The Steps to Complete Restoration
2. The Body

  • Remove black paint from hood 11/98
    • This was a real mess. A previous owner had painted layers of primer on the hood. He must have started to restore the finish and then given up. It was now scratched and the primer was the wrong type. We need a polyester primer to match the fiberglass resin and provide a strong fill coat under the paint. I used paint remover to take off the primer. It was the only thing that would dissolve the primer. There was a warning on the can to NOT use it on fiberglass. I used it anyway, but I did not let it stand very long. It took several iterations of coating, waiting, scraping to get the primer off.
  • Remove lights and snaps 1/28/99
    • Everything must come off the fiberglass to prepare the car for painting. So all the lights were removed as well as all the snaps that were used to attach a soft top in the cars past life. The tail lights were wrong anyway. We are going to put the original VW lights back on.
  • Fiberglass over gas tank filler hole and battery box hole 1/31/99
    • To repair the large holes we must use fiberglass mat. There are two large holes in the body. One is in the battery box where a some idiot cut the fiberglass out to put in a larger battery. The other is in the hood where the gas filler spout stuck out. This is a bad place for the filler spout as it is in the bottom front of the tank area that tips down. That configuration prohibits us from filling the last two gallons into the fuel tank. So, the filler spout will be repositioned to the middle top of the tank. An aluminum rallye fuel cap will be placed on the hood.
      To begin the repairs, the back side (non gelcoat) must be ground down to expose the raw fiberglass under the rough surface. This allow for better adhesion of the new fiberglass. The outer surface of most fiberglass has a wax coating which not allow the new fiberglass to stick.

      The battery box ...............The hood

      After grinding off the surface, cut several layers of glass mat to cover the holes. I used five layers. Then mix the catalyst with the laminating resin.

      The gelcoat side of the holes must be closed with duct tape to keep the resin form draining out onto the smooth fiberglass surface.

      The battery box ...............The hood

      The resin should be applied to each glass mat piece before applying to the repair area. Lay the mat on some cardboard and tamp the resin into the mat to eliminate any air pockets in the mat. The apply the wet mat over the hole that is being repaired.

      The battery box.................The hood

  • Counter-sink all holes and start misc. bodywork
    • I finally got busy again but with a slower pace after a bad episode with my sciatic nerve. While I was flat on my back, I had Peter Smiley (Bruce Meyers nephew and fiberglass artisan) pick up my fiberglass body and hood.
    • Peter ground back the fiberglass around all the holes to allow the "bondo" to stick and then reinforced some of the weak edges with additional fiberglass.
  • Fill all holes with body filler
    • The holes were taped over on the finish side of the car so that the "bondo" would not ooze through.
    • The back side was then filled with "bondo" to make the body "virgin" again. New holes will be drilled where needed during the installation.

      Peter also molded a fiberglass trunk for the rear of the car. I originally designed and built the trunk for my Manx to allow the rear seat area to be totally enclosed. Access to the trunk is via a diamond plate door that has a key lock. I gave Peter the mold and he is finally gearing up for production.

  • Sand car
  • Primer car with polyester primer
  • Sand primer
  • Deliver to paint shop

    Last updated Sat Jan 3 22:20:00 PST 1999 .