We are off on a journey of rust and bondo! Exciting! Well...maybe not. But this first of 4 pictures will show some of the work I have been doing to make the car presentable. This pix shows the driver's door. Doesn't look too bad...except that there is a large crease from the fron seam to about mid door. It is about a 1/4 inch deep. Filled with...guess what? Bondo! Sande dout pretty good though. The door fit isn't toobad except the front cowl gap is a tad larger than I wanted.
As you can see, the rear fender has a large section of bondo. When I started sanding the original down, little did I realize that it was deep. I finally gave up and refinished what I had buffed out already. It is pretty good also, but this ain't no restoration project! I told my wife to just kill me if I started anything like this again with a rust bucket. I would have been farther ahead if I had bought a new Lexus, stripped it and made a race car from it.
You might think that the door handles are going away for racing...nope! I plan oh having a set of hardware on the car. Door handles, trunk hinges, deck lid handle, gas cap. Only the lettering will be stickon vinyl or some such. I dont want them to come off down course and cause someone else to have a flat at speed.
One of my favorite pictures. You can clearly see the rectangular frame rails, and the completely fabricated valance. The original was completely rusted away. So I made a pattern from my Tiger and made this puppy from 16 gauge steel. The passenger's side turn and parking light fender location is rusted away and I still have to put in a replacement piece. I have it made, just not installed. Then, guess what? Yes, more BONDO!!. The black looking struts are for the air dam lower attachments. The round hole is where I will put fuel into my front mounted fuel cell (just ahead of the radiator).
Another neat thing is the small row of holes just left of the drivers side hood hinge location. Next to the left fender. Those are holes, by cracky! This is typical of what was EVERYWHERE on this car and it is the main reason why I decided on this car. Very little useable sheet metal. Recycled most of the Alpine parts already.
This picture is of the passenger's side front fender and whel well. This part of the fender was completely rolled under during some previous life. The crease is plain to see and it was a booger to get it out without breaking it off. The fender bead is cracked about half way down and I need to braze it up. Ther is a tremendous amount of rust pitting here, so the car must have set in a swamp before I got it.. But it will soon be pretty straight and then...more BONDO!
This last picture is most revealing because yo can see the right rear fender, the rear valance and inside the trunk. The area where the tail light mounts waas trashed and it took some doing to get it looking this good. The left one was great. Look at all the bondo. And this isn't just cosmetic to smooth out some panels, baby, this is major bondo work! The rear valence was crushed inwards and is still a bit. Notice that the bumper mounting holes are no longer there. Tha is because the one on this side was completely ripped out! The end of the frame inside the trunk was gone. My guess as to what happened to this car was tha it was being towed with the rear end lifetd by a tow truck. Using only the bumper. The bumper tore off and the car go away from them, bashing everything before it came to rest. That would explain all the corners, the door crease, and the rear valance, and not visible, the bent decklid. More BONDO! Surprisingly enough I have managed to refit the deck lid latch and it works! I have to get some piping to go around the lid opening though.
The last thing of note is the trailer hitch...no no..it's not really a trailer hitch. This is the parachute mount. Makes a nice strong place to lift the back of the car. The trunk is where I am currently planning to remount the battery and the 10 gallon water tank. I had the tank in the passengers seat location and it is just too much there. I still have 2 fire bottles and a water injection tank, pump, and accumulator to mount in there.
Well, what do ya'll think? Can I or have I become a Bondo Expert?
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