Rotisserie Chicken…ahem…Volvo

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Short up-date but it took half the weekend to make the brackets that attaches to the car.

My grocery store keep telling me that their rotisserie chicken is the bestest. I can only assume it is because it is evenly done. Just like this Volvo will be evenly done all around because…rotisserie!

1961-volvo-jensen-p1800-in-rotisserie

To be able to repair and replace floor boards while standing up sounds like Ergonomic Bliss to me. All the sheet metal is in so it is time to start cutting!

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 19

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With the body back from stripping some less than professional repairs came to light.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door lousy bodywork

This door had a scrape on it and the honorable Drill, Bondo & Squirt Inc. drilled 200 holes and then filled with bondo. I have ordered new door skins.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 quarter panel more beautiful bodywork

Looks like the same body shop did this fine work on the right quarter panel.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 quarter panel bodywork

Also, check out this classy job on the bottom. Initially, I thought about just patching the bottom but the heat and general distortion from welding when installing a patch will always require some filler.Also, you end up with an unsightly looking seam inside the trunk. The plan is to replace the complete quarter panel for a factory looking job.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 drilling spot welds

In order to remove the panels I have to use a spot weld drill bit. This is tedious work and NOT so fun. To make things easier, I ordered a professional pneumatic spot weld drill.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 NOS fender

Can you imagine going to the local Volvo dealer and pick up an NOS front fender for a P1800??!! I just did. My local Volvo dealer had this 664372 on the shelf. The tag shows a stocking date on 1995!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brazing

Before I remove any panels I am taking tons of pictures. Here you can see that the front fender was brazed in place. So basically the P1800 fenders are welded, bolted and brazed!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rocker fender seam

Here is another seam that will be important to duplicate. The seam between the rocker panel and the fender. Small detail but filling it would not look correct.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 quarter panel front

This is another thing worth noting: The factory used lead to cover the spot welds on the quarter panel at the B-pillar. Normally car manufacturers are not “hiding” the spot welds in a location like this. This is just part of the documentation, I plan to duplicate this.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 right side quarter panel removed

Here goes nothing! Well, actually, it is something…the first quarter panel is off.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 right inner wheel well

The inner wheel well looks very nice except the very lower corner. I can just do a spot repair in that area.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 quarter panel spot welds

It was hard to see the spot weld on the outside on this panel so I cut the panel out and left a half inch or so. Now I can clearly see where the welds are located and I can drill them out.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ye olde quarter panel

Ye olde quarter panel

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 high spotwelds

Problem: When you drill out spot welds with the spot weld drill bit it will leave part of the weld in place so you have to dress and grind the surface so you have a smooth attaching point for the new panel.

 

spitznagel

Solution: The world famous Pneumatic Spitzenagel Spot Weld Drill Apparatus. This tool will remove the spot weld completely and you can set the depth so it does not disturb the remaining flange. You gotta love good tools.

Speaking of helpful apparatus…I ordered a rotisserie rack so I can work on the car in comfortable positions and not break my back while working on this car. Can’t wait to get it set up! If chicken is good on rotisserie cars must be too!

All I have to do now is remove and replace the other rear fender, rear back panel, rear support panel, rear side support panel, rocker panel, sub panel, rocker sill plate, front fenders, floor boards, battery box, bla, bla, bla!!! Easy right??

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 18

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Brakes

I managed to get the very last rebuilt early caliper from VP-Auto Parts, a left unit. However, knowing what I know now I would have just rebuilt my calipers. What precious information is it? Read on.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake caliper apart

Splitsville

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake caliper apart hammer good

The pistons were stuck in the bores but after a couple of days soaking in the vinegar I gave the piston a good smack. This may seem counter intuitive but it helped loosening the piston in the bore.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake caliper apart large plier

Using industrial size wise grips I was able to turn and eventually lift up the pistons.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake caliper apart gasket

This is the cool part. It is ONLY the seal that wears in the bores. On later model calipers the bore is fitted perfectly to the piston and it can not have any flaws or rust. In this case, all I have to do is clean up the groove for the seals and we are off to the races.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake caliper inside

I think I will take to money I save on rebuilding these my self and buy a blast cabinet and clean these babies to perfection. There is NO limit on how many tools a man can have.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 17

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If this is part 17 of this Vintage Volvo Tale..I wonder how many parts it will take before this car is back on the road?? 300??…500??  957?? Damn if I know…Oh well, we will keep keeping on!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rust free

Dippety-Doodaa !!!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 inner fender well

Wow…It is like is was 1960 again and the car was just made at Pressed Steel!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 clean metal

 

The rear of the car is very clean and solid.

