Polishing aluminum skin on 60 year old Cooper FIII streamliner? Need help.

Posted: January 13, 2012 By: Reynard

Home Forums Ask Eastwood Polishing aluminum skin on 60 year old Cooper FIII streamliner? Need help.

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    Reynard

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    Hi. I unearthed this 60 year old Cooper FIII streamliner in the New Mexico high desert. I was orignially a 500cc formula car, but when the SCCA did away with the class it ran in, most were either scrapped or a lucky few were re-bodied in hand formed aluminum, fully enclosed, single seat, streamliner bodywork to keep them competitive in international racing for a few more years AND were also successful in a number of Land Speed Record attempts.

    The car had been stored on a patio for fifty years, minus engine (Norton, Prestwick or Vincent) and gearbox, outside under a tarp. Fortunately, it had become the target of grafitti which helped to preserve the aluminum skin. The skin was welded into one piece for strength and cannot be removed without cutting.

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    Most of the information on polishing aluminum is for small parts and a buffer. Even though the car only weighs 500 lbs, I can’t hold it up to a buffing wheel. I have tried to carefull clean and gently polish the RF fender by hand to see how the aluminum has held up, but really want that “blind the other racer” look on the skin, as the car was originanly raced (paint weighs a lot on a 500cc racer) back in the day.

    Also: Would mit be okay to have it media blased (if so with what media?) prior to polishing?

    Any help would be appreciated. I really love the car, and want to do right by it.

    Andy Anderson
    andy@redballgarage.com
    Fort Worth, Texas

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