We've been working on Project Resolution now for a few months and we're finally at a point where we are ready to start going uphill making the car nice again. With the front end removed I was able to remove the inner fender "skirt" and assess the damage that was caused during the accident. So far it looks like the damage was just sheet metal related and the chassis itself is still intact and not tweaked from the accident. We now need to clamp all of the new body panels in place with clecos and test fit the hood and fenders to make sure that our gaps all line up correctly before we begin welding those pieces back in place. I know we will need to do a little bit of hammer and dolly work on the remaining sheet metal around the replacement panels, but it should all be straight forward.
While I was working on the front end removal the rest of our team has been working diligently removing all of the old red paint and uncovering the filler and previous owner repairs (yikes!). The roof is definitely much worse than we thought. It looks like someone used a "stone" style grinding disc or a cut off wheel to remove the old paint and there is a lot of deep gouges in the metal and some more hidden dents. We will have to take some serious time shaping the roof back to an acceptable point before we can make it shiny again.
Speaking of damage we've uncovered, the rear hatch had some minor paint pitting around the lower edges, but we wanted to investigate them further. We found some terminal rust in the hatch and that we needed to cut out of the lower edge. Nick has removed the worst rust and is currently making up patch panels to weld back in place with the MIG 135. We hope to have that minor body rust tackled quickly and continue getting the body ready for a skim coat of filler, primer, and finally a new coat of paint! We're still on the fence what color we want to paint the car, so if you have any suggestions feel free to drop us a comment with your opinion!
We plan to get all of the new body panels welded in place, the major body damage repaired, and all the rust repair done by the next update. July 13th for the Eastwood Summer Classic is getting closer everyday and we need to kick this project into high gear! Stay tuned!