I did say rust free earlier and that is technically true but we certainly have some perforation caused by rust. I also found some lousy repairs on both the doors and the quarter panels. I plan to replace all of them, no need to be cutting any corners at this point. I have to order panels now, more on this later.

 

In the mean time, I keep fiddling with the small stuff:

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 early idler arm

Only the early cars had this idler arm. It actually used needle bearings as opposed to the later models that use a bushing. To me this will help steering effort to a small degree.  As you can see on the old shaft, the most wear and stress happens on the top. The kit includes the shaft so all good.This was the last rebuild kit available so me happy!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 new parts

This is what $1200.00 worth of new Volvo parts looks like. This is the third of many “installments”. I think I need a separate shelf for all this to keep order and more important…my sanity!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 exhaust manifold studs

Hot Action shot! The heat is on.

The exhaust manifold studs were in rough condition so they had to be replaced. After 50 years of marriage to the manifold flange they were not about to divorce easily.

However, after introducing the flange to an Oxyacetylene Torch at about 1980 C and thus making the molecules really excited (and red) the studs reluctantly departed.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear brake drum cleanup

Before and…you guessed it, skipper…after shot of the break drums after a couple of days soaking in the rust removal solution. They will be powder coated with high temp coating.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 new caliper

I was able to secure one left side early caliper from VP-Autoparts and that was it. I checked with a local rebuilder and I was quoted over $300.00 per ea caliper!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 caliper pistons

My friend Gary Ramstad, president of the local Volvo club was generous and gave me these caliper rebuild parts. All that is missing is the large piston and I can get those from VP for 20 bucks.  As long as I can get the pistons out I should be able to rebuild them. The calipers are soaking right now, more later.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 springs

It is a pleasure to see that many new parts are actually made in Sweden. The new springs are made by Lesjöfors in Sweden.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 trans cross member

This is the transmission cross member. See that bend on the left side? I was certain that the previous owner took this fine car for a spin in some rough terrain. I checked under my 1964 parts car and it has the same recess, however it is factory pressed. What is going on here??

Turns out it is a recess to clear the speedometer cable. Jensen factory workers just took the stock Volvo cross-member, grabbed a sledge-hammer and beat it in submission. Chalk that up to another “early car quirk”

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 modified cross member

There is even a mark when they missed a little or got a bit generous with the sledge-hammer. Totally cool !

 

 

Volvo P1800 logga

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 16

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 paint and rust stripping

A lonely Volvo P1800 in a sea of Camaros, Mustangs and trucks. The body was dropped off in a “mall” of hot rod shops.

 

Hot rod shop

A quick peek in the hot rod shop revealed what is hot: MUSCLE CARS!! Pro Touring muscle cars is BIG. Let’s just say that Art Morrison is doing JUST fine!

OK, enough of that!

Since this is a unibody car I have elected to have the car dipped in order to remove all paint and rust. This treatment will remove all rust inside channels as well that you can’t get inside.

I have heard the anecdotal stories how the acid stays in seams and cause problems later. I discussed this in great length with the owner and he had not experienced any problems. This company has over 40 years experience with this. The last step of cleaning and neutralizing of the acid is the key.

65-Ford-Mustang-after-acid-dipping-2

Good eye there, skipper! That is not a Volvo. For informational purposes only, get it?

It is a rather elaborate process:

  • First it is submerged in a hot tank at 200 degrees
  • Then the car is cleaned with high pressure spray.
  • Bath that treats the rust and neutralize the paint removal chemicals.
  • High pressure rinse and clean.
  • Rust prevention coating.
  • Air dry.

Regardless, I plan to open up all critical seams, like rocker panels, front fenders, door skins, rear panel and rear quarter panel so all those seams will be exposed and I can clean all mating surfaces.

