View Full Version : 2475 Wendell Irby, junior member

05-09-2012, 09:35 PM
I've got a great guy in Springfield/Lorton area who does terrific work.
He's done extensive mechanical work on my MK2, replaced the transmission on my 56 T-bird, and has taken on my 65 Riviera too.
I also have 2 body and paint guys in Fairfax and Arlington areas, one very good and reasonable for the quality of work that he does.
The other did a very good, reasonably priced, repaint on my MK2.
Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
You've found a terrific resource with this forum!

Barry Wolk
05-10-2012, 09:43 AM
Welcome to the site. One of us can talk you through just about any repair on your baby.

05-10-2012, 01:10 PM
Welcome. As you start on the road to restoration, you will find the knowledge on this forum invaluable. My guess, among everyone here, any problem you might run into, the members have had the same issue and have a resolution. We are both "veteran" owners. I've had my Mark II since 1984.

Russell Joseph
05-11-2012, 06:59 PM

I have seen the movie and hope it is not as bad as I am expecting. In fact I have heard that it can be equated to a " Black Hole ". Thanks for the warning.


Joseph Stebbins
05-11-2012, 07:02 PM
My business partner has his 1960 Chrysler Saratoga up there right now and the work they do is impressive - as are their invoices...

You will not have any complaints about the workmanship. The other matter depends on the stoutness of your PFS.

Russell Joseph
05-11-2012, 07:20 PM
I have heard that the invoices are never ending. I am happy to hear that your partner is please with the work. It always amazes me what one will do for LOVE. Looks like this girl may be expensive! I look forward to a trip to your city for some goooood food soon. It is hard to beat!

Barry Wolk
05-11-2012, 07:25 PM
More like the "Abyss".

Sorry, just kidding. But seriously, I hope you keep it forever and use it in good health. In the end, that's all we got.

Joseph Stebbins
05-11-2012, 07:28 PM
I have heard that the invoices are never ending. I am happy to hear that your partner is please with the work. It always amazes me what one will do for LOVE. Looks like this girl may be expensive! I look forward to a trip to your city for some goooood food soon. It is hard to beat!

Remember cars are like jealous mistresses they want all of your time and all of your money...

As far as the visit - Come on down! If there is one thing we do right down here it is show someone a good time!

Wendell Irby
01-30-2014, 11:05 AM
Good Morning, Everybody,

This is my first new thread post, and I'm not sure how to navigate my way around the Forum, who all will see this post, or how to channel it to a specific audience.

I'm having my '56 MK II, VIN # C56C2475, restored. It's currently "in the queue," awaiting going in-work. I have no particular desire to "show" it, once restored; however, I have set a high standard for its restoration. Therefore, I will welcome your counsel and guidance on some questions I have:
1. Bridge of Weir (BOW) has merged with Andrew Muirhead, and I'm wondering if judges knock off points if the restoration is done with Andrew Muirhead leather vice BOW leather. Both are exquisite leathers and both are vat dyed; I don't know how a judge knows what leather was used, and I have found Andrew Muirhead colors more to my liking than current BOW colors;
2. I understand that no points are deducted, as long as a restoration is done with the same colors of exterior paint and interior leather that were originally available. My Mk II is medium blue exterior with medium & light blue leather, and I'll restore it in a dark blue exterior with dark blue and white leather. I have 11 or 12 blue & white samples from BOW/Andrew Muirhead, but I do not know "how" to match both exterior paint and interior leather to available original colors. The current leather grain patterns are different from the original leather grain patterns; do judges care what grain pattern one chooses, as long as it is "tasteful" and similar to the original grain pattern? How do I best match the exterior dark blue paint and the dark blue leather (and the dark blue carpet)?
3. Why does Jack Rosen NOT recommend a stainless exhaust system? I would have thought it would be superior. It's painted black, I believe, so does anybody care whether it's aluminum or stainless?
4. I have exhausted my efforts to find out what it means when the Mk II chrome "claims" to have been done to "3X the SAE Standard." I wanted to put appropriate contractual language in a contract with a chromer. I have gone to both the Ford Motor Company and the Lincoln Motor Division, as well as the Society of Automotive Engineers, and nobody knows what (specification wise) "3X the SAE Standard" meant back in 1956. Do any of you know?

I "live" on my computer; however, I haven't gotten used to closely following Mk II Forum traffic; therefore, I would really appreciate an email, if possible; I'll pick up on an incoming email right away: wendell.l.irby.civ@mail.mil

Many thanks,


01-30-2014, 01:43 PM
Welcome to the Forum.

