'72 Paint & Body

Off with the old:
When I bought my Nova it had some very dark blue paint done very poorly, probably in Phoenix where I bought the car.

I started stripping the body of emblems, lights, bumpers, door handles, lock cylinders, trim, and everything else I could remove, including the doors, hood, and trunk lid. I talked to a friend who was a fledgling body man (Joel) and he suggested mechanically stripping the car down to the factory Sea Foam Green and use that as a base. So I did.

On with the new:
We (he) did lots of bodywork, including welding in a few patch panels, filling the side trim and emblem holes, and some generous mud work (the passenger fender was pretty rough).

Before we bought the paint I had decided to go with a royal blue, the common color from late-'80s Camaros, but at the last moment I changed my mind to yellow. I wanted the yellow that was on late-model Mustangs ("Chrome Yellow") but it was $50/quart. Whoa, that was expensive for me in the mid-'90s. What's a similar color? '90 Corvette Competition Yellow for $25/quart. Sounds great! And that meant I wouldn't have to worry about being blasted with comments of having a Ford color on my Nova, a win/win situation. Here's the $400 worth of supplies, which doesn't even include all the sanding discs, glaze, or clear coat. I know, that's cheap by today's standards, but for a 20-something guy who just bought his first house, that was a lot of money, especially considering how much I'd have to pay for labor.

Here's that rough fender I was talking about. It was bad before I got the car.

Getting it all masked for the sealer:

Shooting the sealer...

We finally got it all sealed, primed, sanded and almost ready to shoot some color. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure what happened in the door jamb areas. They're not primed in this shot. Hmmmm...

Here's Joel putting some color on the backsides of the doors and trunklid:

We had the trunk lid, hood, doors, and cowl panel off to the side and the Nova in the main part of the garage and we were about ready to go. I guess we didn't prime the door jambs for some reason. Oh well, they still look good after 7 years.

Joel cranked up the compressor again while I manned the high-tech exhuast fans. A spendy paint booth it ain't.

And away we go with the color. Finally!

I got it home after putting the doors on (and getting my first paint chip) and had to yank the fenders to do some aligning and undercoating. Why didn't I do this before painting? I have no idea.

Then I put most of it back together for some pics in the evening sun...

And in the garage...

Then the long reassembly process began:

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© 2020 Bruce Johnson and Craig Watson