The first thing to tackle is the bodywork
This Cortina has had it's fair share of dents and dings
over the years as a rally car.
Yeah, and it will look worse before it gets better.

Rear quarters

As can be seen in this pic, the rear quarter is dented. Actually both quarters have had the same kind of injury.

The door is not mounted to the car at this time, and the yellow paper is for keeping dust outside.
The arrow points at a body line that's supposed to be straight.
(Nov 15 2012)

First, the paint and a thick layer of bodyfiller, up to 1/4" in places, was ground off the body line in question.
Some pieces of sheet metal was welded to the panel. A grip claw and a large slide hammer was then used to pull out the dent.
The profile of this body panel makes it very stiff, and it took a lot of elbow grease to get it pulled straight.

The pieces of sheet metal have been cut off here, and the spot welds ground smooth...

...And here's a first layer of body filler. More will have to be added and block sanded.


The drivers side rocker panel had a somewhat peculiar shape, probably resulting from the same accident as the bent quarter.
Removing the paint and pulling it out should do it.
Luckily the right hand side rocker is much better looking.
(Nov 17 2012)

The thick layer of bondo was a surprise here. Measured with a caliper, the thickness was over 8 mm (0.3").

When the body filler was ground off, the old repair could be inspected. The guy who did this repair obviously didn't care much about the strength and looks of the car, the repair was only spot welded and most of the welds were ground away.
As this is a unibody design, the rockers are important structural parts.

The old repair is cut away in this photo, and a new patch panel can be fabricated.

Here the new patch is fully welded to the rocker.
The shape of the rocker is much closer to original now.
(Nov 19 2012)

The quarter panel and rocker are shaping up.
(Nov 25 2012)

As the shape of the drivers side quarter panel is getting close to what it is supposed to, work was commenced on the rear pan. The old one had so many dents in it, that it mostly resembled a raisin.
The new pan or valance in this pic, complete with a cut out for the exhaust pipe (arrow).

Now here's a new challenge. The rear end of the right hand quarter is made of pieces of flat sheet metal and huge amounts of bondo.
A patch from a donor car or some serious metal bashing is needed here.
(Nov 27 2012)

A lot of bondo had to be ground off to be able to see in what shape the underlying sheet metal was. The old "spear" was cut off and the result can be seen in the pic.
It tends to get worse before it gets any better...

Some new sheet metal fitted to the rear quarter. It already looks promising, even though I guess that the hard part is what's left to do.

Some hammering, cutting and welding later the rear valance and the right hand side spear look like this.
Just as it was getting fun, the gas in the
MIG welder ran out.
(Nov 29 2012)

After getting a new tube of gas for the MIG welder, work was commenced. Some welding and grinding later, this is what the right hand side spear looks like.
(Dec 1 2012)

The rear valance is looking better now, and the fuel tank filler hole has been welded shut.
A few panels are close to ready for the first coat of sanding sealer.
(Dec 8 2012)

The only panel that didn't look dented on this car at the time of purchase, was the drivers side door.
This is what the door looks like after some bodywork, so it really wasn't that straight after all.

After removing the bumper, the front of the Cortina could be seen in all its glory... Plain horrible.
Lots of cracked filler, and the bad repairs had resulted in something not really looking as it should.
At the first blow with a hammer fron the inside, a huge cake of filler fell off. (Dec 11 2012)

All kinds of "interesting" things came into view when the bondo was removed.
The arrow points to a funny repair. The pieces had not been aligned at all before welding, but lots of bondo had had to do the job.
Below the holes is also a horrible repair. Something has made a hole in the sheet metal, and the still very dented metal had been spot welded and then coated with huge amounts of filler.

After some metal bumping, the front loks like this. The small spar between the holes has been aligned and welded, a small patch has been welded to the center of the front, and the roundness at the transition to the fender is a bit closer to what it should be.

Some filler and sanding later the front end looks a bit better. All the holes were filed and sanded till they look like they should.
(Dec 15 2012).

The hood was dented in the front, and a patch panel was cleaned up and cut out of this red and rusty donor hood.
(Dec 16 2012)

Here the patch is fully welded and ground, and waiting for a coat of filler to smooth things out.


A good layer of epoxy was sprayed over the entire body. The doors were painted separately.
Now it's decision time; will it be red or..? Yes, red.
(Dec 26 2012)

And red it is.
The doorjambs and insides of the doors, along with the inside of the hood and trunk lid were painted a nice Mercedes-Benz Signalrot.
(Dec 28 2012).

A buddy helped mounting the doors, trunk lid and hood, and towed the Cortina to the bodyshop with his Ford Transit.
(Dec 29 2012)

At the bodyshop the epoxy primer received a thorough sanding and everything not going to be red was masked off.

As a new day dawned, off it was to the body shop, and after a cleaning with silicone remover and a tak rag, a few coats of red was sprayed over the entire car.
After a few hours of drying in the heated spray booth, everything but the areas to be painted gold were masked off.
(Dec 30 2012)

The gold has been applied here, now just awaiting a coat of glossy clear.

An hour or so after spraying the clear, the masking tape and paper was removed and the car pushed out of the booth.
Fantastic to be able to spray two colors in one day!

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