The DuMont Telecruiser

The Restoration

In the paint shop at Fishburn Auto Body in White Oak, Texas

The green goes on.  February 27, 2012.  One more color to go....
This is getting exciting!

It should look very Art Deco when it is done.

Feb 23, 2012, the roof now has color!

Getting ready to paint

It will be painted very shortly!  Hooray!


The disheartening thing about any restoration process is you have to make things look a  lot worse, before they get better.  That can be pretty discouraging.  So far, we have done a lot, but much of it isn't all that apparent to the casual viewer.  Some of the hardest jobs have been in areas where things are not visible, but they needed to be done.  Among the improvements to date have been:

Remove air conditioner and duct work from roof.
Install six new tires
Remove, rod-out and replace radiator
Replace carburetor
Rebuild starter
Disassemble, clean and paint engine
Rebuild oil pan
Replace all hoses (lots of them)
Install new fuel tank
Rebuilt clutch
Refinish drivers compartment
Removed multiple layers of exterior paint
Refinished and rewire power distribution panel
Remove bumpers and have them straightened and refinished
Polished stainless steel siding
And lots more...

To see how it is progressing in the body shop, just click here!

East Texas Paint & Body's Kat Stilley sanding the surface in preparation for paint & body work.  Unfortunately, they went out of business before completing the project. The good news is their landlord was nice enough to drive to Longview (from Houston) to allow me to rescue the Telecruiser.   Eventually, I persuaded my friend, Bill Fishburn to take on the project at his body shop in White Oak, Texas.  If you ever find you are in need of a quality paint and body shop, I highly recommend Fishburn Paint and Body.  They are good people.

The driver's compartment

Here is what the engine looked like before a lot of work

The Engine after some (actually, a lot of) TLC

The Westinghouse Air Compressor that supplies air for the brakes and horn.

Our good friend and neighbor, Matt Matthies, who is tirelessly working
on the restoration.

Removing the old air conditioner and duct work proved to be a huge ordeal. Shown is friend and neighbor John Morgan attaching the AC unit to a boom arm on a heavy duty fork lift.  It seems that was the easy part.  Getting the old unit loose was an entirely different story.  It did not want to go.

Eventually, it did come off, with a lot of "persuasion."

Now all we had to do was get rid of the duct work!

It starts to look better with all the roof junk removed.

Power-washing took of many layers of paint.  It seems it has had numerous color schemes throughout the years.

Power-washing uncovered a lot of interesting details like this "Please watch your step" sign.  We will make sure that this one is recreated on the finished version. Somebody with hand sign painting skills is going to have la lot of fun on this vehicle.

There is a lot of evidence of its "golden past," but we eventually had a big surprise.  It was not originally painted gold!

It seems it was actually a very dark green below the belt-line and gold above.  That would be a fashionable late 1940's color scheme.  

Better yet, the power washing revealed some of the original lettering.  Here you can clearly see the word "television" on the side of the bus.  To it's left is evidence of a rectangular "DuMont" logo and to the right, in Helvetica type, it says "Broadcasting."   It was too cool looking to not replicate on the restored version.