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John, you Collected another 54? I see in the background of your bracket picture.
Duncan, In short, no. My hood was in great shape except where the center support was. The lower part of the support was broken in half and the hood pushed down a bit. I cut it just below the curve on the top and it was broken just above the curve on the bottom. I fabricated a thick section of metal the right length and welded it back into place-feathering it back at the top and bottom and filed it so that it matched the original contour. If you rub your hand across it, or feel the thickness you can tell it was replaced but (because of my fantastic work--kiddin) it does not show up on a photograph. Sorry--but an easy fix.
Iceblade, My 54 Hornet Special Coup was a Mid-September build. If any of them would not have had the stainless ribs in the hood opening it would have been the "Specials." Since mine has them, I am guessing they all did?
I have repaired my hood in this location three times in 270,000 miles of driving. This time I made a bracket that fastens to the top of this reinforcement bracket and attaches to the bottom of bolts attaching the bird on hood. This will help carry the load when some one applies pressure to the bird trying to shut the hood.
Hope to get the hood finished paint and installed before Dec. then I can supply pictures.