1970 Chevy Chevelle Restoration - Good Mark Chevelle Project Car-Part 1

Most Restorations Begin As A Poor Example Of The Finished Product-And This Heavy Chevy Is A Textbook Case!

Barbara Hillick Nov 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0111_06_z 1970_chevy_chevelle_restoration Rusted 2/19

With the quarter completely removed, we can finally see the extent of the rust's wrath. This also lets us replace any weak sheetmetal that would probably be easily overlooked.

As mentioned, the chosen car was a '70 Chevelle. It was decided that the body was going to be restored to stock using Goodmark's sheetmetal, and the rest of the car would be made up of the latest and greatest, such as a new GM Performance Parts Ram Jet fuel-injected small-block (the 502 was backordered), Hughes Performance 700R4 tranny, Nationwide Driveline rearend, ARE 200S wheels, and four-wheel disc brakes from Master Power Brakes, to name just a few contributors.

When it came time for Goodmark to choose a shop to have the car built, they gave the nod to Craig and Aaron Hopkins of Metal Finish USA in Cleveland, Georgia. There, these two "chronic" car guys would be responsible for every nut and bolt (and sun visor bushing) being installed. Shortly after that decision was made, the search began for the "Car."

The perfect vehicle for most enthusiasts is the best one they can get their hands on. For Goodmark the goal was to find the worst one possible. A perfect candidate was found in Alabama. There wasn't one body panel on the entire car that wasn't rusted or caved-in, except for a perfect roof. The hulk looked terrible in photos and even worse in real life. One order of everything was needed to restore the car. Unfortunately, the owner was looking to make big bucks (imagine that, on a worthless rust-bucket) and negotiations failed.

Sucp_0111_07_z 1970_chevy_chevelle_restoration Inner_structure 3/19

On the passenger side we can now start fitting the new inner structure back to the car. It is extremely important to use clamps at this point instead of tack-welding.

The search continued and what we found were too many presentable cars, too many with rusted-through roofs under vinyl, and too many totally junk cars with fantasy prices attached. Finally, our perfect donor was located a couple of hours outside of Atlanta.

What we got our hands on was a 20/20 car. By that we mean from 20 feet away and 20 miles an hour it was presentable. Upon closer inspection, however, the car needed everything (which was good for the gurus at Goodmark). There were things wrong with the body that the average buyer would more than likely overlook, only to be surprised when the restoration got underway. The cowl actually was worse than it appeared, the floorboards were completely rusted out under the carpet, and there was enough plastic filler in the car to drastically change the quarter-panel dimensions. To get on with the project, a deal was cut and the car headed to Goodmark and then on to Cleveland.

Sucp_0111_10_z 1970_chevy_chevelle_restoration Replacement_panel 4/19

In this shot we can see the holes that will need to be drilled into the replacement panels. The holes are drilled in the places where the new panel will need to be tack-welded to the inner structure. In the end, tacking the holes, like in the photo, will not only look very similar to the factory spot-welds, but will regain the structural integrity, just like new.

After examining the Chevelle, it was decided that the roof, bottom rails, the rear panel between the taillights, and the interior back deck where the package tray resides were in good enough shape and weren't in need of replacement. But the rest of the car had to go.

Ready to rebody a car? Not only was Goodmark going to rebody the car in reproduction sheetmetal and trim, it was decided that to show how straight the panels were the car was going to be painted black! Since Goodmark is the largest supplier of reproduction sheetmetal and trim licensed through the GM Restoration Parts program, they were anxious to dispel the comments about how bad aftermarket reproduction sheetmetal panels are. And what better way than to paint them black!

For this, the kick-off of Project Goodmark Chevelle, we are going to show you the removal and installation of the rear quarter-panels and all their accompanying components, like the removal of the outer and inner wheelwells and the trunk extension. So follow along as we get ready to embark on one of the most detailed vehicle buildups that we've done during the last 10 years. And remember, when it's completed, you could be this project car's new owner.


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