Suprang Show and Shine

How much can be done with a gallon of Bondo and a gallon of industrial enamel?

Much has been said about "perfectly good Mustang" and "henious acts on a classic". Well, poo. This Mustang was far from perfect. Sure, it was an A code coupe, but it was a rusty, dented up A code coupe. The bondo was laid over rust and old paint; dents were hurredly hammered to accept over 1/2" of Bondo in some places.

Now the rust is replaced with steel, and ummm...

It's orange.

Note: Captions are on top of photo renditions

First, you need a decent dust free environment. Since I didn't have one of those, I grabbed some plastic sheeting (before the recent unpleasantness) and a staple gun.

Plastic Fantastic

Just some exploratory surgery here. All this bondo has to come off since it was laid over paint and is rusting underneath. This was the worst spot, but was also typical of other areas of the car.


More Bondo. A couple of whacks, and the rust was revealed.

More bondo

I used a combination of chemical and abrasive stripping to get the paint off the fenders.

Stripped fenders

I reinforced an area behind the shifter to accept the emergency brake from the Supra.

Supra e-brake

I hammered out the dents as much as I could, and then naively applied my own Bondo, as if I could do better than the previous horrible job.

My bondo

Many thin coats does the trick. File the Bondo when it's soft, and then use a dual action sander to sculpt. A straight piece of wood with sandpaper is useful as well.

Better fender

After getting the fender close to perfection, a bit of thick primer is used to cover gouges and bubble defects.

Thick primer

Then I had to wait for a pretty day to prime the car.

Primed Rear

I also wet sanded the car to smooth it out as much as I could with 400 grit paper.

Wet sanded car

Now before you paint, you need the right safty gear

Silly OSHA man

You're gonna make a mess. This is paint, and a whole gallon of industrial safty orange paint at that. So I set up some newspaper, and some spring clips to hold my HVLP gun. This ended up being a pretty efficiant workstation.

Paint workstation

These are really just a tease. Since the car is dissassembled, I only have pictures of parts of the car. Here's the rear fender and the doors.

Doors and Fender

I painted everything. In retrospect, maybe I should have saved this paint for a second top coat, but I really wanted to make this car orange!


I like the way Chrysler went monochromatic on their engine compartments. It looks cool.

Engine compartment

Even the interior and the traditionaly black semi-gloss dash board got the treatment.

Interior Orange

The rear panels came out better than I thought they would, given the damage and how little natural talent I have with bodywork. From 10 feet, the car looks okay, but I can show you where I have all the basic no-nos of paint. I have fish eyes, ornage peel, thin paint, sags, runs, drips, you name it.

Rear panels

Another tease: I've decided to use a V8 after all.