The bodywork bogeyman (AKA why paint jobs turned out in 2 weeks are no good)

Anyone who has restored a car knows how tedious it is to hand your car off to the bodyshop for paint and panel work, and then wait. And wait. And wait.

I mean, this is your baby, right? You sweat over its well-being and you’ve spent months or years pouring over all its precious details. And now some guy has it away from your home garage and he’s hitting it with hammers, cutting into it, welding on it, and doing all sorts of other things.

But, this is a good thing! Think of it like rehab for your treasured piece of vehicular silliness.

A rush of crazy deadlines, huge work projects, and family commitments meant nearly 5 months had passed since I last clapped eyes on my Pontiac in person. As you could imagine I was really stinging to see where Brendan had gotten up to, as I’m now approaching the fourth anniversary of me buying the car!

I travelled the 2 hours up to Newcastle yesterday to have a look at the land barge and see what Brendan has been toiling away at for the last three months.

Firstly, Brendan has put in bulk hours into sanding and re-priming the turret to ensure it is bang-on straight and smooth. This is no easy feat given there are two character lines running across the back half of the roof, plus the sheer surface area is massive!


The next job on the list is to paint the door apertures, A-pillar, inner roof section, and cowl section between the base of the A-pillar and the door. Once this is done the doors and front guards can be re-hung, adjusted, and given a final block. 


The original trunk floor remains for now, but will have to get chopped out soon as it has a lot of rusted through pinholes. I will replace it with flat sheet as I am not concerned about originality on a bagged, EFI, custom-painted car.


Brendan has taken on a huge job with this car, working on 11 bolt-on panels on top of the car’s enormous shell. All of these panels need to have their dents knocked out, made smooth, primed, sanded and have their inner surfaces painted in body colour before they can be re-hung on the car. 


I have already posted the shots of the inner panels in their new colour back in May, but Brendan still has a huge job to get the outside Mickey Mouse before they can be sanded. He will paint the trunk lid and hood off the car as he says it will be easier to get even coverage across the gigantic panels this way. 


Brendan has been using these plastic blocks to check the panels are flat and true. The black plastic pieces are called splines and come in a variety of thicknesses, as this allows them to contour to the lines in the panel you’re checking. If you’d like to know more about these awesome pieces of technology, head over to MELOMOTIVE.

Pete Lamb and the Melomotive crew run training seminars on how to use splines, and also on metal fabrication techniques, which I have attended and found invaluable. Pete is one of the bodywork gurus who built concept cars for General Motors in Australia, including the amazing Efijy!


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