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Discussion Starter #1
1st post here and new to the forum.

Background: My Dad has owned his 1969 liberty blue/white convertible since he was 17 (first car) and it was something I grew up with. Helped him restore it when I was younger and have always wanted one. Recently a long time friend of my Dad let him know the time came to sell his 1968 verdoro convertible. I jumped on the opportunity and it is now sitting in my garage :grin2:

The car had sat in a barn since 1980 when it was taken off the road due to a blown engine. It was bought by my fathers friend in the early 80's. He stored it in another barn until about 2 years ago. He managed to strip it and get the body and frame sandblasted but life got in the way and he never finished the project.

The car is 100% numbers matching except for the block which is correctly dated but incorrect to my specific car. The original block must have been a total loss. It is a standard 400 4-barrel 4-speed car with hide-away headlights, rally wheels, rally cluster, and a few other desirable options.

As it sits, the car is completely disassembled and all parts have been organized in boxes. Luckily, the guy I bought it from was the only one to touch it during the tear down and has kept all the parts and organized them accordingly.

I will be using this thread to document my progress and look for advice/suggestions since this is my first restoration project and I am starting from scratch with a complete frame-off restoration. Thankfully, I have my dad's complete car to use as a reference during the process.

Stored in a basement for the last 2 years. Previously in a barn for majority of it's life


Hauling home the frame and body




Main engine components


Hoping to be as nice as my old man's someday


 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to the forum. Good luck with the project. Patience and perseverance is all it takes, oh and a boat load of money.
Welcome to the Forum. I am sure your Goat will be sweet when you finish it.
Thanks guys. Trying to figure out which route to take for quarter panel replacement at the moment. I am no stranger to fabrication and welding as I do it for my day job and with my rock crawling hobby, but the body work aspect is new to me. Looks like I need quarter skins and outer wheelhouses. The decision is whether or not to farm it out to a body work guy or do the sheet metal/paint prep work myself and just send it out for paint.

Leaning towards having a trusted local body shop do the work for me. They finished another local goat recently and have done very nice work for my family in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome to the forums! :cheers

Boy, it looks like a lot of work there, do you have a timeline as when you want to start/finish??
Time and space are not the issue as I'm still young (26 next week), have no kids, an understanding wife, and a 3 bay garage to work in.

The timeline will be driven by money. I work a second job selling and repairing trailers for a family friend's business. That supplies my side money to fund my projects. Once the body work and paint are done I can really dig into the restore myself. I will be having the block checked out and the bottom end put together but will finish the motor myself. All the running gear, axle, suspension, etc will be tackled in my garage. Going to refinish and restore as many of the individual parts and trimmings as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are some pics of the quarters, cowl, and drivers floor board. I will be repairing the floorboard and cowl but im still undecided about the quarters. Any opjnions on how much should be replaced? Whole quarter skin? Wheel arch patch and lower rear patch? Outer wheelhouse?

Calling around for some opinioms from some buddies and local shops in the meantime.

Passenger






Driver






Cowl


Driver's Floorboard
 

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I'm in process of doing a 68 gto convertible also . One of the first thing I noticed was the lack of support on your body. Once you take it off frame and doors off the whole body on a convertible it has no support and want to bend/ fold. Not sure but I would weld in some supports but might be to late. I'm not a body man and not sure what you do at this point but I think the PO caused you a lot of problems down the road lining up gaps and doors. best luck Doug
 

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I just want add one more thing, please talk to some body guys before spending a lot on sheet metal. I hope some of the body guys jump in here and give you some good but tough decision . I have seen worst fixed but a base 68 gto thats tough with no real ties to family might be hard .to swallow. I'm not the one to say but I'm sure there are folks on here that know what you should do. And yes it would be a great learning expirence but at what cost? I hope I don't come off as a jerk. Best luck to you and if you go forward looking forward to see progress. Doug
 

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Ramrod4 any updates on body shops? I see no one has comments on this. I check in at least once a week and worried this forum is dying? Very little acctivity on any threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ramrod4 any updates on body shops? I see no one has comments on this. I check in at least once a week and worried this forum is dying? Very little acctivity on any threads.
I just saw all of your posts. I wasn't receiving any email notifications for some reason.

The GTO will be a long term project. I realize there is quite a bit of body work involved but this was never meant to be a concours-level restoration. I will be having a local body shop do the sheet metal and prep work for me.

