Page 6 - SAMPLE RIVIEW Jan Feb 2015
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Tales of a 1966 GS frame-off Project in a series part vi i BY JASON ZERBINI By February 2014, the shop contacted me to come back in to review progress and other finish details. The factory finish on Part VI, published in the July/August 2013 Riview covered resto- the underside of body was a combination of a gray-looking ration of stainless trim, engine start-up, wiring harness, HVAC, primer; overspray along rocker areas from factory paint color stereo, and instrument panel on this ’66 GS factory dual-quad application; body schutz (undercoating) in the driveshaft tun- car. The project is now in its fourth year. The body shop has nel, above axle, and in wheel wells; along with the haphazardly been the biggest holdup, followed by responsibilities of daily applied asphalt based blackout paint used to cover the lower life. Body shop delays are common, and my best planning did chassis extremities. Recreating this plethora of finishes had me not avoid them. questioning its practicality. Authentic yes, but not aesthetically Body update pleasing, so I deviated from factory in this instance and did the underbody and firewall in satin black. Those from whom I The body portion is often the most challenging part of a obtained advice all agreed. restoration. Recall that the body shell was on a rolling cart and all bolt-on panels removed. The metal work was completed and I delivered the body and all pieces, already in epoxy primer, to the shop in May of 2012. I tasked the shop with filling imperfections from a few weld repairs, and final paint top to bottom. When that was complete I transported it home for assembly. Since I had all the metal work done prior to delivery, I hoped that would equate to less cost. Any time a car is taken to a shop for body and paint, you should clearly define your quality expectation and not just cost. I wanted a concours-level finished job and cost would be based on actual time and material. I would accept whatever it cost to get there. This can be risky depending on the shop and how much you trust them. Anyone who does body restoration knows it’s very difficult to estimate labor when perfection is the required outcome. I went this route to avoid any corner-cutting tendencies in the shop from trying to meet a fixed price. Shops can’t lose money; if labor turns out to be more than quoted you may be asked to The following week I went back to the shop and the underside pay more or get a sub-standard job. and firewall were painted. It looked flawless to the point where they repaired the smallest of surface imperfections. In early After I asked for this level of quality, the owner made sure I March, I got the long-awaited call saying the body was painted understood the difference between a quality paint job and and ready for pickup. Some of my excitement was tempered be- a concours-level job is many hours of “blocking.” Blocking cause I was in the middle of building a large two-level barn, and is standard terminology for the process used to get surfaces doing the work myself. With spring weather approaching, my perfectly smooth with zero imperfections. Higher-skilled labor is priority was to get the building complete enough for use before assigned and even the smallest defect is not acceptable, so there the following winter. The barn project actually requires more will inevitably be some “re-dos.” All add cost. Body condition hours than this car project! This means no work on the car until and paint appearance is typically what a car is measured on, and January 2015 when it’s too miserable to work outside. because this will be the last major car project for me, I wanted no regrets. I managed to get the body and panels home and stored without any damage. Painting a body prior to assembly has some risk Hallelujah! In December 2013, after 18 months, body shop but I feel it provides a better end result on a high-level restora- work on the car was finally underway. The shop asked for a tion. A big plus is that a restored chassis with body attached paint chip to match color. ROA Tech Advisor Darwin Falk assist- does not sit around a body shop collecting dust for months. ed with that. I decided early in the project that I would choose the ’66 factory color I liked best because the original gold was The following week, I completed the nerve-wracking process not my favorite. Over the years I’ve learned a more attractive but of getting the body off the cart and onto a stand, moving the non-code-matching color can actually increase value as long as it chassis underneath, then lowering the body onto the chassis. was a color offered for the year and model. So, why not pick my I did the work solo with an engine hoist and a custom-made, favorite? In January, the Sherwin Williams paint representative adjustable-height wooden support system. I managed to get visited the shop to help match the Shadow Turquoise chip. The only one mediocre photo during the whole procedure as I was first mix, exact to the original code formula, was not close. So so intensely focused and nervous so nothing was damaged. began a lengthy process of trial and error, requiring many test The body is bolted to the frame and the fuel tank and lines are sprays. Eventually, they nailed it. installed. That’s where it sits awaiting my next move. 6 January/February 2015 The Riview
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