Bodywork and Final Primer

In this update there is little ground breaking news, except to say that all bodywork is now finished and the car is in it's final primer. With that said things will now slow down a bit for a couple reasons. First is the next project will be the interior and that will take some time, and the second is I'm going to have to learn how to sew.

Now that you're done laughing let me explain. This is a budget build so spending a grand on ready made reproduction upholstery is not an option. Also, I like to learn something new with every build so upholstery (seat upholstery specifically) will be one of the new skills I'll be trying to master. Luckily my wife is an accomplished quilter so I'll have a good teacher. She isn't going to let me use her expensive embroidery machine to do faux leather upholstery, but she does have an old heavy duty Singer machine which she says is practically indestructible... so I'll use that one. Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to learning this skill..... and finding out if she's right about that old Singer.

OK, back to bodywork. I've mentioned before the areas that needed a lot of work on this body and if you've followed this site you've seen some of the preliminary photos. The two major areas were the rear section of the roof just above the driver's "C" pillar and the passenger's front fender lip. These two sections took a little time to get perfect but with the help of Rage Gold filler (this stuff can make anyone a pro) both sections came out like new. The rest of the bodywork was correcting minor dents and dings accumulated over 50+ years of use. I did fill a couple holes in the trunk where the dealership logo was located and the holes where the "DODGE" letters were located on the front lip of the hood, but that was about it.

Now, about the primer. While I was doing the actual bodywork I used spray bomb filler primer to protect the bare metal and help with the porosity of the filler. The areas were sanded with 80 grit to create a good surface for the filler to adhere to and after application the filler was then sanded with 80 grit and then 180 grit before the spray bomb filler primer was sprayed. This sometimes took a couple of applications to get the shape just right but once everything was the way I wanted it the entire car was then hand sanded with 220 grit in preparation for the final primer. The primer I used is from Summit Racing and is a two part urethane filler primer and since the final color will be white, the primer I used is a cream color. Here's the car finally all one color.

When I replaced the front fender the lip of the replacement was damaged so I cut that area out and welded in the lip from the original fender since that section was not damaged. This area required a lot of work but here is the finished fender.

The '64 Polara had a unique Dodge logo on the top of both front fenders. This was made of plastic and the logo was applied to the back side. Over time these tend to crack and the logo flakes off. I found a couple pairs on E-bay over the years and used the best two. The logos on the back were patiently repaired and the plastic sanded and polished to a high finished. This was a lot of work but I have to say they came out very nice. Replacements are pretty expensive so for a total investment of about $20 I think these look pretty damn good.

The scoop was removed, sanded, primed with spray bomb primer, and then sanded again. A little work was required to get a perfect fit to the hood but I'm satisfied with the result.

The underside of the scoop was bare fiberglass. This was sanded and then coated with a skim layer of Rage Gold and then finished with 220 grit. This was done in preparation for some custom artwork that will be applied later. In this pic you can get a good look at the difference in color between the primer and the bright white finish color.

Working our way around the car the next section of note is the rear of the roof. I've explained this before but the original owner parked this car in his driveway for several years once he stopped driving it. A storm broke a rather large limb off a pine tree and it landed right on this rear section of the roof. Here is a before picture of this area before any work was done. It required cutting this section out of the roof, re-forming the metal and then welding the section back on. The second pic is the finished section ready for final paint.

The rear of the car didn't require a lot of work but I included a pic just for the hell of it.

The passenger's rear quarter had a crease about 2 feet long just below the center trim piece. Sections like this are why you need to use a long straight sanding block. Anything smaller will leave waves. If you've ever looked down the side of a car and noticed waves, failing to use the proper tool for the job is the reason. The side of a car should be laser straight.

That's about it for this update. Next I'm going to reinstall the front door glass and rear quarter windows.... then start learning how to sew.

Check back often for more updates...

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