body shell is basically solid (except for the trunk), with only
dry weather surface rust to indicate all those year’s in the
Australian outback under a rickety, ancient wooden roofed, lean-to. One rear floor pan is a little thin and the dash top panel
will be replaced. As a
result of the hundreds of cycles of raising and lowering, the body
pivoting on the rear axle, we found one small stress crack through
the tail pan and the entire trunk floor devastated with numerous
fractures and cracks, with one extending halfway thru the RH frame
first “washed” the Lemans Blue lacquer original show paint
from the exterior, exposing a thin layer of 36 year old bondo and
filler spotted and skinned all over the original factory paint,
indicating these early Vin# display cars were pulled directly from
assembly sometime after the paint process. The brand new Camaro was then prepped for show to the
public; exposed panel seams, especially on the door jambs and
firewall, filled solid, smoothed and blended. All panels must have been meticulously block sanded extra
straight as befitting the new show quality paint. Interestingly, the cowl panel stamped Vin numerals are
unusually deeply indented, obviously not gang stamped, and with
the original factory paint overcoat intact as each numeral was
first filled with seam sealer (for protection?), then skinned over
with bondo as with the rest of the car before final show paint.
The exterior looked, right off the container, as if caught
in some monstrous hailstorm.
We’re over 500 studs and still counting.
Each will pull the original metal back into shape.
Once structurally sound, we’ll finish the lacquer paint
removal; mount the shell on a rotisserie and media blast the
undercarriage, stripping the entire shell to bare metal.
Our front fender rear halves are
both in excellent condition and will strip and refinish easily.
The two nose section’s header panels are beyond
salvage, but we fortunately have early stamping GM NOS panels
for these. Everything
else looks good. Every
fastener used on the display car was heavily chrome plated, and
the variety and styles used are all over the map (Show &
Display must have had a pretty big bucket!).
Nonetheless, our passion shows through, and each was
photographed, cataloged and will be either replated or replaced
with identical hardware.
Headed for the paint shop......
Concours quality metal work, fully prepped with all exposed seams and panel areas smoothed as original, the "Double Header" Camaro body sits along side our lift area as the long journey back to its former show quality display condition continues. We've repaired all the stress damages to the rear without replacing any panels, adding only a small piece to the RH side trunk floor corner. We saved the original top dash panel. Although it took FOREVER to pull and work each of the
literally hundreds of dents, the body is once again laser straight and solid metal, all without the use of pounds and pounds of bondo/filler.
Rotisserie mounted, the entire underside was blasted with plastic media. The good folks at "440" didn't originally spend much time on the bottom of the car in the way of prep work; therefore the original white paint was heavily flaking from poor adhesion. Not wanting the same problem, the underside received the same care as the upper body. Except for the butt seamed USA manufactured RH rear floor pan from (PP-14R) all the rest of the original metal was retained.
update as we progress......and eventually we have to deal with the
long-gone turntable display...........check back!
Thanks for visiting Classic Headquarters!