Breadvan_update_034: Coachbuilding Breadvan
Coachbuilding from aluminium
Coachbuilder Bas van Roomen starts with a flat plate of aluminium. He starts by roughly giving this sheet the correct contour. The tape template made earlier is key to do this. After cutting the sheet, the coachbuilder can only do three things to the aluminium: bend, shrink or stretch. Therefore, after planning every step of the coachbuilding process, the builder will stick to that specific logical order. To shape the panels shrinking and stretching in into place is the start. These are the earliest stages of coachbuilding. As a result, the shape is first styled roughly towards the final design. The surfaces are stretched by a powerhammer. This coachbuilt motorcar is shaped by other tools too. For instance, the panels are hammered on a sandbag. This is done by hand without machines.
Subtle lines running over the panels. The English wheel bent these into the material. The fine tuning of the surfacing is still a lot of work. However, the aluminium has now been cut and stretched. It has been bent into shape. A hammer and anvil were used for this. For instance, volumes, lines, kinks and openings are applied. One line at the time, one by one. But, note that each manipulation of bending, provokes a reaction. Subsequently, often the fender or roof panels have to be stretched and shrunk again. Just like designing the Breadvan Hommage, making it is also an iterative process. The rear end is a difficult part of the motorcar. Due to the clean design, the coachbuilder has to be very precise. If he doesn’t manipulate the aluminium properly, even a tiny mistake on the panel becomes an obvious defect.
To make the curvaceous body of the Breadvan Hommage is to discuss. Every sweeping line is made from flat sheets of aluminium. The work is based on our design sketches. Together we continuously discuss how to make the car look best. How does the light react on the surface transitions? Which design feature can be made even stronger? How can we integrate subtle features into the body work? Where do we need to changes the sportscar underpinnings? Coachbuilding is a continues dialogue. The owner of the car will is informed and briefed on many occasions during this process. The hands of the coachbuilder will make flat plates into beautiful three-dimensional surfaces. All shapes combined will form the Breadvan Hommage. In conclusion, through stretching, shrinking and bending the coachbuilder can achieve all complex curves.