BLACKBIRD (Skylark Convertible)

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A brawny beefy beauty....We gonna see some red stripes on the tank? Fauxtina to match the frame? Both? None?.....tune in next time for.....:D

Still wondering what the heck this is for.....:39:


I was wondering if anyone remembered that from way back in the beginning. There was a little pretense in that post, the intent was to reveal the color early without anyone being fully aware until later. A sort of bait-and-switch. The actual box was never in play. It's fun to plant little clues during the build off!

I had been trying to find a color code for that color without success. Then my friend picked this up at an estate sale and I was excited to have a good example to take to the paint store for a match.

Of course a lot of the original plans have morphed into something completely different as the build has evolved. I'm really liking the Batman color scheme at this point which is something I didn't see coming!

Some pistripes on the tank is not a bad idea.:39: I've still got about 24 hours left!
Get that bad boy/girl done!!
Awesome stance!
I've had this set of NOS military bars that I had planned to use that where very similar to the original Skylark/Bluebird bars. I was going to paint it match the original color scheme, but at the last minute today decided I didn't like the look with the Batcycle motif.

After sifting through what I could find in the stash, I grabbed this set with a curved cross bar that I found interesting in conjunction with the light switch pod. So I went with it.

For some reason it gives it more of a motorcycle look. I'm not really sure why I think that.:39:
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Got some good news and bad news.
The good news is that I completed a critical part of the build this afternoon! The bad news is that it's a skunkworks project that won't be revealed for a couple more weeks.:bandit:
I had mentioned this a couple of weeks ago and now I can explain.

I knew that the oversized tires were going to be a tight fit. That was the main reason behind the low profile "Chicago" fasteners inside the fender. But I discovered that the tires were just slightly too wide for the frame also. I had checked that early on but somehow concluded that they would work when in fact they didn't.
To avoid discussing the tires (I wanted to save that one), I quietly modified the frame and moved on.

Now that the tires are revealed and everything works, here's how I did it.

I cut a notch on each side of the seat stays and chain stays. Then cut and shaped some sheet metal to fill back in.

As usual I had my cousin to TIG weld the pieces in for me.


After filing and sanding the welds smooth, I had to realign the rear triangle because the welding heat closed the axel opening by more than an inch!

I was back on track! With the fenders and skirt guards in place, non of this can be seen. :ninja:
The final piece of the puzzle is in place and it's done! Just have to get some pictures later today when the sun gets low in the sky.

I've wanted to play with making a head badge for years so I decided to take the Bluebird headbadge as inspiration for the Blackbird.
bluebird badge.jpg

I cut a couple of blanks out of nickle plated brass, one to use and one for a backup.

Not having much time (this was done last Thursday), I burned a silk screen with a positive and negitive image of the art work and printed one of each. The reason for for two images was to have a back up if the etching failed.

As it turned out the screen printing was not good enough for moving forward with etching. I wouldn't have had time anyway. The problem was that the screen that I used didn't have a fine enough mesh to get the sharp edges that I would need. So even though the back up was not great, it doesn't look that bad unless you look close (or take close up pictures).:21:

The badge was the reason that I added the raised section down the middle of the light pod.


Getting the bend to look good took some time yesterday but it fits like a glove!

Since this has turned into a rat build anyway, I've convinced myself that the ratty screen job goes with the ratty frame! I'll probably try this again later though.:)
Perfect icing on the cake man!!!!
Love it!!!

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