Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Back to the plan. It doesn't make much sense to do something that doesn't fit into the ultimate plan for your car. For example if you had decided on a complete restoration then it wouldn't make sense to replace your seats with later model units or to paint it a non authentic color. If money is tight just get it running and preserve what is already there and maybe look for the trim and bits your car might be missing. It will be worth more to the next buyer if he can see that he will not have to undo a bunch of non authentic repairs. This situation could occur if you were lucky enough to score a potentially valuable and desireable model from a hard luck seller or estate sale. Maybe you inherit or are given a really valuable model from your parents or family members. If you don't have the money available to do a proper restoration it might be better to sell it to someone with the cash to do the job right and buy a more common model in better condition. But if the car has sentimental value to you or is something you really want to keep, then keep it. You could always store it somewhere for a few years until you are better prepared financially for the project. I' m a proponent of driving old cars rather than treating them as religous artifacts but some cars are definitely worth holding onto. If you should be so lucky to acquire something like this well worn Mach One be advised that it might best to preserve the body and paint and interior chiefly as is, unless you are prepared to do the job right. Nothing prohibits you from doing mechanical repairs and cleaning it up. This will be the cheapest part anyway.
These cars cars the exceptions. Well, I didn't inherit a Boss 302, I just bought a beater Mustang coupe. There isn't much I can do to my car that would ruin it's "collector" value since a serious collector wouldn't bother with a six cylinder coupe. So pretty much anything I can do to repair and improve my coupe will make it more valuable and useful to me and later on down the road to a prospective buyer.
I have finally become a supporter of the fully painted car. I know that the cost of the cheapest production shop paint job is now around 500.00. I once believed that if I couldn't have a "good" paint job then I wouldn't settle for anything less. Unfortunately a good paint job was at least a couple of grand not including bodywork. Therefore I drove a series of rusty, faded, splotched and multi hued beaters for several years. Luckily the patina craze was just starting up and for once I was actually ahead of the curve.
My first 66 Riviera was a car that I really liked and wanted. I replaced the motor and fixed up the car mechanically. I drove that car everyday everywhere for almost four years before the price of gas made me switch to a smaller car. Like alot of GM cars from this era it suffered from rust in the windshield and backlight channels. I cured the water leaks with a liberal application of Duct tape. Yeah the car looked like crap buy I drove it anyway.
My brother in law had an old 55 Chevy pick up mounted on a later model 4x4 chasis. It only had about four different colors on it's mismatched body panels. His wife did not find it amusing or charming to have it parked infront of their house. He had an ultimatum to fix the paint or park it somewhere else. He had received a coupon from Miracle auto painting and had them paint his truck white. I must admit from twenty feet away it looked really pretty good. When I bought my faded orange 66 Ford pick up I told my wife that I would have it ready for paint in a week. The truck was straight with only some small dents and a little surface rust. I pulled the bumpers and emblems, cleaned and did a minor prep with a little POR 15 over the rust and took it down to Earl Scheib. They shot the body a nice Viper red and sprayed the bed with some of their cheap black bed coat. After polishing the trim I had a pretty presentable truck for five bills. I had Earl Schieb paint a Datsun 240Z and spray the fender and bumper of my little Acura. I will say that none of these jobs was close to perfect. There were plenty of imperfections visible for the poorly prepped surface. Still they were good enough and the overall effect was very satisfactory. The cars looked a whole lt better. They looked like finished cars.
In each of these cases I was strapped for time. I didn't have a space where I could spend a lot of time prepping the surface. If you take the time and do a good job with the bodywork and surface prep you can get a very satisfactory result.. POR 15 paint and putty can be used to successfully repair minor rust outs prior to painting.On my 72 240Z I rebuilt a portion of an inner rear fender lip from POR putty that you couldn't tell from the metal. I should have used this on the rusty window channels of my 66 Riviera. If you think you can paint your car with spray cans, sure you can. I painted several motorcycles over the years with good results. There's just a lot of surface area on a car. You will buy a lot of cans of primer then a lot of cans of color. At a minimum of 5.00 a can, expect to spend close to a hundred and fifty bucks probably more. Not to mention sandpaper which isn't cheap. It's hard to get even coverage and spray can paint is not that durable. Paint shops will usually have specials and coupons available before Christmas and after New Years when business is slow. You could get the five hundred dollar job for maybe 350.00