Plastic Media & Sandblasting
to the shop ?
CruZin Magazine August 2000
Project '56 Thunderbird... Ready for
By David Martin
It's happening, even as this is being batted out on the
keyboard. The final prep work is under way, the CruZin' Magazine 1956
Ford Thunderbird is nearly ready for the "Rumblin' Raspberry"
blended paint job to be applied by the one and only Gene Winfield.
The real "chuckle" (to keep from crying) was found in the previously applied body work. It seems that at one point in time on the East Coast, Georgia or thereabouts. Assigned to sea duty, the previous owner left the car with a "body shop" and that's very loose usage of the terminology.
This shop completed repairs (chuckle, chuckle), and applied a coat of
black paint. The aforementioned repairs included a slab of aluminum, riveted
to the back side of the quarter panel and wheelhouse, then smeared liberally
with bondo. But wait, that's not all....in a corner that wasn't backed
by the aluminum, some yokel stuck a couple of inches of duct tape on the
backside and smeared the front of the duct tape with bondo, then
painted over the whole mess. I kid you not, duct tape, regular
duct tape, not even 100 mph duct tape. Unbelievable.
No one had expected perfection. There were bubbles around the wheelhouse and we know cars rust from the inside out, so we knew there would be some rust. The short story is that we've invested in just about every patch panel known to man, door to door, all the way around the back of the car.
A few days later most of the necessary parts arrived and within a week everything was in hand. During that time, out came the grinder and off came the rusted sheet metal. From the dogleg at the rear of both the passenger and driver doors, the wheelhouse and quarter panels were removed above the "rust line". The front of the car, mint when compared to the rear, was massaged, the hood was fitted properly to the engine compartment opening and the entire front end was primered and block sanded to "paint ready" status.
EXTREME TIPS: Working with Chris Odom and the Extreme Metal and Paint crew is a real pleasure. They're friendly, knowledgeable, talented and professional, essential ingredients to the successful completion of any four- wheeled project. Condensing his knowledge down to simple tips, Chris advises "do-it-yourselfer", "If you don't sand it, it won't stick", and, "If you can feel it, you can see it".
As to selecting a shop to work with your project Chris notes, "Look at their work, price should not be the only consideration. Check both finished and in-progress work, check everything from the quality of the welding and the alignment of parts and materials used."
Chris also advises that the consumer must decide "what is good enough", and he must be really clear in letting the shop know how far he wants to go with his particular project."
"You can go first class or you can go coach," Chris says. "My reputation is on the line with every job at Extreme Metal and Paint. We'd always rather do the job right, in a way that will last. If you go first class you can expect the best possible results. If you go coach, you get what you do or don't pay for. You can't expect a quality restoration on an Earl Shieb budget".
When selecting a shop, it is also worthwhile to question whether they're willing to let you, the consumer, work on the project as well.
There are several ways the project owner can save himself money," Chris explains, "The most significant savings can obtained when time comes to reassemble the project. If the owner can handle that work himself, he can save significant dollars. There's lots of time involved there and time is money. The owner can save by handling the disassembly himself, and by chasing down or finding his own parts."
Another item to keep in mind is that professional shops will work to the owners' specification. If the owner wants an inexpensive job, the shop will do it, even though they know it won't last. "It's a buyer beware" world out there. Gleaming paint can hide a multitude of sins for a period of time, so if your looking at buying a car, ask the owner to provide photos of the restoration. If can't or isn't willing beware.
Perhaps the most important "tip" anyone can give us is that you, the consumer, be comfortable with the shop you select, and, be "extremely" clear on exactly what you are purchasing. That done, everyone should wind up happy.