Category Archives: 1957 Bel-Air
Just hanging around
The ’57 is getting its doors. After installing the door and trunk rubber we are ready to get these back on where they should feel right at home. Lining up the left door went pretty smoothly. We still have some fine tuning before moving to the other side. We will be installing the latches and catches once we are happy with the fitment.
No junk in this trunk
The ’57 got a trunk today. We installed the rubber on this and the doors last week and today we were able to get the trunk installed. Tomorrow a door goes on and the last door hinge should get painted. We had to send that hinge over to our buddy Kelly to get it repaired. One of the decorative covers was bent up pretty badly and he worked his magic on it and was able to save it.
Now that all of the sanding, buffing and polishing is complete, lets start putting this beauty back together. We like to start with the seals. Its much easier to install these while the parts are off and you can get around them. They also aid when lining up the panels. If you align the panels without the gaskets, you may have to adjust them again when you do install them. No since in doing it twice. We ordered our parts from Danchuk. These rubbers are very nice. They fit very well and come in bags labeled for where it goes. As you can see they look great as well. Goals for this week are to start hanging parts and getting them operational. That means the latches and mechanisms that make these parts functional will all be cleaned inspected and lubed up for installation. Stay tuned.
Still working on the ’57 to wrap up the week. Today we were able to get the doors and deck lid sanded down for buffing. Jordan started on the deck lid then moved to the doors. Paul couldn’t resist the fun and quickly helped Jordan out. Once they had the truck ready, Paul started the buffing process while Jordan sanded the doors. Just like the sanding process, the buffing process consists of 3 steps. First step is a cutting compound. This process removes the sanding scratches but leaves its on scratches from the process. The next step is a polishing compound that removes the scratches left by the first, but it too leaves really fine swirl marks. The final step removes the really fine swirls and leaves the paint super smooth and scratch free. Its a long process but very worth it when only the best will do. We didnt quite get done with the buffing, but the last picture shows what the paint looks like after one round of step 2. Yes, sometimes you have to go over it a few times to get it right but its worth it in the end.
It all hinges on this
Yesterday started off with a little sand blasting. Jordan blasted the hood hinges and the door hinges for the ’57 Chevy. Once they were done, Cole took his turn sanding them back down smooth. Once that was finished up, Paul cleaned them up and sprayed a coat of DP epoxy on them and followed that with the appropriate colors for the parts. The hood hinges were painted a soft silver color with a flat clear coat and the door hinges were painted the factory Tropical Turquoise then cleared with a high gloss clear. Today we started the wet sanding process. This part of the paint job separates the men from the boys. This is where the super smooth, mirror like finish comes from. Jordan started with 1000 grit sand paper and carefully sanded the clear coat to remove what little orange peel was there. He then went back over that with 2000 grit paper and followed that will 3000. This process will provide a super high gloss and an ultra flat surface. You will easily be able to shave using this paint as a mirror.
Painting the trim
Painting continues for the ’57. Today Paul sprayed the batch of interior parts he worked on yesterday. These parts are interior trim parts that were pretty much stripped and repainted. We started out by applying a coat of PPG’s DPLV epoxy primer. Once that was dry we were able to go straight to the Tropical Turquoise color. Once that was dry Paul sprayed 2 coats of PPG’s DC 3000 clear. These parts should look nice for years and years to come.
While Jordan and I worked on the VW, Paul was busy sanding and prepping about a dozen or so interior trim parts for the ’57. Most of these parts were stripped because the factory only applied a couple of coats of paint and did so directly over the bare metal. This isnt going to cut it for todays quality. When trying to sand these parts the paint just flakes right off so stripping them wasnt really hard, just a bit time consuming because of the number of parts. Looks like he has them pretty close. We hope tomorrow evening they will look as good as the car does.
Standing tall now
After quite some time the ’57 is back in all of its glory. Months of body work and sanding has brought this bit of American iron back from the dead. We spent all day yesterday spraying out the sealer, the roof color then the bottom color then clear. Now that all that is complete we have a beautiful 1957 Chevy in one of the most popular color combinations. This one really turned out nice. We will get a whole slew of interior parts painted next as well as some wet sanding and buffing on the body to really make this car stand out in a crowd. Stay tuned.
’57 is up next
The ’57 is ready for its turn in the booth. The past couple of weeks we have been working on getting it ready for paint and Monday is the day. We have meticulously sanded this vehicle and spent quite a bit of time blowing out all the nooks and crannies where dust can hide. We have changed the booth filters and washed it down. Monday we will finish prepping the booth and finish masking off the car. We will start by applying a coat of sealer over the entire car. We will then paint the roof white and when that is dry, we will mask it off and paint the body the Tropical Turquoise. We will then follow that up with 3 coats of PPG’s 2021 high solids clear. Its been a long while coming but this ’57 will be looking good again in a few more days.
Back in the saddle
After many weeks of going full tilt on collision cars, we have opened up some breathing room and are back on the oldie goldies. We spent some time off and on block sanding this ’57 but the past couple of days have been pretty prosperous. Block sanding a vehicle with this much surface area was pretty time consuming as well as hard on the shoulders and elbows. The firewall was another area that was pretty tedious. Now, most of that is done and we really just have a few corners and channels to sand and a few places in the trunk before its ready for paint. It should be a real looker when we have all the color on it.