Editor's note: As anyone who has ever built a car under a deadline will tell you, be it a parts-all-there kit or one from scratch, things will invariably pop up to sideline the work schedule. Sometimes it is only a month; sometimes it takes years before you can get all the stars aligned again so you can finish what you started.
Such is the case with Last Chance Garage. This will be the last of the popular series of articles for a bit while author/builder Joel Heinke takes a break from writing his articles and concentrates on other life matters. We expect to have the conclusion of his series in Kit Car as soon as he finishes up the plug for his own GTO.
The rear luggage compartment on American cars is called a "trunk." On European cars it is often called a "boot." What's the proper name for the rear luggage compartment on a replica of a European car built in America? I'll leave that for you to ponder as I show you how to build the body opening and lid for the rear luggage compartment on my replica Ferrari 250GTO.
The GTO body style is often referred to as a fastback. The fastback body is characterized by a long, sloping rear window and a small trunk opening (more on top of the car than on the rear). On the GTO, the trunk opening is wedged between the backlight (rear window) and the rear spoiler, which has a very distinctive curved corner to provide space for a large, round fuel cap. The big quick-flip fuel cap on the original GTO covers a 4-inch tube to the tank and was designed for quickly pouring tens of gallons of fuel during pit stops. In fact, the spouse of an original GTO owner quipped one day, "You could drop your wallet down there," to which her husband replied, "I think I already have!"
The rear spoiler is already in place on my GTO body buck, so I use it as a starting point for measurements. The trunk lid rear edge is 1 inch from the spoiler base. The trunk lid sides are then lined up with the fastback body's lines. Masking tape is used to lay out trunk lid lines for a visual check prior to cutting. I double-check all of the GTO trunk lid pictures I have and make adjustments to the tape until I'm satisfied with the look. I use a small drill to make initial holes, then a jigsaw to cut out the opening.
While it looks like cutting the trunk lid out of the body would be the hard part, it's actually the easiest. Building out the lip to hold weather seals that serve as a water gutter is actually very tedious and time-consuming. I choose 1/8-inch plywood for this as it's fairly easy to cut with a knife and is somewhat flexible to bend with body curves, yet sturdy enough to stay in place while fiberglassing. I make a rain gutter by gluing a 1/2-inch-wide plywood piece 1/2 inch from the trunk opening edges. I'm careful to angle the lip around the trunk opening circumference so water stays in the gutter and settles to low areas where I'll put in drains.
The plywood is held in place with drywall screws and hot-melt glue. Once I'm satisfied with lip placement, fiberglass is laid-up over the plywood. It's actually too bad that all this is just a body buck, because the resulting lip has the look of a classic wooden boat. Well, the classic boat look doesn't last long as I fill in low spots with body filler and sand the lip smooth. I find it necessary to cut away parts of plywood body buck supports that cross the trunk opening in order to get a block sander to the lip.