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Rebuilding A Junker Cutlass Into A Kinda-Sorta Faux-Four-Two Musclecar, Part 5:
I was amazed at how far along the project had gotten in just a short time, and the more I cleaned and tweaked,
the better it got. The interior was in surprisingly good condition, just needing a heavy scrubbing and a little
vinyl treatment, the electricals were almost entirely sorted out, and I was able to borrow a set of old
Cragar rims to get it off the old dry-rotted tires.
The only real annoying bit left was the paint. At some point in its checkered history,
a previous owner had taken it upon himself to paint it orange. With a roller
And then put Dukes of Hazzard
stickers on the doors and roof.
I'm sadly not joking.
I decided I'd throw a quickie enamel paint job on it just to make it look a little better,
and cover up some of the nasty orange paint. I did a quick Photoshop rendering above,
to see what it would look like in red, with some black go-fast stripes.
Late in the year, I had the opportunity to use a bodyman's shop for two weeks while he was on vacation.
With his permission, I was able to get the not-yet-street-legal car towed over there, and settled down
to do some work. The first fix was the rear fenderwells, which a previous owner had cut out for some
reason, possibly to run bigger or fatter tires. He'd made no attempt to weld, rivet or even tape the
fender panels back together, which meant mud and rain could spray inside the car and trunk.
After a couple of days work, I had a semblance of a good wheelwell again. I wasn't going for a restoration,
and I have no idea how close the profile is to an original wheel arch- and there's way more Bondo in there
than I'd have liked :) - but they're once again solid, closed and water tight.
After some other minor bodywork- and rather cursory bodywork at that, as this is basically just "placeholder"
paint- I gave it a not-actually-all-that-smooth coat of cheap Safety Red enamel, which, despite being not all that
smooth itself, and laid over the even-less-smooth orange, already improved the look of the car by about 300%
After that had cured for a day or two, I laid out, by hand and by eye, a set of go-fast stripes on the hood and
decklid, and two sort-of-look-like-it 442 stripes down each side, which I thought came out pretty darn well.
Total cost in paint, including striping tape, $57.01 :)
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