A few years ago, my family and I restored a 1976 Camaro. We started with a rusty, dented 76 body, bought out of a junkyard with a running motor for two hundred dollars. From there, we replaced the original front clip with a 1970 1/2 Rally Sport front and also welded on a 1973 tail end. If you are unfamiliar with this ear of Camaro, 1970 1/2 through 1973 are almost identical. Other than the front and rear, the rest of the body did not change much from those three years to the 1976 either. In the end, the restoration was completed for about $3,200, much of this applied towards paint and painting supplies. I would like to be clear that this car is not restored to show quality; we use it as a daily driver. As our first projects with body restoration, we developed some useful methods that will be outlined in this Instructable.
The project taught us there are endless ways to approach classic car body restoration. I will detail the processes used on this 1976 Camaro. I strongly encourage gaining as much other information as possible to form your own ideas as well. This Instructable enters the process after the welding of patch panels and application of body filler.
Step 1: Supplies and Saftey Issues
Supplies - These can be found at many auto part shops, tool stores, or home improvement stores
- 17" wooden sanding board
- Rubber sanding blocks (3M brand shown)
- Wet/Dry sanding pads (3M brand shown)
- Kitchen sponges
- Rubber squeegee
- Sandpaper - 150, 220, 320, 400, 500, 600 grit
- Face mask
Note: Primer and mixing supplies listed in Step 2.
As always when working with tools, general shop safety must be practiced. Mixing and applying paint and primer requires extra caution to ensure proper ventilation of the work space. We commonly used box fans to circulate fresh air. In addition, you must wear the face mask when spraying paint/primer to prevent ingestion of dangerous fumes.