Dropped the Monaro down at The Panel Shop on October 21st 2019, and it wasn't long before the first photos started coming through. Quarters were stripped off and cleaned. Front end was removed, as were the diff, fuel tank and suspension. The bonnet (a NOS item i purchased years ago!) was sanded back, and the interior was cleaned of all sealer etc. Next, the car was going to head to the sand blaster...
Labour during this period:74 hours
Clean & treat steel remove parts and sealer 24 hrs
Remove fuel tank remove lead from seams drill spot welds 3.5 hrs
Drill panels off and strip out to mount on rotisserie 36.5 hrs
Remove proof coat paint and surface rust inside 1/4 panels 10 hrs
22 years since it last moved under it's own power...
We've moved this Monaro a bunch of times. First it stayed in the garage of a friend's home. Then I rented a part of the workshop at my last job. It lived in a warehouse when i started my business. We moved it to a factory unit when my business moved. It then moved inside the shed on another friend's property, before moving to my front yard under a tarp for a couple years (no one knew!), the carport, the shed, and then finally it's own home at last: a 6m x 9m workshop in my back yard.
In September 2019, my wife encouraged me to finally start the project. The next day I booked an appointment with Mick from The Panel Shop to pop over and take a look. I agreed to strip the shell back to bare metal to save a few dollars, and deliver it to him in 4-6 weeks time.
The boys from work all took the day off one Monday, and we got to work stripping it back. Started with 36 grit sand paper to etch the surface, applied the stripper, covered it in a huge plastic sheet, and went to work after a 30 minute wait. Took a few applications, but the whole job was done in five hours, for the outside only. We left the inside, door jams, etc for the blaster.
The old paint reveals itself.
Overall, the body had a lot more bog in it than I expected, but i was happy to see it all. We'd finally started the rebuild! Time to organise a trailer, and get the old girl down to the panel guys.
Labour during this period: 20 hours
Strip paint 20 hrs
1994, I purchased this amazing HK GTS Monaro, fitted with a 400ci small block chev. It ticked all the boxes at the time: I wanted something cool, fast, and well looked after.
I got that with this car, purchased for $9800 off the previous owner, Tony.
From the details I remember, it had been painted with 2k primer, acrylic top coats, and had won "Top Paint" and a few other trophys at various shows. During my ownership, it took out "Top Street Machine" at Big Al's Poker Run, against 700+ cars. I was pretty happy with that :)
In 1998, after a dozen or so defect notices, a small electrical issue, and a sloppy steering box, myself and a friend decided to strip it back and give it a new look inside and out.
At the time, most Monaro's were 'hot rodded'. Street machines. Originality wasn't high on owners mind, they needed to look tough, sound tough, and seemingly most important, be unique. But I wanted to try and restore it back to at least a fairly accurate original specification: Warwick Yellow, Black stripes, 327ci, factory interior, etc.
We stripped the car of all its parts, engine, driveline, and dropped it off to a trusted local painter. We agreed on a price to strip back to bare metal, with me painting the underside and inside, and the paint shop handling the outside. I was assured they would be providing a paint job that "will give them a name in the trade". Sounds great!
Six weeks later, I popped in to check the progress, and absolutely nothing had been done. I even considered just taking the car back and reassembling. The proprietor wasn't in at the time, so i visited again first thing the next morning. The car was in primer, with patches of bog over the primer. It hadn't been stripped back to bare metal. He'd sold the rims. The front valance/stone tray was all dented (it still had the Holden part sticker on the back, it was NOS).
I decided right then and there to take the car back. With nowhere to store it, it sat under a tarp for a few years. When i had storage space, i didn't have the time. When i had time, money was an issue. Rinse. Repeat.
Finally, in September 2019, my wife encouraged me to get started. We had the space. Time was more available. And we could afford to do the car justice.
So, let's begin!