Mike's 1972 Monte Carlo Restoration

Home As it was page Disassembly 1 Disassembly 2 Body Work 1 Body Work 2 Misc 2011 Progress Back at it! 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Well, the body and frame are back together now and I thought I would test fit the front fenders and a couple of other front end components.
Just for fun I pushed the car out of the garage and next to my 1954 Buick Super to take a couple of pictures. The Buick is a complete custom with a '71 Riviera front clip, '71 Buick 455 CID, 400 TurboHydromatic, 12 bolt rear. A real land yacht, but this web site is not about the Buick.
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Now the process of stripping the sheet metal begins. Seems like I used tons of sandpaper, and a bunch of hours just to get the paint off of the car so I can start smoothing and shaping the body getting ready for primer and blocking.
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Sanding, sanding, sanding, more sanding, seems like it is never ending. I was told the car was painted a few years back and under the paint coat I found, (only in places), a brown or gold'ish' colored primer or sealer or something, not real sure. This layer was sticky and gummy and very hard to remove. It was not over the entire panel or on all panels. Not that it is real important but if anyone knows what this could be please follow the link below and e-mail me.
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For what I thought were endless hours, days, weeks and months of striping, filling, sanding, blocking, sanding, more filler, more blocking, more sanding, (you get the picture), I felt that I was ready to prime the car.
So that is exactly what I did, I primed the car. I was pretty happy with it and after a couple of weeks to let the primer dry, cure and shrink, I started to block sand the primer.
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You'll notice the whole car was stripped and primed with the exception of the rear quarter panels. I mentioned before that I was going to replace the rear quarters with new sheet metal and there is a picture of the new quarters next to the front fenders standing next to the wall earlier on this page.
I knew I was replacing the quarters but I wasn't real sure how solid the outer wheel wells were. I cut a hole in the old quarter to inspect the wheel well housing. As I suspected the outer wheel wells were shot, again the passenger side was worse than drivers side. as I mentioned before I think the passenger side took more debris from the shoulder of the road than the drivers side.
I looked all over the internet, I checked with reproduction sheet metal suppliers, I made countless phone calls to people parting out cars but do you think I could find rear outer wheel wells for a 1972 Monte Carlo? Nope, Zip, Nada, Nix. Nowhere could they be found. Everyone had inner wheel wells, I ask, which of the two wheel well halves would you bet on rusting out first the outer, or inner wheel well? Go Figure.
I took the car to a local body shop to cut off the rest off the rest of the quarter panels and then install the new. I knew that I would blow through and destroy $500.00 worth of sheet metal in a heart beat if I tried it myself. I was money and frustration ahead by letting someone else do this work.
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After looking and looking and not being able to find a set of new wheel wells for a 1972 Monte Carlo I was not feeling too confident until I ran onto a web site, (I won't mention the name), that listed a pair of outer wheel well housings for a 1972 Chevelle and Monte Carlo, $45.00 for the pair plus shipping. What a deal! I ordered them they arrived, they didn't fit.
These pictures were taken at the body shop, Andy's Auto Body, in Flora, Illinois, and one of the guys plasma cutting on the drivers side wheel well. Then of course we dry fit the new wheel housing and quarter in the old space prior to welding. A good thing we did since the outer well kind of fit the inner well but did not have the right contour for the outer quarter. The new wheel wells made the quarters bulge right above the center of the wheel opening. Some slicing and dicing was required to make everything fit correctly. Oh well for 45 bucks you have to expect some extra work.
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