Fixing dents

I got the last of the removable pieces off the car: the door latches, window seals, and gas filler. I also spent some time cleaning the residue of sealer and wax that was underneath most of the things I took off the car.
After that, I starting fixing a few dents: I sanded off the paint surrounding each dent, and used my stud welder to attach studs to pull out the dented areas. I still have to deal with one problematic dent on the bottom of the right rocker panel, just behind the front wheel. It was created about 20 years ago when I accidentally drove over one of those cement “logs” in a parking space. I will have to pull it downwards, which is hard because the car is so low to the ground. Once all the dents are fixed, I need to fill in the holes in the driver’s door where various rear-view mirrors were attached at one time or another, and weld a couple of little cracks in the hood next to one of the headlights.

Taking off more stuff

I’ve got almost everything removed: the front valences and grill, the snaps for the top, the bumpers, all the lights, all the trim and badges, etc. The only things left are the door handles and outer window seals. To remove those, I’ll have to take off the interior door panels.
I will also need to clean off a lot of sealant and greasy grime that was underneath all those items.
When you look at the virgin paint that was covered up by all the things I removed, you can really see how bad the paint had gotten…

Taking stuff off the car

On day one, I removed the windshield, so I can properly paint around it and replace the rotting rubber gasket. I also removed the headlight assemblies and the front side marker lamps.
Last week I got a nice replacement windshield gasket, and new gaskets for the headlights. It’s nice that I can actually get good-quality reproductions of these parts. A lot of the original rubber is crumbling, and has paint on it from some long-ago quickie paint job.

I’m going to paint the Spitfire

After thinking about it for ten years or so, I’ve decided to paint my Spitfire. It will be a break from working on the Ford for the next few months. I don’t want it to turn into a big frame-off restoration project, but I want to give the car a better paint job than it got from some previous owner, maybe 25 years ago. I’ll be removing the windshield, lights, trim, bumpers, etc., but I won’t be worrying about the under-hood area. Obviously I have all the tools and equipment that I got for doing the Ford, so I just have to buy paint and some replacement rubber parts.

I’ll single stage acrylic urethane paint like I used for the Ford, but I will probably buy a less expensive brand than PPG Concept. I will be duplicating the original color, which is an orangeish-red they called “pimento”.