Jump to content
240260280

Fibreglass Hood

    Recommended Posts


    Hard to tell from that photo, and many FRP hoods/bonnets tend to look similar in my experience.

    Factory FRP parts were a bit of a moving target in any case due to constant evolution, and I've seen design changes on the hoods/bonnets. Construction method and material is one thing, but if you look at enough factory FRP parts you do start to see a vernacular and that can help to pin things down in the same way that the work of a particular artist can be identified by his techniques and even his individual brush strokes. And - like fine art - provenance is very important. Before trying to identify an individual piece you'd want to have some clues as to dates, how it was acquired and where from. Big panels are expensive to ship, and - certainly here in England and I imagine the case in North America - there were plenty of people who could take a mould off a factory steel panel and start producing composite versions for much less than a factory item would cost. 

    I've found the early factory FRP parts to be very nicely made, and perhaps more 'precise' than similar period race/rally FRP items from privateers or aftermarket suppliers. I guess you could say that they are more towards aeronautical type quality rather than nautical.

    I'll dig out some reference photos. Here's one to start. Hinge bracket area on a factory FRP bonnet. Note the characteristic woven 'cloth' roving and steel bracket bonded into it:

       

    Factory FRP bonnet-1.JPG

    Factory FRP bonnet-2.jpg

    Factory FRP bonnet-3.JPG

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Notice the difference of the edge between Hoover's hood with a turned in lip, and the FRP hood with its thickened edge.

    Alan, how would you compare the construction of Nissan's FRP and Lotus bodywork?  I have been looking at a lot of Lotus' lately and I'm seeing striking similarities.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks a million Alan!   That photo was from 2003 when I first got my 280z and 240z were more of a curiosity. It was local and had Fred Flintstone floor but I just recalled it had a fibreglass hood.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, 26th-Z said:

    Alan, how would you compare the construction of Nissan's FRP and Lotus bodywork?  I have been looking at a lot of Lotus' lately and I'm seeing striking similarities.

    Yes, the 'factory' Nissan parts resemble the contemporary Lotus 'race' parts to my eye. I think there was a difference between the Lotus road cars and the Lotus race cars, and the road car stuff was certainly beefier than the race stuff. The Lotus race FRP parts/bodies I've seen were - I believe - made by Specialised Mouldings (they made for other companies such as Lola and GRD) when Lotus moved premises from Cheshunt to Hethel, whereas the early Lotus roadgoing FRP stuff was sturdier and perhaps not as refined.

    The quality of the Nissan FRP parts is similar to what I've seen on gliders. I took some original Nissan race option parts to an FRP specialist here in England for some repair work, and they remarked on the quality. They were quite surprised that the parts dated from the early 1970s, and pointed out the finesse in the detail areas. Quite time-consuming work, they said.

    Here's a couple of photos of a (repaired, and in primer) factory 432-R bonnet:    

       

    PZR-bonnet-1.JPG

    PZR bonnet-2.JPG

    I would imagine - from looking at it - that this was made in two pieces, with the outer skin section made in one piece and then the inner section (with the steel hinge brackets, prop bracket and the captive nuts for the male catch mechanism moulded into it) was bonded to it.

     

    Edited by HS30-H
    added
    • Like 2

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    That inner section would consist of the perimeter only going by what can be seen in those photos. For any weight savings to be worthwhile care has to be taken to use the bare minimum amount of material, the bonnet on my 280ZX is a nice piece of Japanese work, light but stiff enough. A lot of Ebay type gun and run parts offer no weight saving at all.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, 260DET said:

    That inner section would consist of the perimeter only going by what can be seen in those photos.

    Pretty much the same structure as the factory steel item, as per my description.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I have a FG hood from the early 70s that has the same workmanship. I need to go look at more closely after seeing this pictures.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

    ×
    ×
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.