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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

Now comes the fun part. It's time to separate the rear valance from the rest of the car. Notice the arrows. This is where the factory welds are located, right along this lip. We used a cut-off wheel to grind out the welds and then separate the mangled old valance.

This is the brand-new valance (tailpan) from CARS Inc. As you can see, it's not just a patch panel, it's a full replacement panel.

Harrison Ortis test-fits the valance so we can adjust where we need to start and stop cutting. Truthfully, in our case it really doesn't matter too much. We decided it would be better to install this valance at a later date. Both rear quarters, and even the trunk floor, need to be replaced. But it's always good practice to play it smart and bite off a little sheetmetal at a time. If we installed the valance now, it would just be in the way when we do the floors and quarters.

Be sure not to get too overzealous and hack up the support brackets in the trunk (I almost did). In this case, the braces were fine. All we need to do is separate them from the old valance and reweld them to the new one.

Just take a look at this quarter-panel. It kind of reminds me of the beach; you can ride the waves and ripples in this quarter-panel. Both sides of the vehicle are in this poor condition.

Here's the real reason the entire quarter is being replaced: the metal is about as rotten as summer roadkill on a Texas highway.

By Mike Harrington
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