After some daily duty service down in Florida, I shipped the car down to Mexico, near Cancun, where the salt-air started to rust the body. Later, on Cozumel ... Show moreisland, a tourist crashed into a taxi, which t-boned the parked T/A's driver door. Disgusted, with the car's deteriorating appearance, I drove it out of the country. We drove straight out, getting to the Texas border in four days, sometimes cruising for an hour or so at over a hundred on empty and unpatrolled desert highways. I parked it and did nothing to it for about five years, until I decided to restore/customize it in return for such faithful duty.
90% percent of the work was done outside and under a portable tent in the driveway. Only the final paint and assembly was done inside in a two-car garage. First the car was stripped to bare metal to reveal the extent of rust damage. I used aircraft stripper and an air grinder with scotchbrite wheels. The bare metal was treated with phosphoric acid to prep it for the HOK epoxy zinc-rich primer and to prevent surface rust from forming while the metal repairs were done.
I used a small Lincoln electric welder to fix all the cut-away rust areas with new sheet metal. The cowl and under the trunk rod cover had extensive damage. Pine needles and leaves trap moisture in those areas giving rust a foothold. The rest of the car was amazingly rust free.
Only HOK products were used for primer and paint. The white and black are HOK sealers over the finished bodywork. Note the filled in side marker lights, door handles, mirrors.
Raising the body by engine hoist works to fix rust and prepare the undercarriage, but you must exercise extreme safety precautions so the car won't fall and crush you flatter than a hotcake! The engine was degreased, repainted and detailed but not freshened up internally since it ran fine before. Show Less