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Project Update 1971 Ford Torino Convertible

We have significant progress on the 1971 Ford Torino Convertible Restoration! Jim has cut all the necessary pieces so the Torino restoration can now become a convertible. Waylon is cutting the top roof off the 1971 Torino hardtop.

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Waylon is making sure all the cuts are complete.  Ready for lift off.

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We now have the makings of a 1971 Ford Torino Convertible.

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Body panels are in the restoration process and will be custon fitted.  More to come soon!

1972 Chevelle Malibu SS Restoration

Back in the day this classic was America’s most popular mid-size car. This automobile was built in Oshawa, ON, rolling off the assembly line with a 350 small block 8 cylinder 175 horsepower engine, 4 barrel carburetor, and L48 RPO (Regular Production Option). It also has a 4-speed manual transmission with original SS Rally wheels.The final year of an SS A-Body design introduced in1968, the fifth year of production for the Chevelle, the1972 Chevelle Malibu SS is one of the rarest Chevelle SS model years, there were only 5,333 produced. This was about one-quarter as many were produced in1971 and just a tenth of how many were made in 1970, when 53,600 Chevelle Malibu SS models were built. It was named after the city Malibu, California. 1972 was the last year popular for Chevelle classic car collectors.

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350 Small block V8 engine.

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Factory manual 4-speed transmission

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This classic car is a full frame off restoration.


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Completed custom paint and buff stage with Competition Orange and correct factory SS stripes. Final assembly will begin with chrome and weather-strips.

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Originally the interior was white.  The newly restored Chevelle SS will have a stock black interior. Stay tuned more to come.

Identifying the type of scratch in your custom paint

1967 Dodge Charger

It is an honor to have such a rare classic car, such as this 1967 Dodge Charger in our shop.  Only about 15,000 Chargers were made in ’67 and not near that amount has survived.  We are glad that we have the opportunity to bring this classic back to life.  When our client brought us this vehicle it was a shell of a car and about 15 boxes of parts.  Initally the client had tried to keep the cost of this restoration down by going with several smaller shops that would work on seperate areas of the vehicle.  What this resulted in was a 5 year build, with little progress and lots of lost parts.  Over the last 6 months we have tracked down all the missing pieces of this vehicle, repainted it, polished all the trim and restored the interior.

The vehicle is now really coming together and we are down to a few of the final items such as custom floor mats that have the Charger logo embroidered on them.  We expect this vehicle to be back on the road within the next month.

Click below to see the past updates:

1967 Dodge Charger

1967 Dodge Charger

Installing quarter trim

1967 Dodge Charger

Installing rear bumper

1967 Dodge Charger

Installing rocker panels


67 Cadillac Deville frame off Cadillac restoration

We’re starting working on this big old Cadillac Deville.  The Caddy will get the works from a full paint job, to full mechanical restoration and interior restoration.  The owner is looking for a vehicle that is going to last a long time in order to hand it down to his children and what better way that to restore this thing from top to bottom. 

1967 Cadillac Deville being delivered

This 67 Cadillac has had the engine and transmission pulled to send it to the machine shop.  The old Caddy’s engine compartment is full of wires and vacuum hose along with a ton of miscellaneous brackets and clips.  Before we started we took loads of pictures to give ourselves a nice visual reference for re assembly.

1967 Deville engine compartment1967 Deville A/C box1967 Cadillac Deville engine compartment

1967 Cadillac Deville engine compartment

The interior has for the most part been gutted.   Pulling the carpet and insulation revealed some rust on the floor pans that was not visible from the underside.  This is something that will eventually be addressed after we have stripped the rest of the body.

1967 Cadillac interior

As of now the body is on its way down to nothing.  We’re removing all of the trim and the body panels will eventually go.   We will eventually pull the body from the frame to thoroughly clean blast and undercoat the bottom side.  At this time we will also be painting the frame before it goes back together. 

1967 Deville Dismanteled1967 Cadillac Restoration1967 Cadillac Door

This is major project with many different aspects and will be an awesome car to drive as it floats down the freeway.  The Cadilliac restoration will be one to note a prime example of “they don’t make ‘em like the used to”.

