It's a simple process: Start with a clean canvas, and the final result will be better. In Corvette terminology, start with a solid, clean fiberglass surface and the final paint job will be better. No one we've met knows that better than Jeff Reade of American Motoring Memories. His Corvette creations are superb and reflect his knowledge of creating excellent restorations. Add to that his industry-wide recognition as "the guy who knows," having regularly presented seminars in proper restoration techniques at Bloomington Gold since Illinois was a U.S. territory. With Jeff, you have the answer man qualified to help Corvette Fever readers learn a little bit about, among other things, how to properly prep a car.
The following photo exposé was garnered from a quick walk around Reade's shop in Culver City, California. Other things in progress at the shop included the naked '62 shown here, a '67 435hp car in final assembly, a '69 frame-off, and several straight-axle cars including Reade's own recently purchased '59 big-wheel, finned-brake-drum fuelie. Each had elements we will detail here to illustrate proper body-prep techniques.
But perhaps the most important technique to proper body prep is one we can't illustrate in the pages of a magazine: Take your time and pay attention to details. Rushing through a body prep and cutting corners will only lead to disaster. Proper body prep takes time, money (in terms of the right tools and techniques), and patience. If any one of those elements drops out, the final effort is compromised.
Read along and learn-a master is at work. Class is in session!