With new body panels in place, it's time to disassemble the rest of the car
At the end of last month's coverage of the Goodmark Chevelle, we told you the next segment would cover body mods (shaved door handles, nosed and decked, etc.). After careful consideration, however, the decision was made to leave the body entirely stock. Why go through all the work of replacing 80 percent of the body's sheetmetal, only to weld-up or cover-up some of the originality that was so painstakingly manufactured into it?
To make a long story short, this segment will cover the body and frame separation, as well as the disassembly of the suspension and removal of the engine, transmission, and rearend. We will get back to the bodywork next time, since there is still some dirty work to tend to. Dirty might be an understatement, but going this far in a restoration is undeniably worth the dirt and rust that will collect on the walls of our lungs.
First off, when the body comes off the chassis, where do you put it? The best possible answer to that is to bolt it to a rotisserie so that any angle or panel can be "worked over" by spinning the entire body into virtually any position. Being skilled in metal work, the guys at Metal Finish USA were able to build their own body rotisserie just for this project--something that should be left to the professionals, for sure. With that out of the way, for now, it was time to tear down the chassis and suspension parts. Once done, you are left with parts everywhere and the burning question, "Will I remember where everything went when it comes time to put it all back together?" Sure you will, just keep following along, and we'll get you through it.
Once the body of our Goodmark Chevelle was separated from its chassis, it became quite evident that the factory assemblers had it pretty easy. With the body sitting on the chassis it's 10 times as hard to get to and work on just about anything under the car. This is a point in the restoration process where skilled labor, not good parts, make the difference between short cuts and the "right way." Craig and his son have been putting in some long hours and will continue to do so, making sure everything is done just right.