1980 Corvette 

Here's a frame of restoration of a 1980 Corvette. The customer is completing the frame and driveline and we are doing the body work. From the start we could see cracking in the front clip and that it was not lined up properly but didn't think we would find this much damage. This car has seen multiple accidents or one very serious accident as every single panel on the car was damaged. There was also 3 and 4 layers of paint, lacquer primer, and a large amount of putty that needed to be removed.

Here's a pretty good indication that there is something not good hiding below...

Removing some of the primer and 1/2 think body filler to find out what's underneath... 


Both sides are completely destroyed and have been repair very poorly with non SMC compatible materials, the clip needed to be removed to be lined up properly but with this much damage it was decided that it needed to be replaced.

Here's what the bonding strips looked like underneath, yikes... The front clip was bonded on with body filler only!

On the passenger side you can see that the body filler they tried to bond the clip on with had not even come into contact with the clip

Moving to the rear clip the paint had already been razor bladed off... another go with the razor blade showed that there were many more layers under the top layer of primer, such as this red lacquer primer that nothing will stick to. The grey primer was coming off in 3 and 4 inch sheets, some much bigger.

Here's an example of how the paint comes off when put over the wrong primer and/or when the panel is not prepped properly before paint.

As we removed the next layer of primer we found the majority of repairs on the car had been done with finishing putty... so all that had to be removed... which then exposed a lot of damage.

With all the putty removed we ground out the broken areas and repaired them with SMC resin and fiberglass mat then covered with an SMC / Carbon fiber finish.


Here's the B pillar that has been previously remade with putty, but they stopped the repair half and inch from the door so there's a big gap (much worse on the other side). So it will need to be extended with fiberglass mat after all the putty and filler is removed.

Here's the passenger side with a huge gap and the putty already cracking

The only way to fix this is to strip it down to the the bare SMC and redo it... There was no SMC though, only fiberglass mat from another repair. It was so thin you could see right through. So it was rebuilt.

Here's the passenger side  primed after it had been repaired.

The rear quarter panels on both sides were bonded on with fiberglass filler, better then the body filler used for the front clip but it will not hold and was already falling out. So it all had to be removed and replaced with proper SMC panel bond.

The dog legs were hardly even attached to the body anymore so they and the mounting areas were soda blasted and bonded in place. The door skins were coming apart as well so they too were bonded back together after blasting the mounting areas clean.

The front bumper had 5 or 6 layers of paint on it and it was hard as a rock which lead to a major process in removing it before it could be repair and flex primed. The rear was not as bad but still a pretty big job. It's no wonder so many of these cars have cracking in the paint on the bumpers, most companies don't take the time to strip the old paint and just keep adding layer after layer.

Once all the repair work was completed the car was covered in a gel coat replacement.