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Discussion Starter #1
I have been on this forum about a year now. I bought a survivor '67 GTO from a guy and got it mechanically sound. I drive it several times a week. It looks decent but the body lower panels have some rust. I have taken it to three different restoration/paint shops here in my area and the estimates to paint it are 10-12k. I also have bought two rust free quarter panels. If I go thru with this project, it will get quarters cut and the "new" ones put on. It will also get a new tail panel. I don't really mind the original paint but something needs to be done on the bottoms and all the trim is not on the car. There are also a few spots where the original owner hit with grey primer. I would only consider painting the car Cameo Ivory which is the original color. The interior is red and in excellent condition. So....my question.....when is it considered "restored" and no longer original? Value wise, am I better off where I am at now, and even if I would fix the lower panels I am not sure if it would look right with new paint in some areas. After seeing those rust buckets sell for big money in Pierce, Nebr. I have been pondering this. I would hate to ruin a piece of original history because it's only original once. If you are still reading this and awake, I would appreciate any input.
 

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I say fix the rust and paint it.

And maybe consider painting it yourself or having a local tech school do the work. Sounds crazy huh? Well when I did my Riviera and a truck for my niece the local tech school did the work and it came out outstanding. They stripped the car to bare metal and metal worked out all the dings. Paint jobs both came out excellent as the teacher had the best students do the paintwork and they had all the latest and best equipment. Cost to me? Materials only and I bought them all pizzas and a cooler full of soda's for a job well done. :D

Paint it yourself? Well, you could take that tech school class yourself and do it at school or for the money involved buy a compressor, paint guns, welder and suplies and still have money left over plus you'll still have all the stuff when the car is done not to mention the skills you will learn. That's what I did and several other members on here including BearGFR (who did a black GTO btw!) And Instig8tor who's car also looks awsome. You can do it. The only real factors are if you have the time and room. And I've also seen and heard many nightmare stories of owners who have had their cars in "paint jail" for extended periods of time and shelled out mucho $$$$ and had less than stellar results. Be sure to get references from previous customers before entrusting a body shop with your pride and joy.

And as far as "restored" I believe that when you do a car restoration you are really restoring several things....suspension, interior, exterior, trunk, chrome and on and on. When i did my car that is how i treated my project; as several "smaller" projects and that make it easier on me and not so overwhelming.
 

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Whatever you end up calling it (restored, repainted, repaired...) is immaterial. When it's done, it will be better (i.e. worth more) than a "survivor" with rusted quarter panels.

Now, do the quarter panels need replacing, or just the lower areas behind the wheels? If it's just the drop offs, then I wouldn't be inclined to replace the entire quarter panel. If that's the case, you can do it yourself. The cost of materials and tools will be less than paying someone to do it and you'll have the tools when you're done.

I replaced both lower drop offs on my '63 Nova SS and they turned out great, inside and out.

Chuck
 

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I'd repair and repaint it. Restored means back to as new, factory condition. With rust out, the whole 'survivor' thing is off the table. Fix and enjoy.
 

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:agree with Alky, if you have a local HS that has body shop classes they will do it for material costs (technically cannot charge for labor). They were nice enough to rent me their brand new booth for the day and let me use a brand new 600 dollar Iwata gun and all the masking materials for a few hundred dollars, which by the way went to support the school car club which these days do not receive any funding from feds or state. The kids were all over the Tempest when i hauled it up on Friday to drop off for spraying on Saturday, a few even stayed after school to help me push it in and mask it. If you want it to look original and keep cost down spray back in enamel single stage. Cameo white will blend and over spray easier than darks or metallics and any runs or oops's can be sanded and buffed out, plus you get to say ...I did it all myself!! The paint on these cars was not flawless from the factory.

If most of the original paint is good DO NOT, sand it off to bare metal. Degrease it scuff it with a scotch bright pad and prime the original with epoxy and blend in your repairs. The only spots i had minor paint problems were the ones where i took it down to metal and and broke the seal of the original paint and primer to metal bond.


 

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^ You can't argue with those results. :cool


With taking a car to bare metal, prep and cleanliness and use of compatable products is a must for satisfactory results. Any moisture or contamination will lead to problems down the line. And I also agree with not replacing any more of the sheetmetal that is rotted than necessary.
 

