Bodywork #1: Full body workout

Update 11/7/09. I’m happy to say this rerun series seems to be doing well.  Todays installment should show clearly why this car is not on the road.  If I can display the same tenacity towards this car as I have the TI or Berlina it will get done.  It’s just going to take a while.

Originally posted May 2nd 2008, my third blog post! Just a quick guided tour of what the body needs. Remind yourself that surface rust looks worse than it is in pictures. The plan at this point is to scrape off the undercoating with a putty knife and use abrasive wheels etc on the rust. I have had lots of suggestions to take the body to the blasters and this is probably what I will end up doing.

After email exchanges, pulling up the carpet on some local Giuliettas and parts book consultation I am confident the floor pan is shared with a 101 Spider, which has a slightly longer wheelbase than a 750 Spider. In the picture above what is obvious is the missing drivers side floor, what is not so obvious is how solid the structural pieces below this section of floor are. I’ve seen much nicer SS’s with fairly rotten structural frame members.

Above here is the passenger side floor, all that remains of the original floor. There is a hole where the kick-panel meets the fire-wall and rocker top about the size of a quarter. Just out of view above this is shiny silver sheetmetal making upt he firewall.

Try as I may I just couldn’t get a shot of dent above the wheel opening that makes it look like a dent. The way the car is put together the fender, the inner wheelwell and the inside panel below the quarter window box the area directly above the wheel opening in. To remove this dent will require cutting a chunk of the body out, shaping it and welding it back in or using a screw or welded tab puller. I am thinking cutting the area out is the way to go since I will be able to seal the area in there with rust preventative paint.

From the factory Bertone applied thick rough undercoating type paint to all surfaces inside the trunk. The texture is a lot like pick-up truck bedliner. I scraped most of it off to see if there were any rust holes under it and luckily the rust is all surface.

This is behind the rear passenger side tire. The lower corner of the trunk is completely gone and the rust was making its way up the panel. As far as rust repairs the car needs, this is among the worst.

This is behind the drivers side rear wheel. a lot better than the passenger side, needing only a few small patches.

The passenger door has the usual rust on the bottom surface. It doesn’t look like Bertone provided any drains for water that got past the window felts so it just sits in the bottom of the door until it looks like this. Once this area is all blasted I’ll get a better idea of how much metal to replace.

Another shot of inside the passenger door, a little bondo mushroom growing through a rust hole, probably applied just before the blue paint.

The same spot from the outside. The drivers door is a little better than this.

Pondering the work required to fix all of what can be seen above has me worried about the scope of the project. I set out to ‘do it myself’. Am I straying from that path if I send the car to a specialist rather than doing all the fabrication and welding myself? What is the logical conclusion? Am I going to get a loom, raise some red sheep and make my own carpet? Float my own glass? Somewhere in between is the right compromise for me.

The best I can do at this point is take the project an hour at a time and eventually I’ll get to the point where all I can do is either learn some new skills or start writing checks. Fortunately, that point is probably 2-300 hours away.
Click here to see the next post in this series.

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