1963 Chevy Corvette Exterior Features - Split Personality, Part 6

Split Personality Part 6 - Exterior Features

Rich & Barb Lagasse Dec 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
Corp_0812_06_z 1967_chevy_corvette_exterior_features Cold_air_grille 2/25

This photo shows the cold-air inlet grille molded into the front valance.

For paint products, we again used the BASF Glasurit Paint System, which we've used on all our cars. The red is a custom mix first used on our '67 Corvette and later on the '62. After the bodywork was completed, it was coated with a polyester primer-surfacer, and then the BASF process of primer, sealer, guidecoat, base, and clear followed. One side note is that we once tried using the same formula with a different brand of paint, and the color was noticeably different. Whatever the reason, we've had such good luck with the BASF products that we'll stick with a known product that's worked well for us.

Once all the bodywork was completed, we decided to take an additional step by having the body "baked" to make sure everything was completely cured and to bring out any issues such as trapped gases or seam problems. The baking booth was heated to a temperature of 140 degrees for two hours. While we didn't find any issues, we felt it was a good step before going into final paint.

Corp_0812_08_z 1967_chevy_corvette_exterior_features Rear_view 3/25

Here's the modified rear valance and center exhaust outlet.

While we're addressing the subject of paint, it's probably a good time to mention the polishing and wax products we use. While we have tried many different products over the years, we like the results from the Zaino line of products. Everyone has their preference for what they feel the results should be when it comes to ease of use, durability, gloss, and depth of shine, but we've found Zaino gives us the results we look for on both the Vettes as well as the daily drivers. Discussions we've seen regarding polishing products can often turn into a heated debate, and we don't want to get into that turmoil but just relate what works best for us. Whatever you are satisfied using, by whatever measure you feel most important, is a personal choice. We've also found that Zaino's product support is outstanding. It's not usual to have the owner of a company call to answer your questions, but Sal Zaino has done that for us more than once. After the paint was wet-sanded and buffed, we then applied Zaino "Fusion" for the final polishing, using a Porta-Cable random orbit polisher and white foam pad, followed by hand applications of Zaino Z5 polish and Z6 detailer using microfiber towels from DF Towels.

Body Underside
Extensive work was also done on the underside of the body. As we wanted to finish the underside to the same degree as the topside, each bonding strip was reshaped, the entire underside of the body was smoothed, all corners were filled and radiused, and several new panels were made to smooth out the underside appearance of the body. One key tool in making this doable was the body-dolly attachment that allowed us to lay the body on its side. Ninety-degree-angle fixtures were made, which fit into the square tubing of our body dolly. They're relatively easy to make, hold the body steady, and allow full access to the underside. This would have been an almost impossible job to do lying on our backs. (See photo 2: body tilter)

Corp_0812_07_z 1967_chevy_corvette_exterior_features License_plate 4/25

As you can see in the rear license-plate frame, the camera is hidden within the letter "O" in the word "PRO."

Since we painted the frame red, we wanted more contrast and decided to paint the underside of the body in a two-tone of Corvette Quicksilver and our custom mix of red. Since we plan to drive the car, we also used Chip-Guard in the areas which might be subject to stone chips, such as the wheelwells. Color was mixed with the Chip-Guard to achieve full coverage. For appearance in visible areas, the Chip-Guard was smoothed and clear-coated. (See photo 3: body underside and photo 4: wheelwell)

Custom Bodywork
When we started to make the list of changes to cover here, it reminded us of just how many changes there were. Here's a recap of the major body changes.


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