Restoring a rusted hulk of a car is--to us folks in sunny So Cal anyway--by no means a common task. Here in the land of 50-degree winters and bountiful sunshine, project cars are relatively abundant and usually in extremely good shape--relative to the rest of the country, that is. So, when the guys saw the rotted carcass of a '66 Caprice I dragged home recently, they thought I was nuts. Why in the world would anyone in their right mind tackle building a car that most South Westerners would relegate to the scrap heap without a second thought? Well, perhaps it's because I enjoy a challenge, or because I'm originally from the North East. Relative to what I'm used to restoring, the Caprice was an acceptable project car. The honest answer is mainly because I'm cheap and I got the car for a song. Besides, with the availability of replacement and patch panels from Impala Bob's and the like, my biggest investments in the body resto will be MIG wire and time.
Impala Bob's catalogs are chock full of nearly anything you'll need to restore an early Chevy car or truck, and their selection of sheetmetal is extensive as heck, which is a good thing for me as I'll more than likely be using at least one of every panel they make for the Caprice, plus a 4x8 sheet or two before I'm done. With that said, I'm going to proceed to install the first of many repair panels in my, and the Caprice's, future. I'm starting with the first front fender lower rear patch and in future stories I'll tackle quarter panels, floor pans, and a catwalk panel, as well.
Follow me out to the driveway and see what it takes for an amateur to repair a rotten fender with a fresh, new, pre-formed patch panel from Impala Bob's. Hey, if I can do it than you most certainly can!