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Rebuilding A Junker Cutlass Into A Kinda-Sorta Faux-Four-Two Musclecar, Part 7:
Late that winter, as we were inching toward spring, I got the car out again to finish up the grilles
and surrounds. I started by removing the bumper and brackets...
And Mother Nature responded by dumping another 2" of snow on me that night. :)
But I still had a little work to do on the parts, so no biggie. Now, if this car were an actual
the headlight bezels would be blacked out- at least, with this
paint combination I'm sorta-kinda copying.
The bezels I had were plain,
so naturally it was time to get out the masking tape and a rattlecan
I have a picture of a sweet black-over-red '72 442 that I've been using to get the "look" for this
car, and it has black headlight bezels with a thin silver ring around the outside. I applied some 1/4"
3M striping tape very carefully to my cleaned-and-degreased bezels...
And hit 'em with some gloss black rattlecan paint.
True 442 bezels would be a matte or flat black, but for this, who cares? They never
made a notchback 442- at least not a hardtop- so it's not like I'm gonna fool anybody anyway. :)
The bezels installed easily with some new replacement plastic surrounds.
I was also able to find a new center "stone shield" on eBay, and even had a semi-correct
"Rocket" emblem for the center of it.
With both bezels, both surrounds and the stone sheild installed, I was able to get the grilles into
place. They had been damaged slightly, so I was obligated to fab up some extra mounting
brackets to hold them in place.
The back of the bumper was badly rusted and the chrome was starting to peel,
so I wire-brushed it and ground off all the flaking chrome.
I then painted the rusty spots with a couple coats
of POR-15, a hard anti-rust paint that cures
like an epoxy. Barely visible behind the bumper,
I also painted the mounting brackets.
Once everything was cured, I installed it.
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