<VV> Restoration - DIY is $atisfying (and a hello)

Karl Haakonsen cityhawk at pobox.com
Mon Aug 9 08:22:38 EDT 2010

I've been following this discussion with great interest and decided 
to jump in with my first post as a Virtual Vairs member.

It's great to see such a lively, active email list of Corvair 
enthusiasts. As to the subject in discussion, like most things, I see 
both sides of the argument.

Many years ago, I lived on a farm and had a fully-equipped shop with air 
compressor, paint setup, all manner of welders at my disposal. My last 
refurbishment (I couldn't call it a restoration) was a 1963 Chevy pickup 
truck that I did a fair amount of welding of sheet metal to repair 
rusted body parts and built a 283 engine from parts complete with 
Corvette high compression heads with the finned valve covers to boot. 
This was done in 1982 when I was about 20 years old.

I currently live in the city with a short driveway (that has yet to be 
paved, but I hope to do that this fall), no garage or special equipment. 
I have a baby at home and another on the way, along with a full-time job 
as a nurse whereby I work nights and days in the same week to minimize 
childcare costs (e.g. my time is very limited).

As such, there is a fair amount of work that I've decided that I just 
won't be able to do.

I have had the car (1966 Monza convertible, 110/PG) for 20 years and it 
has been sitting in the dirt driveway, all this time -- I buy Clark's 
good car covers every few years when the old ones got too ratty. I 
bought the car near the end of my first marriage, then the marriage 
ended and the car became less relevant in my life. 20 years later, I am 
remarried with the aforementioned child and pending child, more settled 
in my life and have decided to finally take the project on while there 
is still enough car left to restore.

The body is pretty rough, but I've seen worse. When I last checked, the 
basics were sound... most of the rust is from standing around rather 
than from road salt. The front and rear corners of the front fenders 
(especially the right one), the lower half of the left rear quarter 
panel (probably from the battery) which the previous owner patched with 
a Clark's fiberglass lower quarter panel, and some indeterminate damage 
to the right quarter panel since it has bondo on it. I did not store the 
engine properly when it last ran in 1993, so it is no-doubt seized up by 
now and needing overhaul.

I intend to do the engine work myself (though will send the parts out 
for machining since I do not have the tools for that). I plan to do the 
gross body work (cutting out and patching the rusted areas, sandblasting 
paint and rust off of the car.... probably do the POR 15 treatement of 
the undercarriage. But I plan to send the car someplace to do the finish 
body work and the paint job since I don't have the garage to do it in (I 
plan to put up one of those canopy-tent style temporary garages to do 
the work and will do the engine work in my basement).

I will get the satisfaction of doing a major part of the work myself, 
while saving the money from having all of it done elsewhere... but I 
lack the tools, the place and the time to do everything myself.


Karl (in Boston)

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