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The Serious Freshening

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Exterior—New Paint

Lynn in Bugsby, September 5, 2005

Completed: 2007-07-13 — Started: 2006-02-17

IT'S ALL YELLOW; VERY, VERY YELLOW: Lynn's first view of the body after it's color coat on July 2 (left). He is impressed by the color; it is yellow, really, really yellow. On Friday, July 13, Kevin and crew gently place the body on the frame (center two photos). Note the Kissel Kar Klub shirts on some of the men and the Kissel Kar service center sign on the wall (red arrows). Lynn has left his mark at the shop. Andrew, Lynn and Beto wave before loading the body in the trailer for the ride home (right).

Work Completed:
On the morning of February 17, Kevin Schell (California Reflections) and Lynn inspect the body panels and discuss the job of refinishing the car in detail. While the resulting estimate for the effort is 50% greater than Lynn's expectations, Lynn feels confident that Kevin's shop will do a great job. After an extended discussion about the scope of work, payment schedules, completion schedule and visitation rights during the repair, Lynn signs the job order and makes a deposit for materials. Lynn and Kevin have agreed to a target completion date of April 17, with a do-not-exceed date of July 17. With luck, Lynn will still be able to reassemble Bugsby in time for the Kissel 100th anniversary celebration in June.

But noted in "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns (1759-1796), "The best-laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain for promised joy." Kevin and Lynn would make that July 17 deadline, not in 2006, but one year later in 2007.


NEW v. OLD: The new shape and color of the body is quite different from that of 18 months ago (left two photos). Similarly there is a big change in the appearance of the firewall (right two photos)

The discovery and restoration of the incorrect rear hatch and deck are detailed on a separate page. Suffice it to say the new paint project suffers significant scope, cost and schedule creep. It is not until July 2, 2007, that color is first applied to the main body. Kevin and Lynn agree that the completion date will be Friday, July 13, 2007.

Lynn and Kevin have been working on a story that they call "The Kurse of the Kissel!" Kevin first suggests the idea when Lynn tells him of serious illnesses that have befallen two other men that have been working on other parts of the restoration for Lynn. Kevin turns the story his way by arguing that he should never complete the restoration to avoid the curse. Lynn tries to turn the story to his advantage by suggesting that it's the length of time that these individuals took with with their restoration efforts that brought on the curse.

To add to the story, Lynn learns of the brutal murders of Andrew and Richard Kissel by their spouses. Andrew Kissel owned a 1923 Kissel Model 6-45 Speedster which he bought in August 2002 from a Christie auction of the car collection of William B. Ruger (of firearms fame).

Suddenly it occurs to Lynn that he and Kevin have arranged the delivery of the finished body pieces on Friday, July 13. Oh, my! Everybody should be extra careful on this day!


IT'S BACK HOME NOW: After 17 months in the shop, the body is back home now. In addition to the body work, Bugsby has gotten a new stainless steel cover for instrument panel (right), which is still sporting a protective clear-plastic covering.

Question: How many disassembled Kissel Model 6-55 Speedsters can you fit into a three-car garage? Answer: One, barely! The newly returned body has displaced Penny from her cushy home in the garage for the time being. There won't be enough space for a second car until the fenders and hood get reattached to the car. (The third bay of the garage is filled with work benches and machine tools. You didn't actually expect it to hold a car, did you?)

Numerous unanticipated improvements have been made during the refinishing of the body besides the complete reshaping of the rear deck and hatch. The firewall has been refinished and a flexible sealer has been applied to the joints between the planks. A new laser-cut stainless-steel instrument panel cover has been fabricated and installed. New door hinge pins have been made and the doors have been carefully aligned to the body. Cracks at the tops and bottoms of the hood louvers have been welded shut. (Lynn suspects that Bugsby left the factory with these cracks which formed when the sheet metal was cut and bent to form the louvers.)

Lynn can't wait to start the reassembly of Bugsby that can proceed now that the body refinish is completed. Yahoo!

Work Remaining:

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Copyright © 2018 Lynn Kissel
Last updated: May 24, 2009