I suspect you’ll want to become sufficiently proficient in navigating the Forum to really take advantage of the collective wisdom here as you proceed on your restoration. Using the Forum will make your questions and answers available to all the readers—the really value of the Forum. Just remember to start each time by going to New Posts and you should quickly get up to speed on the ongoing conversations and answers to your questions.

It seems to me that many of your questions are really only relevant if you plan to participate in LCOC judged events, yet you indicate no desire to “show” your car (unless, of course, you plan to flip your car after restoration and want to appeal to the widest audience, including those interested in LCOC-level cars).

I’ve yet to have a concours judge ask any questions about the leather in our interior (that includes some original leather—re-dyed—and new, non-BOW leather). While the difference between the old and new leather is largely imperceptible, I suspect the original leather has less grain now than when it was new after 60 years of drying out; but no judge has ever asked about it (nor about the headliner, or the package tray material, or the carpet loft, etc.—i.e. about any of the interior finishes that are so difficult to match perfectly). And, of course, no judge has ever noted that our car is now all leather, but came with nylon biscuits originally. An LCOC judge, maybe, not a typical concours or show judge…

Personally, I think Mark IIs should be finished in original paint colors to maintain era authenticity. On the other hand, some of the most stunning Mark IIs around now are in non-original colors (see, for example, Barry’s convertible). The key, a Mark II could presumably have been ordered from the factory in any color the customer desired, so I guess any color is fair game (as long as it’s not one of the new color-shifting paints, etc. that weren’t around in the mid-1950s).

Jack believes that the stainless systems are noisier than conventional systems. Yes, they’re painted black, so it’s not an aesthetic issue. The real question, how much time will your car spend in the weather after restoration and how concerned are you about rust/corrosion?

Please post pictures and let us all follow your restoration.

Barry Wolk
01-30-2014, 01:57 PM
The key to long life on a Mark II exhaust is drilling a few holes in strategic locations to let the condensate water out. I use my car all the time and have driven it in rain and my 20 year-old exhaust is still just fine. I'd go for the heavier-gauge steel exhaust.

If you're showing it in Concours events, nobody cares, because none of the judges are "ex-purts", as one of our former members used to say. The judges are a bunch of geezers that won't look under your car, because then they'd have to get back up. ;) The most stringent inspection was at Pebble, but they were more interested in fit and finish and working accessories than anything else.

My car has been in 60 shows and I've only been asked the color's name, not whether it's original or not. Plus, Continental would paint a car any color you want, so the point is moot.

As far as 3X SAE standards I'd say that falls into the same bunk category as running each engine on a dyno. Go for "show chrome" and you'll be fine.

Pat Marshall
01-30-2014, 05:53 PM
I'd be amazed if any LCOC judge could tell the difference between two leather manufacturers products. I frankly wouldn't worry about it.

My Mark II Mentor, former LCOC judge and Mark II expert Lowell Domholdt has always stated the standard is something that Continental could have done.

They couldn't have done something that was not in existance at the time - colors, materials, etc. However, the DSO's showed that Continental did do lots of stuff that was unusual, pinstripes, pig skin and shocking pink interiors, monograms, unusual exterior colors (Helena Rubinstine Lipstick Red, Liz's eyes, Lincoln (#RM143) Amethyst) contrasting button colors or whatever the heck somebody who was going to drop 10K on a car wanted done with it).

For sure there were no tri-color exteriors or interiors, cowbells, oogah horns or mudflaps, but there is a lot of leeway. Lowell has said if there is something that you like that was done on any DSO make sure you have a copy of the invoice with that DSO when you take it to the show.

Remember even Continental used vinyl in the interior of the '57s, (Not the entire interiors but in the lowers) and it wasn't BOW Vinyl.:)

Joseph Stebbins
01-30-2014, 06:29 PM
On the leather front I have been looking at samples for a year now and the closest that I have found to texture and finish is Garrett Leather. The pebble finish matches the grain on the kick below the steering column and the jack bag (good luck running down a jack and a bag if yours is missing.)

As far as finishes go, I agree that there is plenty of leeway given the DSO's. I am changing mine from a red and grey to a red and white interior. If the body comes out well enough I will paint it black if not it will be deep red.

Either way remember the car is for you to enjoy not for the judge - so do what you like.

Barry Wolk
01-30-2014, 06:39 PM
Black is the least forgiving when it comes to large body panels.

01-30-2014, 07:36 PM
I guess the "thanks" button goes away when older threads are merged...in any case, thanks again Pat for your unrelenting efforts to trace our collective car histories and for keeping the threads on the Forum in logical order.

Pat Marshall
01-30-2014, 08:03 PM
Thank you. Maybe the "Thanks" button is not a feature in the New Member Thread. I suppose I should know that.