Once opened up, I can even touch up with sandblasting if needed. More on this later.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 hinge kit

“Hinge Kit” These are all the hinges and fastener needed to hang the hood, doors and the trunk. The body man will need this to line up all the panels etc.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper parts car

This is why parts cars exists!  This 1964 coupe with chassis no 10764 is resting behind the shop and it is slowly returning to iron oxide but before that process is completed I am saving many parts for our project. I did not have the rear bumper bar, bumper bracket and the chrome piece in between the bumper sides. Now I do!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper bracket

Of course I could not leave the chrome alone, I had to run some 0000 steel wool over the chrome. It still needs re-chroming but I feel better now! Don’t you?

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper bracket front 1

The bumper bracket looks like they will clean up good but it is what’s between them that worries me. Probably rust. They are conveniently rivited together!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper bracket front

Yup, rust.They will spend a day or two in the vinegar bath.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper bracket 2

The rear bumper brackets are riveted as well. Note the rivet head is flush on the rear bracket as they are flush with the channel they go in to. I have to make sure I duplicate this when it goes together.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle goop removal

Goop removing session number 543!!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle goop cutting

The goop on the rear axle is so thick that I can slice layers off…like a gyro !! Except it’s Swedish…Swyro! Glorious work!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear brake backing plate

It is pretty amazing how nice most of the chassis components are like this backing plate.It is still proudly displaying the factory semi gloss black. Not bad for a 56 year old car. It is still going to get blasted and powder coated.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 motor mount broken

Come on!! How can you brake a motor mount in a 90 hp Volvo. It was repaired by adding massive amount of brazing material. The parts car will once again step up and provide a replacement.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 idler arm

The early cars used a different idler arm and based on the profile on the arm, this is indeed the original part. I have chassis number 423 and the Volvo parts book tells me that the needle bearing still available are from chassic no 500 something and forward. Yet the specs on the bearings matches my early arm exactly so maybe I will be OK.

More later..

 

Volvo P1800 logga

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 15

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I am trying to catch anything that need to be done before it goes to body and paint.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 missing nut

Like this weld nut that decided to take a walk. This nut holds the upper panel on the door. Now would be a good time to fix it. Threads are 1/4 -20.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 weld nut

I enlarged the hole enough to hold a nut in place and then used my 180 AMP metal melting device. I doused the screw and threads with anti splatter spray to make sure I didn’t weld the bolt to the nut!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 weld nut in place

Nut job! Threads in place and all is well.

All chassis component on this car are semi flat black including the front cross member. On later cars, Volvo changed it to a blue gray color.

I found a perfect match to the black at my local powder coating company.The have a one time set up charge so it makes sense to bring in all parts for coating in one swoop.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ugly front end 2

It is amazing how many little parts are on one car! Like the front end, after disassembling I have another hundred…or so…parts to…ugh, to clean and keep track of.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 front spring compress

NOTE spring compressor!  PLEASE NOTE: The front A-arms are holding the front springs under EXTREME pressure. DO NOT unbolt the ball joint or A-arms without taking precautions. If this spring was to let loose it could seriously harm or kill an individual. If you are not comfortable with this task, take it to a professional.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 front end blow apart

Sometimes I wonder why I do this :-/

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 A-arm petrified

Petrified! The dirt and grease have become petrified over 50 years.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 A-arm clean

OK, this is a bit of overkill but I like clean…I plan to blast and powder coat everything anyway.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 cross member

Front cross member ready for the next step. I will have it dipped in the rust removing solution as well as I want any internal rust gone.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake stud removal

Volvo’s service manual tells me that the minimum thickness of the rotors in 12.2 mm. These were less than 10 mm so these are going in the recycle bin. The early cars had different rotors and they are no longer available. Here I am pressing out the studs so I can separate the rotor from the hub.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake hub

Rotor and hub.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake rotor difference

Here you can see the difference between the early style (left) and the later style. The “hat” is 2 3/16 tall compared to the 1 3/4 height on the newer style. The old style lasted through chassis number 6999.

I have been told if I use the newer style caliper bracket, I can use the newer rotor. However, I also have to use the newer style backing shields and I would like to keep the original stuff. They looks very different and they are in excellent condition.

I have some ideas…more on this later.

 

Now I have to inventory all parts so they can be accounted for when I bring them to powder coating. Tip: Take lots of pictures!