Otherwise, I have every original part. It is a factory AC/power top car. Just because it is a base model does not make it unworthy of a restoration. I bought it to keep me busy for the next few years and it shouldnt have a problem doing so haha.
 

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Looking forward to your progress and really wish you luck. I am still concerned with the doors off and I would think at some point off frame with out braces on but I am by no means an expert . We will surely talk more as we both have the same cars with same options, color except mine is an automatic . I hope to have mine on road this summer. Take care Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The body has sat on a dolly that supported it evenly where the main frame rails wouldve run. It is fairly sturdy. I'm not sure if youve ever moved just the body but it does not seem to have much movement. We loaded it into my trailer by hand. Keep in mind there are no interior pieces whatsoever so the weight it needs to support is just the weight of the sheetmetal itself. As I said before, I'm not looking for a concours-level restoration. I would like the door gaps to be as nice as possible but this was never meant to be a Barrett Jackson car. I plan on driving it and enjoying it.
 

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I am doing the same type of build and understand what you are looking to do. Just watch the wallet because a car like yours can get out of control and you get to a point where there is no going back but you are just spending crazy money. I have worked with cars off frames and to be honest I have never seen a convertible with doors off with out braces welded in. This could alone cost tons of money to get your door to even fit or close. And again I'm happy to see what you are doing just want you to be careful before you spend . I'm sure a good body shop can help and the best advice on them is see work they have done. If they give you a fixed price ( not one by hour) I would be very Leary. You just never know what's around the corner. Let's stay in touch and again best luck. Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I understand the concern and appreciate the advice. I come from a family of car guys with multiple restorations under their belts. We know quite a few people in the area and favors are often traded. I'm quite aware of the money aspect and thats why this is going to be something I complete over the next 2-3 years. I got in contact with the guy who my Dad used to do the body work and paint on his GTO. I will be using him and his advice for the body work and paint since he specialized in GM restorations.

First thing on the list is to get the frame and suspension complete. Then rebuild the motor and trans. That way I have a full rolling chassis to set the body on. At that point I will take it in for the body work so that they can cut out the quarters with the body on the frame to prevent any tweaking of the body. The body will be removed and painted, then re-installed on the frame for me to put the interior back in it and finish the rest of the car.

This plan may change as I go, but from the people I've talked to recently, that seems like the standard procedure.
 

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The only way to eat an elephant is to eat one small piece at a time. I was 26 when I bought my 68 hardtop and spent the next 16 years finding parts (mine was a shell) rebuilding the interior, restoring the chassis and buying a house and upgrading the garage....It can be done just takes time. def. get those door braces for the car and put them in...

Good luck!

Anthony
 

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Check out Squids Fab shop for very detailed pictures of the extensive fabrication work he did for rust repair of the same areas it looks like you'll be dealing with. Although his isn't the same year it may be a valuable resource for you much as it was for my project.
Keep the pictures coming and best of luck with the project.
 

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Check out Squids Fab shop for very detailed pictures of the extensive fabrication work he did for rust repair of the same areas it looks like you'll be dealing with. Although his isn't the same year it may be a valuable resource for you much as it was for my project.
Keep the pictures coming and best of luck with the project.
:thumbsup:

Thanks
 

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I'm concerned about the 'body tweaking' too, but as long as the body has not been off the frame, it might be ok so far. DON'T separate them without welding in some bracing to support the cowl, door gaps, etc.
Body work: It can be learned and actually, you're in a good position to do so since you have a good place to work and plenty of time. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of the "Paintucation" videos (full set) and study them - more than once - and continue to review them as you work. You'll find that each time you watch them, you'll notice something you missed before just because you didn't realize it was important at the time. I did 100% of the paint and body work on my car (including replacing a full quarter panel), and I had exactly zero previous experience or training. You already have a huge head start since you already know how to weld. Quality body work from a shop is hideously expensive - mostly because it's all time and labor - and you're basically paying them to care as much about your car as you do.



Bear
 

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Bear I agree with you but what I can see and what he has said that body has been moved all over off frame. I have never seen that done with a convertible and believe he is going to have major problem due to the rust wreaking body and no bracing. At minimum he going to have many many many hours of work that could have been eliminated. The PO kind of screwed him not bracing this car but I do wish him luck and look forward to build. Doug
 
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