Dave’s GTO project came into the shop after having been in a couple of other places and getting stalled for various reasons. Body work had been done and it had a fresh paint job but, it was still mostly disassembled. The body was on the rolling chassis and a fresh tri-power 389 was strapped to the pallet it was shipped on.
The first task was to intall a Tremec TKO500 5-speed transmission. This included floor modifications to accommodate the floor shifter in this previously automatic equipped car. Then with the engine installed we added a complete dual exhaust system from Pypes. With a lot of attention to fit and detail this makes a great exhaust system. We modified a new core support to house an A/C spec radiator. Next up was to run the engine through the cam break in procedure.
About this time Dave gave his car a long hard look when it was parked next to Jared’s freshly painted Olds and we agreed that the body work under his fresh paint job wasn’t quite up to current standards. That’s a nice way of saying it was as wavy as a stormy sea. The only way to correct the problem was to start over so, we stripped it to bare metal and started over. Since he also wasn’t overjoyed with the previous color selection, we also picked a new color to give the car a richer look. Instead of the previous blue/green metallic it will now be a maroon metallic currently used on Cadillac Escalades.
Once we got all the paint and bondo stripped of it was apparent we needed to replace the tail panel and there were a couple of other body pieces missing that we needed to source before painting the car. With the body work and block sanding nearly complete the plan was to paint all the jambs with the body panels off the car, re-assemble it, do the final block sanding, and then spray the entire exterior of the car. I was preparing to spray the jambs of the fenders when I noticed this damage on the engine compartment side of the fender. I had to do a quick patch and repair before painting the jamb.