September 2020

Issue link: https://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1286507

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Page 19 of 47

SEPTEMBER 2020 20 hardening of the finishing materials. By the time all the prep work was complete, the tally was nearing the $4,000 mark. including ordering extra paint for inside surfaces, a couple extra quarts to have on hand for future repairs, shop materials, hazmat disposal fees and taxes. My feeling was this was a fair deal. There was absolutely no upsell pressure. I had chosen not to 'open a can of worms' and left all the previous professionally done body work on the back of the car alone. $4,000 seemed like a reasonable amount to cap this experiment since perfection wasn't the goal. Perfection means the painter guarantees it will have no defects, which had cost me over double this amount on prior projects. Perfection is also impossible to guarantee when painting over existing bodywork and paint, which is what made this an experiment where I assumed the risk. Minimizing risk is why all painters I've worked with insist on starting from bare metal when they promise perfection and guarantee their work. After almost a month in the shop, painting day arrived and a grainy photo appeared on my phone with a text message announcing that the car just rolled out of the paint booth. Arriving later in the day to inspect the car left me stunned by how beautiful their work had turned out. Reflections down the sides were truly mirror quality, but on closer inspection there seemed to be quite a few dust nibs in the clear coat. It appeared that my bright idea to cut back the rubber weather strip around the windshield and rear window had trapped some debris they overlooked. Not to worry, the painter put an extra layer of clear coat on so that I had plenty of depth to cut and polish them out. Doing this de-nibbing work myself was one of those 'sweat equity' tasks in my 'pay grade' done in the interest of keeping costs down. Two stage paint makes dust nibs a pretty minor problem to solve if you are very careful and have the right tools. The money saved provided an opportunity to invest in better tools and teach myself the state-of-the-art 3M Perfect-It™ paint defect repair system from training videos available on YouTube. The same rental trailer got the roller back home, returning later to pick up the remaining pieces—doors, hood, and deck lid wrapped in moving blankets so they wouldn't get damaged. Fortunately my good friend Jack Morris and his then 3-year-old son, JB still lived nearby and came out to my shop and helped mount the hood and doors. This was a task we had done together several times when working as an "apprentice" for him, so we had a few tricks to make it easier. Back before the oil leak foiled the rolling restoration phase of the project, Steve Shepp had helped me put together a temporary black interior. A cheap vinyl seat cover kit and dash pad, re-dyed original leather door panels, and gray perlon carpet filled the bill. All the chrome and bright work on the car was still original and while not flawless, it polished-up nicely. The only new pieces were the anodized aluminium deco strips on the bumpers and rocker panels and much of that had come with the car in the boxes of parts as well as NOS (new old stock) rubber seals.

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