It Starts With Body


The start of any project always has its fair share of demons. The smallest parts of the project can seem to take on a life of their own. I’m sure we will find this out the further we get into this build, but for now, its onto the body!


Our first glance at the Rovers skin came via pictures from the Internet. They say a picture says a thousand words, but a bad picture leaves a few of those out. When our Rover finally arrived at Thom’s facility in Nebraska, it told the rest of the story. A few more hidden spots of repair, and areas that need more attention than previously thought, left Thom scratching his head with where to start.


After a good once over, those unseen or overlooked areas on the body became apparent. From the beginning, we had planned on doing a complete color change. That gold color just wasn’t going to cut it. The colors that were chosen are unforgiving with less than perfect panels as well. That means Thom had his work cut out for him.


Since a full color change is on tap, a major cleaning was in order. Full color changes require a bit more work, i.e. attention to detail, than the simpler recolor. Door jams, under hood and tailgate areas and jams all need to go from that drab gold, to our stunning black chosen for the body.


With black being the base color, panels MUST be arrow strait. Any time not spent in the sanding, filling, smoothing or prep, will stand out like a sore thumb. Starting with the basics, it was bodywork 101. Locating the most troubled areas was the starting point. The cowl area had some serious bumps and bruises. Getting this area back to strait was going to require some hammer and dolly work as well as filling and smoothing. The tailgate was next on the list. Continuing to work his magic, Thom filled and smoothed all the problem areas. He carried on from the tailgate to the rest of the body, filling scratches, low spots and the occasional rust spot. Now comes the fun part. Sanding the entire body.


Sanding seems to be the one thing that every painter dreads. It’s also the one thing that must be done taking the time to seek out those high and low spots. Missing one makes the difference between a good paint job, and a great paint job. After the torturous task of sanding comes the sealing and priming of the body. The fun then returns in the form of more sanding to get things nice, smooth and ready for…you guessed it, PAINT! All those hours spent filling, sanding and priming come together in the hours spent laying out that first coat of color. The painter sees all his hard work with every pass of the spray gun. That glossy wet look shows it all, good and bad.


With our liquid black color put down, it was time for our trademark red center stripe. Thom carefully taped and sprayed the area a gorgeous shade of red. The whole truck then was drenched in clear, giving it that “mile deep” look.


With the paint laid down, we can now look to concentrate our efforts to a new area. What will that be? Stay tuned to find out.