a gas MIG welder.
I had a few more body repairs to do, but they were childs play after reconstructing the whole rear underside of the car.
And I got the Ute off the rotisserie finally, and almost killed myself discoving the bolts that hold the bumper in (where the rotisserie connect to) had rusted out. So the entire weight had been holding up by a few very rusty bolts. It was like a scene from blue's brothers where they step out of the car, and everythng falls apart.
Which is when I could finally, and happily say, the rust repairs were finally, and very thankfully finished. Which I think anybody who looks at the photos will agree to.
So I started on something more interesting.
I want the ute as my daily driver, so it'd need air-con. There were a few options, but I bought an XF falcon to pull all the engine and drive train from, so I'd be taking all the goods from that. But the 1964 XM had no sort of air-con in it, so it needed to be built first. So I started on the air-con vents. I had a few bad trial runs, but ended up with this.
And I also started on the fuel filler. The original was a big clunky manual spin one that I never really liked, so I went and cut an electronic fuel filler from an EL falcon. I fiberglassed up the XF spout.
And welded it in.
Which is where the current build stands.
My next job is cutting out the tray. It's rooted, and I'll be welding in supports, and then wooden planks, and then making a hard tray lid.
The interier will be getting everything modern, full leather everywhere, custom roof lining, power windows, locks, cruise control, rain and light sensor, crossflow engine from XF falcon, disc brakes, LPG, reworked dash, air-con, fiberglassed speakers, and more.
Sorry for the massive amount of pictures, but believe me when I said I left a lot of them out...
Holy crap mate you've done well! Much respect on taking on a big project and learning as you go along - I'll be keeping an eye on this build\restoration thread!
Hands Dirty +100kw
that is awesome mate, keep it up!
Thanks guys. I really had no idea about what I was getting myself into. But since the rust repairs are done, I'm a much happier person. I still have a massive list of stuff to do, but no more rust repairs!
I definitly do enjoy playing with my ute. Get some time to myself to just potter along and play with it, don't need to worry about anything else. My wife says I get grumpy if I don't get time to play on the ute in the weekends.
Although I don't think my neighbours like it that much. Angle grinders can be noisey.
Calipers Painted +25kw
This is the kinda thing I will probably end up doing one day although I have already picked up a lot of the skills I will be needing and I will learn many more before I get to the stage where i'm ready to take on something this big. I just hope whatever I decide to rebuild is nowhere near as rusty as your falcon. Good work mate I can't wait to see how your proceed with your build.
Hands Dirty +100kw
damn! This is epic. Love seeing the old girls getting built by amateurs... keep it coming i say! Those welds are shocking, but such major props to you for giving it a go and sticking to your guns! I will be facing a similar task one day, buying and restoring an XP falcon for a friend of mine...
Anyway, keep up the great work, i'll definitely be watching this one closely!