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 14

Hinges and Hardware Rust Removal

I have about a month before the body leaves for stripping and body work. The body man will need all the hinges as he will test fit of doors, hood and trunk so I am getting them cleaned up.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 hood hinges

These are the hood hinges. Looks like something you would use for a barn door. They cleaned up well on the rotating wire wheel.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door hinges

These are the door hinges, they look like something you would use on a very big barn door!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door hinges close up

After a slow dance with the wire wheel these cleaned up well. Here you can see the brass washers used to reduce friction in the hinge.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door hinges pin

The door hinges have some wear so I have to replace the pin. Looks like they are held in place by “deforming” punch blows.

Hardware Rust Removal

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rusty bolts vinegar

I plan to reuse as many of the original bolts as possible for originality. Whether it is BUFO or Rubery Owens they should go back where they came from. This means I have to make them look new again. I am trying various forms of cleaning and rust removal, everything from just plain vinegar to Evaporust.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 part cleaner

Dunking rusty bolts in rust removal solution is one part of this job but it does not remove paint. I borrowed this vibrator/tumbler cleaner from a friend and it will help me make the fasteners look new again. I am using two kinds of media. I taped in to the floor as it has a tendency to take a walk when in running..

To learn more about this I Googled “vibrator cleaner” and that gave me results NOT related to rusty old cars. Think before Googling! Just saying!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rusty bolts

This is what I started with.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 bolts after vinegar

This is what the above hardware looks like after one night in vinegar. They look better than the bolts that was treated with Evaporust. So good ‘ol household vinegar wins.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 shiny bolt

Here they are after a night in the tumbler with walnut shells. Looks fantastic. This will be a great base when I have them plated.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 shiny bolts

Here is a whole bunch of shiny stuff. Satisfying.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 part cleaner pyramids

This is the more aggressive media that also removes paint.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ugly front end

I have about a month before the car go car to paint stripping I have plenty of work to do. The front end will be blown apart and restored.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 13

We don’t trust rust!

From Wikipedia: Rust is an iron oxide, usually red oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture. Rust consists of hydrated iron (as in an old Volvo), oxides Fe2O3·nH2O and iron oxide-hydroxide (FeO(OH), Fe(OH).

The next exciting stop in the restoration journey is to remove this stuff!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ready to go

Since this is a unibody car it is not easy to remove and stop rust inside the “frame channels”. By dipping the whole car is rust removing acid I can get all the hidden rust dissolved and then a protective rust preventative coating can be applied.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 mystery penny

After disassembling the doors I turned them upside down to empty out all the junk. I noticed a round copper object in the pile. I thought it was a penny. I was curious what year penny it would be.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 mystery volvo logo

Turns out it was a small brass or copper Volvo logo. I have never seen this before. It has very nice detailing on it. Can it be a top of a shifter? A lapel pin maybe? I button on a Volvo coveralls??  If you know, contact me!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 empty door

Here is the door completely disassembled and they are going to enjoy a bath in the rust removing soup as well.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 visor chrome

Anything that needs to be rechromed have to be completely disassembled. These are the visor arms.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 to be chromed

The “To be chromed” box is growing. This will not be cheap!

Got some family stuff to deal with so it will be a couple of weeks until I can bring the body to the dipping company. Stay tuned.

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 12

The body is finally stripped:

As mentioned in part 11, I discovered that the top bolt holding the vacuum tank was a Phillip head screw and obviously installed BEFORE the fenders were installed.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake tank screws

After a fair amount of “fiddling” we got the screw out. If you read up on Volvo 1800 history you will learn that the bodies were made by a company called Pressed Steel a few miles south of Glasgow. They were then sent on to Jensen for assembly.

Some smart ass at Pressed Steel grabbed a Phillip head screw for the top mounting of this tank as I am sure it was installed before the front fender was welded to the body.  Just to really mess with my head, they used hex bolts on the lower mounting point. Oh well!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake tank

This was an interesting surprice after I got the tank down. It felt very heavy. Guess what? It was full of break fluid. About two liters to be exact. I am going to guess that the brake booster failed at some point and the vacuum started to suck in the brake fluid. What is amazing is how much brake fluid the owner must have been adding to the brake cylinder.

I feel sorry for the poor owner that had to add fluid to that little master cylinder as the fluid was mysteriously disappearing! Maybe this was going on over many years, who knows.