Sanding and buffing basics

               A high quality paint jobs is nothing without the tedious task of sanding and buffing the clear coat.  A highly skilled painter can make a paint job look good without sanding and buffing, but those extra steps are what can take good to great.  Sanding and buffing is vital to any high quality paint job and these some of the steps we take to meet and exceed our standards.

                It all starts with the paint job.  Minimal dirt, no runs, and an even texture make sanding the clear coat that much easier.   You must start with a clean surface.  The number one thing that will cause problems with buffing is dirt in your sand paper.  The foreign dirt and debris can get caught between the paper and clear coat and will cause a scratch that will not buff out.  Blowing off the surface with compressed air and cleaning with a damp towel will remove the chance for contamination.

                Different people have different ways of sanding and buffing a car.  People have differing opinions on what grit paper to use, how many steps to take, and to dry sand or wet sand.  We use a combination of different grit papers and wet and dry sanding to obtain the level we are looking for.

                The first stage starts with 1000 grit paper.  The paper made by 3M is often referred to as a film.  This film is attached to a finishing dual action sander (called a D/A).  It is important at this stage to not sand too much.  As finishing sand papers go, 1000 grit is pretty course, so off of sharp body lines and edges is essential to keep from sanding through the clear coat.  The 3M film is designed to use dry, so using compressed air will help the surface clean.  Blowing off the paint surface and sand paper is important to saying free of dirt build up.

3M sanding film

                The D/A is used to “knock down” the dirt nibs in the paint, and even out the texture on the larger surfaces.  Replacing paper often is important to keep the cutting surface fresh and consistent.  Sanding needs to take place in steps working from 1000 and moving to a finer grit like 1500 and then on to 2000 grit.  Use these finer grit papers in the same manner as the first and with each step sanding closer and closer to the edges.  The finer grit papers help smooth the scratches from the courser grits which will in turn make buffing easier.

1987 Grand National door1987 Grand National buffed door

                The proper use of the D/A is also very important.  Using the correct interface pads, proper air pressure, and keeping the moisture out of the system will help keep the dust from collecting and balling up on the paper.  The sander should always stay moving and off of sharp lines and edges.  Paper should be free of rips and tears.  Anything other that paper to paint has the potential to create an un buffable scratch.

                Before buffing, a final sand using a 3000 grit paper that is attached to a foam back up pad is used.  The 3000 grit paper can be used wet.  It’s best to used water from a squirt bottle.  The water helps keep the surface lubricated and clean.  The 3000 grit pad has very little cutting ability.  It acts as almost a pre-buff, leveling out the sanded surfaces from the courser grit papers.  After sanded all surfaces should be cleaned and wiped down with a soft wet cloth then dried.  This will help make sure all dirt nibs have been sanded smooth and all surfaces have been sanded evenly.

Buffing also involves lots of practice and skill, but starting slow will help you get a feel for the tool and the paint.  Using a variable speed 8” buffer with a wool pad start slow and spread the compound over a smaller area.   Keep the compound from slinging across the room.  Not only does it make a mess, but will stain walls and paint if left unclean.

Buffing creates heat.  This heat can burn the paint if you’re not careful.  Using too little compound won’t bring the paint to a shine and run the risk of burning the paint.  Too much compound can etch into the paint and create a build up that can be hard to buff off.  A good rule can be about a 4” bead of compound to one square foot of buffing surface. The biggest thing to know is to keep moving.  Staying in place will only cause the paint to heat up and burn.

After you have made it through with the heavy cut compound and a wool pad, there can be a series of steps that can be taken to remove swirl marks and the finer scratches left from the wool pad.  A once over with a foam pad and compound, then a softer foam pad and polish, followed by a hand polish will make your fresh paint shine like no other.   When finished, clean all compound out of the jambs, clean up any sludge from sanding, and make sure all excess compound is cleaned from any cracks and crevasses.

Sanding and buffing is a skill that takes time to learn.  It’s not for the faint of heart. When done correctly it will take a mediocre paint job to the next level with a little bit of time and elbow grease.


