Shaving door handles is nothing new. This customization trick has been around since the 1940s. Many a custom car of the '50s and '60s shed their obtrusive-looking handles in order to gain a sleeker look. The look of a smoothed and filled door never gets old and looks good on muscle cars of any given year.
Take, for instance, this 1988 IROC-Z, my daily driver. I always wanted this look for my car, but the decision to shave the handles got a lot easier when a distracted driver plowed into the front fender. Since the vehicle needs to be repainted, this would be a good time to start carving her up.
But what if you don't want to repaint the entire vehicle. Can it still be done? The answer is yes. Filling in door handles can be performed at any stage in the vehicle's build.
The nagging question here is once the door handles are removed, how do you open the doors? There are countless kits on the market that all claim to have the best technology for keyless entry. But for a true quality system (with no plastic parts, we might add), Electric Life power window systems and accessories was an obvious choice. The solenoids in the Electric Life kit have enough pulling power to yank the teeth from an alligator; they can certainly pop open the heavy doors of a Camaro. Follow along in our article and then check out www.superchevy.com for a video demonstration of the Electric Life system in action.
After the wiring and installation comes the more time consuming process of shaving the door handles. And that is actually the shaving part. We tried two different methods on this Camaro. On the passenger's side, I cut out the keyhole and the handle as one piece and created a patch panel the exact size then MIG welded it in. On the driver's side, smaller patch panels where the door lock and handle used to be were fashioned and welded directly over the holes. The later was the best method. I'll explain why in a minute.