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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

In the rear, it goes over the fender's lip and right under the decklid where the weatherstripping is located. That's not a bad piece of metal.

We don't plan to use every square inch of it, so some trimming down to size will be required. Still, it's nice to have a full-sized piece.

Albert Venegas (the shop foreman at Harrison's Restorations) took the lead role in getting the panel trimmed and fit to size. I decided my skills could still use some more improvement in this department, so Albert demonstrated his skills. In this photo, he's scoring the metal or tracing where we need to make our preliminary cuts.

We decided we didn't need to replace the door jamb, since the jamb on the Nova was in excellent shape. We simply trimmed the panel to fit.

After the panel is clamped into place, further trimming is required to create a perfect butt joint for the welds. You might have to take the panel off and on several times, trimming a little off with every fitting. It's kind of like getting a tailor-made suit: there's lots of measuring and test-fitting.

A couple of hours later, the panel is perfectly fit, and Albert starts tack-welding it into place. Like we said earlier, we plan on removing the panel again on account of the rusted inner panel. Our plans for this Nova are to take it to a media blaster and have it blasted down to the bare metal. Before we do that, we want to get all the sheetmetal trimmed and fit. That way, when it comes back from the blaster, we can jump right into it.

By Mike Harrington
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