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Thanks Skurfan, don't be afraid to try the repairs yourself...is the 12-15 quote with bodywork or just for paint?
I had not wrenched on my own cars for 20 years when i took the Tempest on. and when i seen the price of what people were saying paint cost i thought i might never get my car done if i had to shell out that kinda scratch in one lump. Materials for good BC/CC sytems will run you around a grand, if you go Enamel single stage probably half that. the spraying is really 10% of the work, getting the body flat and straight is the 90%.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I may try it myself. Considering taking a welding class at the local CC here. I am sure I can handle the rest. Been practicing on a couple lesser cars and watching and reading a lot. The 12k estimate was for the whole thing. It's guys that are considered top quality in these parts and you pretty much just give them your credit card and car and they seem to hold it hostage until they get all you got. Not my idea of a good deal for me.
 

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if you do have someone do the work get a COMPLETE written estimate,including a time frame, a true craftsman will be able to tell you exactly what it will cost to do the job and how long, if any "other" issues come up get those in writing also, specify NO UNAUTHORIZED work to be performed. This will protect you from a 10-12k job turning into 25k. My paint job doubled in price and went from 3 months to 14 months and my car had NO RUST and only 1 small dent under the rear 1/4 behind the wheel, and I delivered the car completely stripped out. No glass, no rubber, no trim, no interior. Doing the work by yourself is great satisfaction as long as you can budget your time, and realize it will take longer than you thought and you may end up doing some things twice.
Find some friends who like to work on cars and invite them over (most mechanics are eager to help as long as there are plenty of frosty beverages within arms reach)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had my '55 Safari done about twenty years ago. Strip to bare metal, glass out, chrome off etc.... Price wasn't really an issue but he had the car almost two years. I gave him a final deadline and picked up the car without the glass and trim so I had to do that myself. Best decision I had made at the time although it didn't seem that way. The guy was dead three months later from alcohol poisoning and had several unfinished works in his shop. I lucked out on that one. I think I will clear out a garage, work on the body this winter and paint in the spring. I am retired so have the time. Just need to get busy on it. We already have a Camaro in "paint shop jail".
 

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Restored

Skurfan,
Restore your car to the level that will make you happy. People love to see these cars on the road and they should be driven for pleasure. What fun is it to keep it in the garage? I get a lot of thumbs up driving my 1966 around and it is a decent looking driver. I will spend some money getting it to the level of a very nice driver but a rotisserie restoration is not in its future. Congrats on your car and have fun!
 

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Good plan Skurfan, it will keep your hands and mind busy during the winter and the money you save and knowledge you gain will go a long way to making that car one YOU will be proud of. Keep us posted and we will help you get through it. I was lucky enough not to have to weld any holes on my original sheetmetal but i did resurrect a GTO hood that had been pried open with an assortment of of destructive tools. allowed me to practice a little welding where it would not be "in your face".









 

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Many of these cars are now 'over restored'. Two stage paint, entire body skim-coated, etc. To me, they look wrong. Like a glazed ham. Barrett Jackson specials. A nice single stage enamel job will hold up, look right, and cost a lot less. Both of mine were done that way: the '65 in 1985, and the '67 in '93. Both still look nice and are real, actual 'drivers'. I did the strip to metal, two stage paint many years ago on a '66 GTO and it was beautiful, but after 10 years, rust started to pop thru the paint....and it was only in bare steel for about 2 hours before prime. So I'm in the camp of leaving as much of the factory primer and finish on as possible, and merely blocking and sanding to get the car straight and ready for the new finish. People obsess about a glass-smooth finish, etc, but these cars never came that way. Look at some new cars. Lots of flaws, etc. but totally acceptable. These are, after all, cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree Geeteeoguy, I will NEVER own a trailer queen that I am afraid to drive. In fact, I am offering me bias ply 35 year old "new" raised white letter tires on Craigslist this week to someone that just wants the look but won't drive them much. I am changing to radials. Instg8tor...nice job. I hope I can do that well. I did a pretty nice job on my tail panel earlier this year with spot welds, grinding, 3m filler and white primer so I think I can do it.
 
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