Let's not fool ourselves. Any way you cut it, this is an expensive hobby. Many of us don't have the long green to go out and buy a cherry starting point for our dream car. What we're left with is finding as good a starting point as our wallet will allow. If our hearts are set on a more popular nameplate, like an older Camaro, then we soon find that our dollar doesn't quite go as far as it use to. Still, all is not lost. There are some deals out there and, if you're willing to put in some sweat equity, over time they can be turned into killer rides. Such is the case with Jon Lindstrom's '71 Camaro. He found a driver for $2,000 and then set about rehabbing it. It helps that Jon is a body man by trade over at Best In Show Coachworks, so he was willing to go cheaper on the starter car and fix it up over time as funds allowed. It's a story that's common these days, since decent early Camaros are fetching five-digit figures. Besides the normal wear and tear, the Camaro's main issue was rust. It was bad enough to warrant new replacement panels. Whether you're going to tackle a project like this or farm it out to the professionals, you need to know what's involved. Follow along as we rehab and save a second-gen Camaro from a rust-riddled existence. The Cost Of Having It Done: Maybe you've decided that tossing on some quarters is a bit outside your comfort zone and you want a pro to do it. Here's about what it will cost you in labor and material to get the panels on the car. Labor rates will vary based on area and materials will vary depending on the car, but it gives you a ballpark figure.Labor(hours)Replace right quarter-panel16Replace left quarter-panel16Replace right drop off3Replace left drop off3Replace right outer wheelhouse5Replace left outer wheelhouse5Total labor hours48Materials3M cut off wheels #1989$40.753M grinding wheels #1991$35.353M clean strip wheels (3)$24.75Welding supplies$50.00POR-15$49.97 Labor Cost (48 hours at $75 an hour)$3,600Material Cost:$200.82Total$3,800.82 (plus the cost of body panels) 01 Meet our subject Camaro. The good news is that it runs and only cost $2,000. The bad news is that it had a vinyl top at one point and resided close enough to the coast to develop a bad case of rust in the typical areas. 01 Meet our subject Camaro. The good news is that it runs and only cost $2,000. The bad n 02 The rear-lower driver-side quarter was so rusted that things were falling out of the trunk. This is pretty bad rust for California, but typical in most of the country for this old of a car. Could you patch it? Maybe, but why spend countless hours quilting together a hot rod when there are good replacement panels on the market. 02 The rear-lower driver-side quarter was so rusted that things were falling out of the t 03 This car had a vinyl top and with that it suffered the common rot in the window channels. Every car is going to be different in how the metal cancer has consumed it, but at some point the offending sheet metal just needs to be ditched in favor of fresh steel. 03 This car had a vinyl top and with that it suffered the common rot in the window channe 04 Dick Kvamme of Best in Show Coachworks starts by grinding down the area where the quarter-panel meets the roof. Carefully separating this area is key in not messing up the roof and ensuring that the new quarter will butt up to it correctly. 04 Dick Kvamme of Best in Show Coachworks starts by grinding down the area where the quar 05 Normally this area is filled with lead from the factory, however sometime during its 36 years, work had been done and the seam was filled with body filler. If it were lead it would have needed to be melted out. Remember that lead isn't particularly good for you, so use proper caution. 05 Normally this area is filled with lead from the factory, however sometime during its 3 06 Now it's time to separate the quarter-panel from the car. A plasma cutter is the fastest way, but you can also use an air chisel. Cut as close to the seam as you can, but don't cut too much. Once most of the quarter is off you can go back and clean up the edges with more precise equipment. 06 Now it's time to separate the quarter-panel from the car. A plasma cutter is the faste 07 Look Mom, no quarter! While it will feel like you have done a lot, the truth is that getting to this point is pretty easy. This is where you will get to inspect other areas of the car, like the inner wheelhouses and the trunk drop offs. 07 Look Mom, no quarter! While it will feel like you have done a lot, the truth is that g 08 It wasn't a shocker that the trunk drop off was rotted out like the quarter-panel. Simply remove the offending panel. In our case we used our handy Miller plasma cutter. 08 It wasn't a shocker that the trunk drop off was rotted out like the quarter-panel. Sim 09 Scratch one trunk drop off. This is weight reduction at its finest. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | View Full Article By Steven Rupp Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!