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1971 Chevrolet El Camino - The Devil Is In The Details

Primer, Paint, And Barrels Of Elbow Grease Create A Show Car Shine

By Mike Harrington

Yes, it is true: the devil is in the details. But what details are we talking about here? The details of which we speak are the hundreds of hours it can take to have the shiniest, straightest car in town. Yes sir, the very first thing anybody sees on any vehicle is the quality put into a paint job. From the onset of any project, "quality in" gets you "quality out." I used to faint when I heard folks talk about how much money they put into their paint jobs. After all, it's just paint-you spray it on and you're done, right? No, it goes deeper than that.

Our friend Harry Ortis, owner of Harrison's Restorations, purchased this big-block '71 El Camino a few years back for $1,200. Over the years he worked on the El Camino off and on between his customer's vehicles. Finally when the El Camino reached its time to roll into the paint booth, we were there to follow along. The El Camino was in an accident years ago and required some new Goodmark sheetmetal, a driver's side rear quarter-panel, and a hood. After that, a call was made to PPG and it supplied the base and clearcoat for this project. On the next few pages, we will dissect the anatomy of a show car quality paint job and what it takes to get it done.

By Mike Harrington
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