Taking on any large automotive project requires loads of planning and dedication. At times the effort it takes to get through some of the obstacles encountered might seem insurmountable, but once you get past them, you learn to appreciate what it took to achieve your goal. Much like running at Baja or Indy, all of the grueling time spent during the race always comes down to those last few miles before you cross the finish line. For Peter Newell and the team at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, spending a little over a year working on Tony Rose's Project Karma Camaro came down to its final lap when they prepped the car for its trip into the spray booth.
It's amazing to see all that happened in 12 month's time. Rose saw the total resurrection of his car, including a complete body teardown, panel replacement, new front subframe and suspension, and most of all, its new coating of color. It was a long road for the car (since it originally came in only for a repaint), but the more Newell and his team poked around, the more discrepancies they found that would need to be addressed. All of the hard work and perseverance came down to having the body massaged to perfection before it entered the spray booth. Just because the car was heading toward its completion stage, however, didn't make it any less intense with regard to the attention to detail required.
With the car fully masked and surface cleaned, it was time for Newell to give it a final once-over to be sure there wasn't anything that might have been forgotten. Keep in mind, proper surface preparation will win the game, while overlooked errors will contribute to catastrophic failure.t here.
Long days spent block-sanding to have the car's surface prepped as smooth as glass were hours well spent once the paint started to flow from the spray gun. With the final color laid down, Newell fastidiously wet-sanded and prepped the new paint (which sometimes can take over 40 hours alone!), removing any signs of orange peel followed by compounding and polishing the surface. The completed body, with its new coating of PPG Ferrari Grigio Silverstone metallic, is nothing short of breathtaking, and we can hardly wait to see the car in finished form.
Peter Newell's Top Five Sanding and Buffing Tips 1. Always add a dash of liquid dish soap to the water in your wet-sanding bucket to help lubricate the sandpaper and cut excess friction on the paint surface.
2. To make your sandpaper more pliable, be sure to let it soak in your wet-sanding bucket a few minutes before getting started.
3. When wet-sanding body surfaces, be sure to use a semi-hard block on all flat areas, and a soft block on contoured areas or edges. To remove orange peel on a panel (especially at the edges), carefully wet-sand to the edge since final compounding and buffing will not remove any remaining peel.
4. In between the compounding and polishing stages, it's a good idea to wash the surface areas with fresh water to remove any remaining compound residue. Once dried, you'll be able to properly inspect the surface prior to completing the polishing stage.
5. Remember that compounding helps to remove any wet-sanding scratches while preparing the surface for its final step. Polishing brings out the final luster, especially when followed by hand waxing.