After decades of building cars for other people and teaching metalworking skills to hundreds of people through my workshops, I’m finally building a roadster for myself. This will be a track roadster with a ’27 Ford-style body, but instead of using an original body, or a steel or fiberglass reproduction, I’m making my own aluminum body.

The first step is building a buck, the full-size model of the body. The buck will define all of the dimensions and contours of the body. Certain portions of the buck will be used to hammer the metal against for detail work, such as the making the flanges used on the edges of many panels.

I’ve given workshops on buck building, and touched on the subject in some of my DVDs, but many people have asked me to publish something on making the buck for a complete body, which is much more involved than making a buck for a smaller part like a fender.

I’m planning a series of articles that follow the entire project. Future articles will focus on shaping the aluminum panels to fit the buck. My body will be very similar to the original, with a few changes involving the internal structure and some other details. To get the project rolling, I borrowed an original body from a friend to use as a pattern.