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Chevy Nova Trunk Restoration - Rust Never Sleeps

A Little Repair, Some Sanding, And A Squirt Of Paint Are All It Takes To Make A Trunk Look New

Photography by Jason Walker, Roy Landgrave

One of the most dreaded problems for anyone restoring a classic car, no matter what year or make, is rust. And one of the most common places the metal cancer strikes is in your car's trunk. If you're lucky, the rust demons haven't gained full possession of your car's trunk floor. We were lucky when we decided to tackle the job of cleaning up and restoring this little deuce's hind qarters.

After close inspection of the nova's trunk, no cancerous holes were discovered, which helped make this a quick and relatively easy job. Had there been some cancer, the whole resto project would have been a much more time-consuming affair.

It's always a good idea to scrape or sand any flaky paint or loose rust to help find holes that may not be visible. Your inspection should start with your applying pressure to all rusted areas using a screwdriver or other blunt object. If the screwdriver can be pushed through with minimal effort, then you've got a rusted area that needs to be repaired. Do not lose hope, however, as we will be exploring the correct ways of dealing with this type of rust in a future issue.

To help with our restoration we received a trunk floor restoration kit from one of the most Trusted names in automotive chemicals, Por 15. This kit comes packed with everything you'll need to prep, neutralize, and cover all types of rusty sheetmetal. Por 15 even includes a material called fabric steel, which upon closer inspection, looks very much like fiberglass sheeting. Nonetheless, if your trunk has a small amount of rust, you could patch the holes with the fabric steel supplied in the Por 15 kit. The material works similarly to fiberglass, in that there is a resin agent to harden the layers of cloth. While patching small holes with the cloth will do the job, the best way to tackle the more gaping holes is with a replacement panel and a trusty welder.

After we were finished with all of the scraping and sanding, we had to decide what type of Finish-and color-to coat our beautiful, rustfree trunk floor with. Our choice was Plasti-kote's gray speckled trunk spatter paint, because it closely resembles the factory finish and makes the not-so-perfect areas of the trunk look clean and uniform. Even if you decide to completely cover your trunk with upholstery, it's a good idea to coat the floor and sides with some kind of trunk paint to insure a strong, rust-resistant barrier. In our example, we decided to stick with the spatter-paint look and a reproduction rubber mat from Chevy 2 only. Sometimes having a stock appearance is the only way to go.

Lucky for us, the worst spot of rust was only on the surface. Using a buffing wheel from Standard Abrasives, we were able to easily clean the area, as well as sufficiently prep the sheetmetal for the rustpreventive paint. Most rust-preventive paints require a small amount of rust to be left on the surface to cause the chemical reaction needed for it to bond.





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