1968 Z/28 Camaro Muscle Car – Driver Restoration

1968 Camaro Muscle Car – Driver Restoration


This ’68 Camaro is on the books for a paint job and interior restoration.  This muscle car is having the paint stripped and interior gutted for now.  Even though the paint looked pretty good we still wanted to discover what was underneath. 

1968 Camaro

Overall the Camaro is pretty solid.  It had quite a bit of unnecessary body filler and a few older rust patches.  I have said it over and over, but this is the number one reason to strip a car.  It is important to find the problem areas before they blow up on you down the road.

1968 Camaro Z/281968 Z/28 Camaro

As of right now we have tore down the body, removed the interior, stripped the paint, acid etched primed, and sealed the body.

1968 Camaro Z/28Uncovered holes1968 Camaro

We will reevaluate the body work and start making the proper repairs before we send this Camaro back to the paint department.

1968 Camaro Z/28

1987 Buick Grand National is getting a paint job face lift

This T-top ’87 Buick Grand National came in for a face lift.  The vehicle had been the unfortunate victim of a key job.  Luckily the car was in such nice shape to begin with, a paint job is all that was in order for this classic 80’s muscle car.

87 Grand National quater panel87 grand national with key scratches

This paint job was about as simple as they come when it comes to paint.  The first step involved fixing the key scratches. Most of the small key scratches came out with just a heavy sanding.  The remaining scratches were repaired with just a skim coat of filler.  The Grand Nationals paint was in such nice shape it wasn’t even necessary to strip. 

We almost completely dismantled the body to avoid any paint lifting or peeling issues down the road.  We also repaired just a few dents and dings this thing received throughout its life. After a few good coats of primer it was ready to sand and paint.

1987 Grand National paint job

Back to black was the plan.  Having all the little bumper pieces, mirrors, and fillers painted give the face lift it deserved. After the clear coat, and a run through the bake cycle, sanding and buffing was next on the list.  No paint job is complete without being slicked down with a good sanding and buffing.

1987 Buick Grand National paint job1987 Buick

We’ll put the Grand National back together except for the emblems.  After a final buff and polish we’ll stick these emblems back on and send it down the road.

1987 Grand National Paint Job1987 Grand National getting buffed

1987 Grand national


1987 Grand National

1971 Ford Torino convertible – Frame off Restoration

After a long search for a useable body we were able to come up with formidable candidate for the 1971 Ford Torino convertible, frame off restoration.  The parts car is a hardtop shell that will give us many of the parts that are not available on the aftermarket.  This shell will give us the small pieces that will reduce the amount fabrication substantially.

1971 Torino


                Before any of the rebuilding work can be done we must first take the car down to almost the smallest piece.   The rocker panels on the Torino are made into three pieces, an outer panel, inner panel, and a third brace that is only used on convertibles.

1971 Torino Convertibible being dismateld for rebuilding


                We will essentially be making the hard top into a convertible.  This involves using the entire extra bracing the convertible uses. Cutting the car apart into each individual piece helps with the fabrication of miscellaneous bracing and pieces.

Dismanteling the rocker panels for the 1971 Torino convertible


1990 Camaro Convertible – Driver restoration

1990 Chevy Camaro Convertible


The Camaro came in with some tired paint, tired seats, and not quite running the way it should.  We turned this thing around with a new paint job, new leather seats, and a tune up with valve adjustments,   The Camaro also received a tunable Borla exhaust system, and Kicker audio system.The only thing left is to get into some convertible weather to put the top down and cruise.

The Camaro was stripped to bare metal, before the fresh black was applied.  Sanding and buffing makes the black look endlessly deep.

Bare metal makes for a good start

Leather seats give the interior the extra touch of class and comfort.

Leather seats getting redone

The tunable Borla exhaust made the car sound just as good as it looks.

90 Camaro Borla exhaust   P9183115

The Camaro was also equipped with a Viper alarm system that will keep it secure.  With GPS tracking and the ability to start right from an iPhone, this ’90 Camaro has features many brand new vehicles are lacking.

The deep black paint job and the new leather covers have this ready for the road and turning heads.

1990 Camaro Convertible

1990 Camaro Convertible1990 Camaro leather seat covers


1990 Camaro



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