My 1973 Wimbledon White Mustang Convertible Before, During, and After Paint!
#1
Since my 73 Mustang is not a Mach 1 I decided to post this in the Pit Row thread.

I've owned my 73 Convert since 1974, but I've known the car since it left the dealership when brand new as I talked my girl friend into buying it instead of a Mustang Grande! In 1974 I removed the seats and carpet and rust proofed the floor (this was supposed to be the last year of the Mustang Convertible so I planned on preserving it for the long term). In addition I took it to a Ziebart rustproofing place where they drilled small holes throughout the body and used a thin wand to spray their special rustproofing material in all hidden areas of the body cavities as well as under the hood, trunk, doors, etc. Ziebart was well worth the investment.

The Mustang was garage kept most of its life, used sparingly, and currently only has 111,000 original documented miles on it. I pulled it out of storage from my parent’s barn in 2005 and started going through the mechanics as a project with my teenage son. We replaced the fuel tank, sending unit, fuel pump, rebuilt the carb, removed and cleaned the radiator, replaced hoses, changed auto trans fluid, removed and cleaned the power steering pump, replaced exhaust system, and so forth.

Anyway, as of June 2009 my Convert still had the original Wimbledon White paint and virtually no rust. We drove it to a cruise-in/open house that was held by a body shop sponsor of our local Mustang Club, the Northern Virginia Mustang Club. While there, I asked for an estimate to get the convert painted and repaired. The body shop owner and manager could not believe there was not rust through anywhere on the car. They took notes and said they would get back to me with an estimate. The sponsor, Precision Auto Body, in Manassas Virginia, was also having a raffle for a $2,500.00 paint job; they did not even charge for the raffle tickets. Well guess who won the raffle; my son and I couldn’t believe our luck that we won!

After discussing with the body shop folks, I decided to do a lot of the disassembly myself to obtain better results. After many months of prep work it was off to the body shop.

What ever I did not remove the body shop did. Everything was removed that was screwed/bolted on the body. All door handles, door windows (qtr panel windows were not removed), lock cylinders, mirrors, antenna, side marker lights, trunk lock, weather-stripping and beltline molding around the windows were all removed. There was some rust around the top and bottom of the rear taillights so I decided to have the taillight panel replaced so there was no body putty used. I also replaced the front and rear valance, no rust, but several small bends and dings, so easier to replace than repair. The driver’s door was dented when my ex-wife intentionally backed into it back in the early 90’s, but that’s another story!

The body shop media-blasted all removable panels, such as the hood, fenders, doors, and trunk lid. The underside of the hood was not blasted (they said it was better not to) so it was hand stripped to remove all the old Ziebart rustproofing. The remainder of the body was sanded down to metal. The dent in the drivers’ door was repaired with the use of very little body putty. Three different colors of primer with multiple coats were used to obtain a laser straight finish. At least two to three coats of Wimbledon White paint with two coats of clear coat were used. All the pieces were painted off the car, including the ¼ panel extensions, the front edge of the hood, the side marker moldings, the mirrors, and the rear fender fillers and bumper extender.

The body shop had the car from June 2009 through March 2010; their primary work is insurance claims, but they like occasional restorations. I told them to take their time and do a good job and they did. I’m extremely happy with the results. Here are some pictures before, during, and after. Feel free to ask any questions about the process or ask for any specific pictures if it will help you out.

March 2005, pulling it out of storage from the barn. Notice my son and step-son sitting in the car.


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During


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Back at Home


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Reply
#2
(03-28-2010, 01:01 PM)Rare Pony Wrote: [size=medium]Since my 73 Mustang is not a Mach 1 I decided to post this in the Pit Row thread.

Nicely done it looks like. Are you going to wet sand and buff the paint out ?
Reply
#3
(03-28-2010, 06:38 PM)Bitdriver Wrote:
(03-28-2010, 01:01 PM)Rare Pony Wrote: [size=medium]Since my 73 Mustang is not a Mach 1 I decided to post this in the Pit Row thread.

Nicely done it looks like. Are you going to wet sand and buff the paint out ?

In the pictures at the body shop the car had not been buffed out yet. In the driveway pictures at home the car had been buffed. I haven't paid for the job yet since the manager was off the day I picked the car up. I will be asking about more details of the process "for the record" when stop by later this week.
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#4
Very impressive & great story. Looks like it turned out really good and what an improvement :) Sure helped though winning the first $2500.00 :)
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#5
Thanks for the complements!

I just got off the phone with the body shop manager and confirmed some of the details (he was becoming a Grand Paw the day I picked the car up).

Primer: Three different colors (grey, black, white) with multiple coats of each with sanding in between.

Paint: "At least" three coats, some areas more.

Clear Coat: "At least" three coats.

The car was wet sanded and buffed, but not to the highest extreme. Could be done again to achieve an extreme finish.
Reply
#6
(03-30-2010, 06:51 AM)Rare Pony Wrote: Thanks for the complements!

I just got off the phone with the body shop manager and confirmed some of the details (he was becoming a Grand Paw the day I picked the car up).

Primer: Three different colors (grey, black, white) with multiple coats of each with sanding in between.

Paint: "At least" three coats, some areas more.

Clear Coat: "At least" three coats.

The car was wet sanded and buffed, but not to the highest extreme. Could be done again to achieve an extreme finish.

Yeah thats what I was wondering. I saw some rippling in the driver side photo you posted. Nothing too bad, and it still looks fantastic.
Reply
#7
Awesome! Thanks for sharing these photos now that's what I'm talking about! Jam
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#8
Nothing looks cleaner than a super straight white Mustang. The black lower accent gives the body a long, lean look. Very nice and very well done!! Should be a show winner or family gem. I just love it!!!
KeithEusa_dance
Reply
#9
Keith, thanks for the compliment. It's been over two years since the paint job was completed and it still looks great and is holding up real well.

Thanks again!
Reply
#10
If you just want maximum enjoyment out of the car, then go ahead and do another sand and buff. If you want it to be concours correct, leave it as is. I worked in an auto manufacturing (assembly) plant for over 20 years. 8 years as a paint inspector. The factory cars were never saned and buffed after the initial base coat, clear coat was applied. Occasionally, when repairing a paint defect (runs, sags, ect.) the repair would require sanding with 1500-2000 grit wet/dry and then a two stage buffing. It always resulted in a "shiny, smooth spot" which looked better than the rest of the paint. We used a PPG base coat, clear coat paint system.
Hope this helps,
Keith Wow
Reply


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