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1970 Chevy Nova Bodywork - Sheet (Metal) Happens!

CARS Inc. Makes Sheetmetal Happen For Our Nova

By Mike Harrington, Photography by Mike Harrington

Armed with an air chisel, I was careful not to get overly enthusiastic when I cut the quarter off. A liberal amount of metal was still left on. One can always cut more off as more progress is made. I have seen cases where a guy removed too much of the old metal and ended up creating problems when it came time to install the new metal.

This is one of the surprises we found after removing the old panel. The inner panel was just as rotten underneath. There was no real way of knowing this until we removed the outer panel. At first, we thought we would have to fabricate a new inner piece, but after looking again at the CARS Inc. catalog, we saw brand-new inner panels ready to go. That will save us lots of time. We went ahead with the new quarter-panel install anyway. Well, sort of. Our plan was to trim it down to its perfect size and tack it into place for fitting reasons.

Believe it or not, editors actually do work on their own vehicles. I'm busy separating the old outer panel from the inner panel. That makes it easier to locate the factory spot welds and either drill them out or grind them down. It's hard to tell from just the handful of pictures thus far, but it's taken two days of work to get to this point. I understand why body shops charge what they do; it takes a good amount of time to get the job done right.

Before welding spatter has the chance to get all over the rear window, Harrison removed it and put it in a safe location.

The rear window and trim is still in good shape, and we want to salvage what we can.

Let's take a detailed look at the new quarter-panel provided to us by CARS Inc. In the front, the jamb goes all the way down to the rocker panel and all the way to the interior.

By Mike Harrington
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