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January 23, 2016 - 3:29pm

Update on Thomas Rocket Car: Sandblasted to bare metal

posted by Howard B. Owens in Thomas Rocket Car, batavia.

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The Thomas Rocket Car has been sandblasted down to bare metal as it continues through the process of restoration by a group of local antique car buffs who will donate the fully restored vehicle to the City of Batavia.

The car was designed by former Batavia resident Charles Thomas as a prototype of a car he was hoping Detroit would build in the late 1930s, but the car was considered too far ahead of its time and then the war came, so the Thomas Rocket Car is truly one of a kind.

It was built in Batavia.

The sandblasting was completed by Hillcrest Coating in Attica. 

Old World owner Dick McClurg said next he will fabricate a new front, driver's side fender.

"I always do the hardest part first," he said.

The bottom photo is of a print made by Pete Whyman from a glass plate negative of a photo taken by his father, Walter Whyman, sometime around 1941. The photo was taken in Williams Park. Pete Whyman showed up at McClurg's shop recently with the photos. Until then, nobody knew the color photos existed. The car must have been repainted shortly after Thomas completed it in 1938, because the vehicle was originally maroon and in the photos it's red.

For previous rocket car coverage, click here.

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