I’d been looking at the Banshee lately and as much as I love the body style, there was still something missing to make the car look “finished”. Aha….. I know what it is….a rear bumper! Now a lot of people would look at the car and say…”Bumper?!?....are you crazy?......you don’t need any stinking bumpers! The car looks great just the way it is! “
Now while it’s true that the car DOES look great the way it is, a rear bumper would make it even better. Why? Well since this car has the look and styling of a classic 60’s European sports car, (Ferrari, Jaguar, Lotus, etc.) the only missing ingredient that those cars had, and this one doesn’t, is a thin chrome bumper fit tight up against the body. Look up a picture of any classic sports car of that era and you’ll see they all had ‘em. The exception of course, were the race cars. They were usually bumperless and that’s how you could always tell the difference between a street car and a race car.
So, after deciding that I wanted to build some bumpers for the Banshee….where to start? Well the key to building custom bumpers is to hopefully find something that is reasonably close and then just modify it to fit. That way you don’t have to completely hand fabricate the whole bumper. Well, it’s easy to say you are going to find something……not so easy to do sometimes! I looked at everything from early Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros, Corvairs, etc and nothing was a real good fit. Then I turned my attention to the European cars and started thumbing thru the Victoria British Catalogs. MG’s, Trumphs, Austin Healey…..hmmmmmm, now we are starting to get close.
Finally I settled on the front and rear bumpers from a 65-68 Trumph TR4 – 250 and figured that between the two bumpers, I could make a killer rear bumper for the Banshee. When the bumpers arrived, I started experimenting and found that if I took the front bumper and turned it upside down, it fit the contour of the rear of the Banshee PERFECTLY! The ends however, were another story, as they were too short, curved in too far, etc, etc……. so the ends were going to need some serious work.
The stock rear bumper for the TR4 had the right ends….they were just too long. So by carefully cutting, splicing, and shortening the rear bumper ends so they fit the front bumper center section, I was able to create a rear bumper that fits the contour of the body perfectly, and makes a huge difference in the overall look of the car. At this point I still have to add a lower panel to the bumper and have it all re-chromed, but you get the idea how it’s going to look. The best part is, if I ever want the “bumperless” look…… all I have to do is take it off. Now, what about the front? Hmmmmm ……not quite sure…..it DOES look really, really good just the way it is! However…….if we just took this…….and then added that……and then chopped up a couple of those…… But wait, that’s for another Blog…on another day!