In this month’s Restoration section, we will show you how to restore a quarter panel. Depending on the car that you own, you might get lucky and find an outlet that carries replacement sheet metal, but in some cases of rare automobiles you will most likely be forced to work with what you have. This might sound like a big task, but most body men will tell you that it’s all about patience. Besides patience, manufacturers like Classic Industries have invested thousands into sheet metal replacement and actual parts for these classic vehicles.

When you take a car down to the metal, it will tell you everything you need to know about the car’s condition, and this certainly was the case for our Fearless ’68 Project car. When we found the car, we knew it was solid but we knew it was going to need some work. After getting our body shell back from Millennium Sandblasting, we saw for ourselves that this car wasn’t that bad. The only major surprise was the bondo job in the rear quarter panel. With the paint gone, we at least knew what we were getting into. We had two choices; we could repair the panel or we could replace it altogether. In our case, we decided to repair it.

Now, let us show you how Luis and the Coronel worked their magic on this ‘68 Impala Super Sport.

<strong>1</strong>. This duo was ready to take on the quarter panel repair<strong>2</strong>. This quarter panel had all of its paint removed where we found this bondo filler surprise.<strong>3</strong>. Using a sander, Luis started removing the bondo filler that was used at one point of the car's life.<strong>4</strong>. While removing the bondo from the car, we realized that it had been filled with a 1/2-inch of filler in some sections, as the dent was never worked out.<strong>5</strong>. After tapping on the 1/4 panel, the filler came loose and was chipped off using a flat screwdriver.<strong>6</strong>. With the quarter panel in bare metal, you can see that it was still in workable condition and we had the option of saving it.<strong>7</strong>. Luis used his welding studs to help pull out the unwanted dents left on the body.<strong>8</strong>. Jesus used the Uni-spotter electric welder to attach the pulling studs to the metal.<strong>9</strong>. This modern style dent puller has eliminated all the holes that people use to drill into the metal that they worked with.<strong>10</strong>. Using a shape finder, we could determine the right depth needed on the quarter panel.<strong>11</strong>. As you can see, the quarter panel was almost where it needed to be.<strong>12</strong>. This specialty dent puller was used to fix the dent around the corner light.<strong>13</strong>. Using a dolly and hammer, the metal was flattened out.<strong>14</strong>. Luis welded the quarter panel in place as it had come loose from the original damage.<strong>15</strong>. The dents and ripples had been repaired. All that was left to be done was to fill in the holes from the old style dent puller that required drilling out holes.<strong>16</strong>. Using a copper spoon, the unwanted holes had been filled.<strong>17</strong>. Jesus used a grinder to level out the welds that were done to the body.<strong>18</strong>. To make sure that the metal was going to stay free of rust, it was treated with DuPont metal conditioner.<strong>19</strong>. The metal conditioner was brushed on.<strong>20</strong>. To assure that there was no unwanted residue, the metal was wiped down with lacquer thinner.<strong>21</strong>. A thin coat of fiberglass was used to give the quarter panel some strength.<strong>22</strong>. The thin coat was feather sanded to give the car the shape that it originally had.<strong>23</strong>. With bodywork, it's all about patience and the Coronel proved it after sanding on this section for hours.<strong>24</strong>. Before going any further, we checked to make sure that our quarter panels would be able to wear our Classic Industries quarter panel skirts.<strong>25</strong>. The bodywork was ready to be protected using the DuPont sealers and primers.<strong>26</strong>. Jesus gave the car a dry coat to avoid any unwanted runs in the primer. Jesus will repeat this process thoughout the area that needed to be protected.<strong>27</strong>. After hours of metal massaging, this quarter panel was ready to be final blocked for paint.