The Jig is up!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 frame jig

I built a metal frame and I added support beams that will hold the body to the frame so it can be transported to paint stripping and body shop.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 empty body

I sacrificed my lawn tractor trailer for it’s wheels and also the beam that connects to the tractor. It is going to stripping in late April 2016.

Comparing equipment between the 1964 parts car and this 1961 car reveals some subtle differences.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 speedo

Like the tachometer for example. The red line on the 1961 is at 6000 rpm. The red line…ish starts at 5500. That is code for: Hey Sven, you better start thinking about popping this baby in to another gear or your push rods will start denting your hood!

By the way,  these gauges are just gorgeous!

 

1964 Volvo Jensen P1800 speedo

This one is not so gorgeous but it is from the 1964 parts car.  The red line starts at 6500 rpm. I guess Volvo got a little braver or they got better valve springs…or both.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 fuel gauge

Also, the fuel gauge is different. The indicator stems from the center unlike the ’64 model where it is off to the side. Not a big deal but I want to make sure I don’t mix them up.

 

1964 Volvo Jensen P1800 fuel gauge

1964 gauge. See how the needle stems from the side as opposed to the center.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 trim piece

Another note for the nuance department: The metal trim piece that is located inside the car on the top of the B-pillar was made of aluminum. (top) The later cars had this made in stainless.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 modular shop

Modular shop. Having the axles on the wheel dollies help when shop space is tight.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 key lock

I finally got the ignition lock cylinder back. I was very excited that they were able to make a key but the pretty chrome fascia was now sporting a big scratch. Idiots!

I will be looking for a new cylinder I guess. Got one? Early style with small cylinder diameter…please  Email me

Folks along the way:

One of the fun aspects of playing with old cars is the people you meet along the way.

Having the same interest is reason enough to spark a conversation between two strangers. Maybe they have that part you are looking for or vice verse or just comparing notes in general.

Dave Lucas in Columbus, Ohio checked in with me. He is knee deep in a restoration of a 1963 Volvo P1800. This is the before picture:

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Dave’s P1800 is chassis number 6065 so I am thinking it was assembled in Sweden. The transmission and engine has been rebuilt so now he is working on the body and interior. We look forward to updates.

 

Lucas 1963 Volvo P1800 dog

We know Dave is a good guy as he is also a dog person. Here his best friend is checking out the dismal back seat! “I think I will ride shotgun in the passenger seat”

 

Gary Ramstad 1967 Volvo 1800S

Gary Ramstad from Seattle is almost finished with his 1967 Volvo 1800S. He named it “Puzzle” as the assembly of all the interior pieces resembles a puzzle.

Mo later…

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 11

It is absolutely amazing when you strip a car body of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…there are still a few things left but now we are getting close.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 vac tank

Here is one of the items that I am NOT looking forward to deal with.  The early cars had an extra vacuum tank for the brakes. I am not sure when Volvo dropped this. This unit is “conveniently” located under the left front fender. It is also “conveniently” bolted on using Phillips screws…facing the fender! Wish me luck!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 insulation remover

The air hammer turned out to be an excellent tool to remove the sticky insulation. Hold at a very shallow angle and do not do this on an outside panel.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 cleanup floor

There! Pretty clean!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 cranky nuts

The cage nuts under the passenger seats were cranky and put up resistance to the point that the bolts broke off. I guess I would be cranky too if I was caged under a seat for 50 years! I drilled out the spot welds and now I can replace the nut and cage.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 paint remover

After 50 years there is always a chance that the seam between fender and body may have some rust hiding. The only way to find out is to remove the lead. You don’t want to start grinding or sanding in lead. Like the good folks in Flint Michigan can tell you: Lead is BAD. You don’t want this stuff flying around in the shop.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 lead seam

Using paint remover I can see where the lead is located and then I can melt it out and dispose of it properly. Most local recycling facilities can take lead. Also, your local gun range can dispose and recycle lead. Don’t throw this stuff in the garbage as it can contaminate ground water. Consult a professional if you need help with this.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door panel new

I think I worried about the availability of the interior as I ordered the kit very early in this resto. I was worried that with such low numbers of early cars out there it may not pay to re-manufacture for ever.

Anyway, I have it now and it looks great. The camera can’t really capture the chrome vinyl on the bottom but it is just sexy.