I believe my Chev looks a lot smarter with bumpers than without, but before I tell the story, I will let you judge the difference, starting with the front:
And now the rear
For many years bumpers were just a dream. There were none available on the Australian market and the idea of making my own never appealed to me. Gradually the thought of bumpers faded away as a good idea that would never see the light of day. All that would change with the discovery of EBay.
While sourcing spares for the 2007 wedding restoration, I came across a front bumper on EBay, the first one I had ever seen as they are pretty rare, even in the states. Managed to be the successful bidder, but it cost me an arm and a leg. A few days later I purchased a rear set of bumpers, though not quite as expensive. The seller on EBay would not ship outside the USA, so after a few emails, Bill Chestwood from Billy Possum agreed to receive the bumpers in California and send the to me via FedEx. When they arrived I was disappointed that they were a lot rougher than I thought, so to this day they are tucked away in the garage, and I intend to restore them and try to recover some of the purchase price.
A few months later I purchased a good set of front bars, but it was getting too close to the wedding so I decided to shelve the idea of getting them fitted in time, and put them away, only to be joined by a very good rear set that I picked up the week after my daughter's wedding.
The bars gathered dust until early 2009 when I decided the time was right to fit them.
Lets start with the rear bars which I suspect had been re chromed by a hot rodder a few years earlier.
A lot of work was required to straighten the mounting brackets as they were severely bent out of shape, and welding repairs were done by a good friend, Geoff from Knoxfield Welding Services as 2 of the brackets were broken. The four bumper irons were also bent, but were a lot easier to bend back into shape. Several coats of primer and full gloss black acrylic enamel were required to bring the mounting brackets up to scratch, and a few coats of clear were applied to the bumper irons. Fitting was a nightmare as there was no point of reference as every thing had been bent. So it was numerous fitting and removing until I was satisfied the look was acceptable.
The front bar had its own set of dramas. The support bar was a 29, which sets a lot more out from the car. A lot of of cutting and welding was required to convert the support bar to suit a 28 Chev, and was also done by Geoff from Knoxfield Welding Services. I did not have the $600 plus to have the front bumper irons polished and plated, so I sprayed them both in full gloss acrylic black enamel and a good friend Warren Hedges applied two very chrome looking pin stripes. In years to come I may have them fully polished and chromed, but for now they are fine.
So after 24 years on the road, my Chev finally had bumper bars.