1968 Chevy Camaro Quarter Panels - When Good Cars Go Bad, Part 2

Replacing Poorly-Installed Rear Quarter-Panels

Chuck Vranas Sep 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Part 2
Sometimes you need to jump right into the deep end of the pool instead of gradually wading in from the shallow side. Having touched on the rebirth of Tony Rose's '68 Karma Camaro in our last issue, it was obvious we'd be back with much more to tell. The deeper Peter Newell and his team at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, dug into the car, the more shoddy bodywork they found. Almost like a headline from a supermarket tabloid exposing dirty little secrets, every body panel brought out uglier truths to the table.

You'll recall from the last issue, the team spent a good amount of time removing poorly-applied seam sealer where the rear quarter and upper rear outer body panels met. Well, acting on a hunch and feeling that there was more evil lurking beneath the paint surface of the car, Newell stripped the entire body and came across a number of additional issues -all bad.

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When the rear quarters of the car were originally replaced, reproduction skins were used, however, their installation left a lot to be desired. If not properly fitted, the panels can create more trouble than expected. And in the case of Rose's car, the ill-fitting panels resulted in the previous shop using an over abundance of plastic body filler to make up for the difference, creating a mess in the meantime. Hearing from Newell regarding the car's latest woes, Tony wasted no time in contacting Classic Industries (www.classicindustries.com) to order a pair of their complete reproduction rear quarter-panels.

The beauty of the Classic Industries panels is that they are exact replacements for the original factory sheetmetal, including the full doorjamb area and sail panel. Knowing that there were additional issues with the remaining sheetmetal on the rear of the car, Rose also ordered a pair of outer wheelhouse panels, an upper rear outer body panel, and rear body panel. Once the new panels arrived, it was time for team member Brian Jordan to get busy working his magic.

A veteran of countless body restorations, Jordan mapped out his path and readied the car for a serious sheetmetal makeover. This process takes a good amount of time and requires close attention to detail, but it will be worth it as the finished product will give Rose's '68 new life and a solid foundation that will last for years to come.

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So, follow along as Jordan demonstrates how to remove some poorly-installed body panels and unwanted amounts of body filler in exchange for properly-installed sheetmetal and bodywork done the right way.

Once again, a special thanks goes out to the team at Competition Specialties as they wrapped it all up using top-notch skills and great products-a winning combination that will make the car stand out among the rest.

In the next issue we'll dive into some more sheetmetal work and show you how to install a new aftermarket, performance front subframe.

Things change, especially when Peter Newell of Competition Specialties is seeking perfection. Since we last left off, the team suspected certain evil lurking under the gloss of the remainder of Rose's Camaro, so they decided to strip the entire car. They were horrified with what was found.

Closer inspection proved that, although the rear quarter-panels had previously been replaced, they were cut short at the sail panel and doorjamb area, making the replacement a mess and something that needed correcting.




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