Baby Gets A New Coat

And Everything Underneath, Too

Tony Kelly Mar 17, 2005 0 Comment(s)

We've reached the fun part in our quest to get the Goodmark Camaro ready to hit the road. This month, Goodmark's Second-Generation F-body heads back to Dale Etheredge Auto and Performance for reassembly looking smooth and sleek, with a shiny coat of black paint and a set of awesome multi-colored flames adorning its front sheet metal. Oh sure, we love to think about the tight suspension, speed-scrubbing brakes, and Bill Mitchell-built big-inch small-block engine, but it's the body's condition that ultimately makes or breaks that all-important first impression when the car hits the show and cruise circuits next year.

Craig and Aaron Hopkins at Metal Finish USA (a Division of H&H Autobody) in Cleveland, Georgia, were the folks responsible for making sure that the Goodmark Camaro's bodywork was flawless, so that when the House of Kolor Black paint was applied there was no chance of it coming out looking anything less than a million bucks. Most of the body panels were replaced with Goodmark sheetmetal. Whether you use original, NOS or Goodmark sheetmetal, the trick to any show car finish is in the sanding and prep. That is especially true on a black paint job. And, with the colorful flames applied by artist Mike Lewis of Gary's Body Shop in Atlanta, this car undoubtedly will look great for years to come.

Craig and Aaron spent copious amounts of time to prep the car prior to spraying the paint. Once in primer, the main shell was painted separate of all the removable sheetmetal. Fenders, doors, hood and deck lid were all squirted individually and all the door jambs and other inside areas were coated as well. Once the paint had cured, Craig and Aaron meticulously assembled the entire body and put the call out for Lewis to come and apply his creative touch. If the flame job looks familiar, that's because it is very similar to that applied by Lewis to the Goodmark Chevelle we built a few years ago. It worked on that project, and it worked awesome here.

Like the paint and bodywork, the lion's share of the work required in getting the flames perfect was preparation. Lewis spent hours laying them out and masking the areas where the blue, yellow, and orange colors were to be applied. And when the tape was removed, the results were no less than stunning.

As for putting the car back together, we have come to depend on Dale Etheredge and crew for their meticulous approach to the mechanical assembly. Now, with the outside looking spectacular, the car is headed back to the Covington, Georgia, shop to have the running gear installed and all of the interior put in place. For those of you who have done these steps before, you know how tough this part of car building can be. But when the Goodmark Camaro rolls out of Dale's shop we're certain no one will be disappointed. So follow along here as we see the paint and body experts at work making this future boulevard star look good, and stay tuned for more on its road to hitting the highway.

5

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It isn't easy being green but that's what we get when using epoxy primer.

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It's worth it for the protection, however, and of course a...

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..."full-body" suit is necessary.

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While the front end is being sprayed, the rest of the car receives attention. We'll get the rear as straight as possible, before turning attention to the sides and firewall.

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Keeping a rendering of the finished car sort of helps inspire the work when things get tedious. A bit of door fill assures an even gap.

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Very nice top, right?

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There will be some major horsepower in front of this firewall, as well as multitudes of admirers, so special attention was given to this part of the sheetmetal.

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It may just look like a spoiler, or air dam, but if it isn't finished right and installed correctly it will detract from the looks of the car.

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Many measurements are taken, at least twice...

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...and the surface if protected before drilling installation holes.

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As they say, "measure twice, cut once."

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Since we're expecting lots of looks from the back of the car...

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...(600-plus ponies, you know), we'll spend extra time on the rear panel and bumper.

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Whatever else we are, we're clean. This is a major "blowout" and it's destined to get rid of all the flakes, residue, and dust that accumulate as we body prep.

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We might recommend some goggles and a mask but for magazine photos, we wanted to show a real face.

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Ready for "prime time."

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Back to the booth for a start on the journey towards "real" color.

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Now the fun begins. Putting all of these panels back on, and doing it right, is what separates the pros from the amateurs. Fortunately, we're working with the pros.

Sources

Goodmark Industries
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
877-477-3577
www.goodmarkindustries.com
Dale Etheredge Auto & Performance
Covington, GA 30016
METAL FINISH U.S.A. (Division of H&H Autobody, Inc.)
Cleveland, GA
GARY'S BODY SHOP
Decatur, GA 30032
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