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1955 Chevy 210 Body Work - Dust Is A Must

It's Messy And It's Time Consuming, But Bodywork Can Be Done On A Budget.

By Tommy Lee Byrd, Photography by Tommy Lee Byrd

You've all heard about high-dollar paint jobs from professional shops, but the key to a good paint job is the layers underneath. The metal, body filler, finishing putty, primer and sealer need to be perfectly straight, and applied properly for that awesome look everyone wants. The guys behind the scenes rarely get the credit for a truly great paint job, but we'll show you the ups and downs of bodywork, and point out a few tips that could save time and money.

If you're on a tight budget and there isn't much hope for a spectacular restoration in the future, buy some materials and do the work yourself. Bodywork may not be for everyone, but if you can save a few thousand dollars and do the job at home, it suddenly becomes more inviting-and personal. It takes years to master the trade, so running into problems is all part of the learning process. Unfortunately, this '55 Chevy ended up receiving some shoddy bodywork, so that's where we pick up the story. At Specialty Collision Center, there's no shortage of talented employees, and the shop has a division just for restorations and hot rods.

The owner of the 210 two-door post was getting anxious about finishing the car so it was time to straighten up the bodywork and put on some color. They started with coarse grits to knock down the major waves and wobbles, and progress to increasingly finer grits before blasting on a few coats of primer. From there, it's all about technique, as hours are spent blocking the panels in preparation for paint.

Bodywork and paint shouldn't be taken lightly, otherwise you could end up with a mess that will cost more to repair in the long run. Follow along as we straighten this car's panels and make a huge change in a matter of two weeks. Bodywork may not be your area of expertise, but pay attention to the techniques we used on this '55 Chevy and you may want to give it a try. From here, there's only one thing left to do-strap on a dust mask and get busy.

By Tommy Lee Byrd
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