All steel reproduction auto bodies are becoming available for the most coveted muscle cars and pony cars of the late ’60s. Plus, earlier classics like the 57 Chevy Bel Air are being produced as complete all steel bodies, body on chassis or even as a complete car.
Many really popular older cars can be built or rebuilt with a fiberglass body shell. Street rods come to mind and of course there’s the AC Cobra, which is probably one of the most popular and reproduced body styles ever. But some cars are not available in fiberglass for a very simple reason, the body is a stamped steel unit that makes up much of the structure of the car itself. There’s no separate chassis, subframes hold the suspension but practically everything bolts up to the steel body, fiberglass just cannot do that. All of the classic pony cars, Camaros, Mustangs and all the rest were mostly body with everything else bolted on.
Dynacorn Classic Bodies, produced a ’69 Camaro convertible body a couple of years ago and, as I recall, promptly ran into trouble with GM. After some legal wrangling, things were sorted out and the Camaro bodies were available for sale. Now they’ve introduced their Camaro coupe body which may have an even higher demand than the convertible.
What gets my own wheels turning is their ’67 Mustang fastback that is not out yet but coming soon. The ’67 is probably one of the best loved of the earlier Mustangs and was the basis for, what many believe, are the best looking Shelby Mustangs. That should be a real winner.
C.A.R.S. Inc. Experi-metal, Inc. is the company that produces the ’57 Chevy Bel Air. This body is slightly different from the Camaro in that they start with an original cowl containing the serial number, the rest of the body is then reconstructed using all new sheet metal. You essentially get a brand new ’57 Chevy, as a body only, as a body and chassis or as a turn key car, ready to drive. As with the Camaro, you don’t have to worry about bent and repaired or rusted out metal, it’s all new.
These all steel bodies play somewhat the same role as crate engines have over the recent past. Enthusiasts, who really want to drive one of these earlier classics but find body parts almost impossible to obtain, are now able to place their order and get an all new, all steel body, making their dream project much easier. If they drop in a crate engine, they’re well on their way. Depending on demand and how well each of these body styles is received, we may see many other models coming down the road.
Update: It appears the 57 Chevy bodies are not manufactured by C.A.R.S. Inc but are actually produced by Experi-Metal, Inc. who notified one magazine of the error in their story. Doing a bit of investigation confirms that to be the case. The C.A.R.S. website is very easy to mis-read in the way the whole body is described and everyone, from magazines to websites came to the same incorrect conclusion. C.A.R.S. distributes the bodies but does not actually produce them and in fact, there are currently two other distributors listed on the Experi-Metal website, Sherman and Associates and Cross Canada. Experi-Metal may wish to brand their bodies in some way to keep this from happening in the future or ask distributors of their products to say something on the order of “distributors of genuine Experi-Metal parts.” … Just a thought.