My fingers hurt and my back aches (AKA why stripping a car for paint sucks)

If you undertake a restoration on a car, and plan on doing much of the prep work yourself, spend a king’s ransom on good quality gloves and hire assistants to help you clean around where the glass and trim went.

To get my car ready for the upcoming paint and panel work I had to pull all the glass from the shell, and remove all the stainless trim so the painter could get stuck straight into stripping the old paint off. While the glass came out easily, cleaning the dirt, grease and sealant from behind these areas took hours and shredded my fingertips.

The front and rear screens came out easily once I had run a box cutter blade between the rubber seal and the glass. The glass then lifts straight out, but be careful as it is very heavy on these old cars.

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Removing the glass is key to discovering any hidden rust. Thankfully there are only 2 small spots of tin worm in the windscreen surrounds. Unfortunately, I found a large, heavily rotted section under the passenger-side roof gutter, which will take some intense work to remedy.

Pulling the glass out is only half the job, however. You need to then put some gloves on (ideally black nitrile-style, with heavier duty fabric gloves on top) as you have to clean out all the dirt and sealant from the channels the window rubbers sit in. In my case there was inches of dirt and sealant, making it a very messy job to scrape it all out using flat-headed screwdrivers, then wiping it down with a rag soaked in thinners (you can also use Wax & Grease Remover).

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I used two ratchet straps to secure the bonnet (hood) as the hinges are still in the boot (trunk)

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With all the trim, glass and body features stripped off the Pontiac was ready to be picked up by Luke from Full Tilt Towing. It was then driven to the factory where it will be paint-stripped to bare steel, have the bodywork done, and then painted the new colour…

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