The body is in fine shape with the exception of the rear seat pan and the area around the transmission tunnel/firewall where some animal had attacked it with a lump hammer,
presumably to fit a different gearbox.. Then they cut the crossmember! The Mk1 yellow car arrived and its a sad sight. Nothing in the way of bodywork left, but I did cut out the
area around the transmission tunnel and the gearbox crossmember which will help in those repairs to the Bodywork. Sadly the rear seat pan was almost gone so that repair will be
difficult unless I can get some repair panels. The only other obvious problem is the front passenger floor/bulkhead where there is a hole. From underneath the floors otherwise look fine
but I will not know for sure until I get the sound deadner sheets off.
All chrome was removed from the car and inspected. Its all not awful but I think that once I have painted the car it will not be good enough. I priced re-chroming and its really high nowadays so I will need to be realistic, given the value of the finishied car and the fact that
I am not building a show car here. Front bumper is almost OK but overriders are dull. Rear bumper is just dull and has cracks so just not good enough. I'm really considering some S/S bumpers that area actually probably quite a bit cheaper than rechroming, maybe I can recoup
some of the cost by selling what I have on ebay. Three of the wishbone trims are all acceptable, I'll probably have to source a nice rear left though. The strips on front and back are all dull and some are damaged so reproductions will probably have to be bought. The front scuttle grill is OK
if a little spotty, but at $450 to rechrome I'll make that call later. The final pieces are the hardtop securing plates, which are awful. again I'll make a call later on weather to repro or rechrome these. The rest of the s/s trim, grille etc. is all in good shape so will be fine.
The body was away for stripping this week, very pleased with his work, and very pleased with this body. A few areas that will need work were found but as suspected this is basically a solid car.
There is some rust with holes in the lower front area of the left wing, the front valance will need attention and the rear wing to sill (rocker) has some pitting that will need to be addressed, plus the odd pinhole here and there on top of the sills, otherwise they are solid. So nothing too bad at all!.
There is some evidence of light body repair on the doors and bonnet where some minor dents were filled and 2 holes drilled for a slide hammer. On the hood there was an oilcan dent, popping in and out from a previous repair, I made my first ever attempt at heat shrinking, the result was not fantastic, some wavyness still but its no longer an oilcan, i.e.
if you push it in it springs back. The race now is to prep the bare metal and get a coat of epoxy on it to prevent rusting.
Time to start bodywork, Its been a long time so my bodywork skills will need refreshing. First was the drivers door which had a large crease in it. Leaving it alone was not an option as it would have taken 1/4-3/8 inch of filler, and thats not what I do! The door skin is almost unaccessible from the back especially at the front so I bought a Harbour Freight stud welder and I am very pleased with it so far.
I have never used one before but it was easy, and mostly got the crease out. I still needed to push the panel out some more but with no access from the rear I finally came up with the idea of blocking it to the interior panel and hitting through that, It worked well. The interior panel was not distorted much and whilst the door is not exacly smooth it has reduced the need for filler to the minimum.
I did have some oilcanning once I got it out, obviously the panel was stretched and after a bad experience with gas heat shrinking I decided to try the stud welder to shrink it, that went very well. I got the oilcan out and that is now my preferred shrinking method, not a lot can go wrong! I think that Stud Welder will see a lot more use before this is finished! I will probably come back to this again once my skills are sharpened to do some final adjusting.
No major dramas with the other door and the bootlid, It can be seen that the metal on this car is in fantastic shape. I managed to blow a small hole in the hood trying to shrink out an oilcan dent, This was repaired and this time I tried getting it out
using the stud welder instead, now my preferred method for small shrinks..
I had a go at the lip around the transmission tunnel, was quite pleased with the result, no metal tears etc. The lowest right area is rather pushed back, the floor and tunnel in that area are crushed and it will need more work. I will have another go at this area when I can get to the underside. I managed to beat out some of the easier dings and dents and finally got the whole car covered with a coat of epoxy, I did not bother with the valances as
they will need some attention and in some areas the new paint will have to be removed as I do the body repairs but at least its protected and I can take my time. The bonnet, boot and doors are now safely in the attic. Next job will be to get the car up onto the rotissary and get the suspension off so I can attend to the underside and front and rear valances