1972 Skylark Restoration(Lots of Pics)

Discussion in 'Color is everything!' started by Phoenix350, May 28, 2010.

  1. exfarmer

    exfarmer Well-Known Member

    This is to all the members telling Jacob he is making a mistake with this car:
    -Everyone knows it is cheaper & easier the better the car is to begin with, but he only had a few hundred dollars to get started.
    -He wants help in how to fix things, not to be told he is foolish to try.
    -Not every resto has to be show quality
    -My Skylark is less rusty than Jacob's but has no interior (I only paid $400). I tried saving for a hobby car for 20 years but the money was allways needed elsewhere. Now when I have a few bucks I can throw them into the project, so now instead of wishing I could be invlved in the car hobby I am.
    -It takes more skill to reserect a clunker than buy a good one!
    -You learn very little by buying a vehicle someone else has restored as opposed to working on your own.
    -Proper use of rust inhibiting paint, fibreglass & filler can repair some damaged areas cheaply (ya, ya I know what some will say, but we're doing a budget daily driver).

    My point is that we should encouage this bright young lad instead of telling him to give up because of a little rust.
  2. KFD

    KFD Just passing through!

    Hey Phoenix! Keep her Stratomist blue! I could be a little biased. That thing is a really cool car. I was doing the same thing with my '71 in High School, it was a little less rusty. It had been sitting in a chicken coop for the past ten years, Yes, travesty on my part, but that car was my education in high school- I did an engine swap from a '73 century, and a frame swap on that car. I drove it, just enough to keep it safe and running, and doing that gave me an associate's in GM A-body.

    Now that I am almost thirty, and have a secure job (GO NAVY!), and you don't even understand how stoked I was when I scored some Chevelle AO code rallys for it on Craigslist (where I found my Aprilia RSV 1000) and bolted them on my car. I wanted those wheels on my car when I was dumb 17 year old-I think those wheels look better than the buick rallys- purists can burn me at the stake if they want to. Again, I could be biased, my dad's '71 challenger had magnum 500's. I am glad that the car is finally become the vision I have always wanted for it...

    Honestly, from someone been there done that-I am not saying what everyone has been saying. Learn from that car. If you are really attached to it, make it drivable, FOCUS ON SCHOOL. I wish I did, I sure as hell wouldn't be in Afghanistan if I did. Finish school, then spend the money to restore it the way you really want to- the disposable income will be much more with a degree!

    Remember, rusty, haggard, or not, that is still a cool car. Again, I am the guy that is bored sh*tless of Barrett-Jackoff restored cars. To me, an ugly beater is car guy's car. Sure it has a crappy maaco paint job, and a big honkin' Holley on that motor, but there is no mistaking that thing for a riced out civic in the school parking lot!

    Here was my skylark in 2000, as a high school beater:


    So ya, Can you tell I am biased about the Strato Blue?

    I added buckets, sport mirrors, a GS Tach and Rally guages (paid fifty bucks for both of them in '99- Gotta love mopar restorers!)

    I moved from florida back to southern california for college, and told my stepdad, "Don't sell my car!". He stayed true to his word.

    I did the college thing, had a kid, played with mopars for a while, then got into bikes.

    I got stationed in Panama City last year, haven't been to my parent's place since 2003, and thought that car was long gone. To my surprise, Pop stayed true to his word! I pulled the beast from under the pole barn home (visible to the right of this picture), put new rubber on the '79 Camaro Turbines, and tinkered with her...


    I spent the next few weeks tinkering with her, got the tach working (one wire from the negative coil, whoulda thunk?), cleared the garbage out of the carb, and attacked the melted starter relays that killed my headlights, and yes cleaned the green sh*t off of her...


    Here is another one of me and my feathered companion, the best getaway driver EVER!

    So again, it is a cool driver: Get some funky cragars for it, and do what was meant to be done with it: Drive it! Get out of college, (you should be studying anyway!! :beer ) and tear it apart and restore her the way you want to...

    Or, if anyone offers you a set of Camaro Mags with bald tires on them, Replace the rubber asap, or don't drive in the rain: That is automatic entry into A-body frame replacement 101.

    Also, a shameless plug for George N, on here, go to this site:


    This site is virtually unchanged since 2000, and he is a member on here. All the mods I did to my car weren't possible without the help of this site.

    So there you have it- my girlfriend and I are about to embark on a cross- country odyssey in this thing in three weeks when I get back stateside, and I am going to build that car the way I have always wanted it, the only concession is that the bench is going back to replace the buckets, more comfortable, and she can't snuggle with me if there is a silly console in the way! She is one hell of a woman to have no qualms with riding for me for 36 hours in THAT CAR!

    I plan on pulling the frame off (again), getting a 5.3 out of a Silverado, T56 6 speed, Hotchkis suspension, and discs all around, doing a two tone blue (Laguna Seca Blue, and either the original Strato Blue, or Infiniti's Caribbean Blue bisected by a tangerine orange metallic GSX stripe.

    Good luck man, and when I get back stateside, I will start a thread (maybe I did here already) with pictures of my car's resurrection!

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. 72 gs conv ny

    72 gs conv ny Where's this part go?

    We've all said time and time again "its your car do what you want with it". Why dosent everyone just cut him some slack and let him do what he wants! Its his car and his money, I probably should have found a better car to start with myself but my situation was very simalar (72GSproject), very cheap purchase up front and not alot of money to work from. As long as that car is safe he's doing just fine. The advice i do agree with is to not take it too far apart! Have fun with it and drive it! If he were to get a restore car for 10K he would be scared to learn from it and to have fun with it, isnt that what is about.
  4. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    If you take a look at the car in my picture and the links in the signatures, you can see what I've had to work with.

    Back in 89 I bought what was once a real cherry Skylark for $1100 down in Radcliff Ky. I worked on that car, got it how I wanted it and then it got hit by a 3/4 ton Chevy van and ended up sitting for nearly 14 years.

    Last summer, I hooked up with a member on the message boards that had a car that was almost exactly how mine was when I got it and it was in storage for 19 years. I paid almost the same price again, and used this car as a donor (or vice versa) and sent my old one to the crusher.

    Two years ago there was a board member that was selling a car out of Missouri for $800 that had no motor or trans that was in better shape than either one of these that I've had.

    In 1991 I bought a 72 GS 455 for parts (doors, fenders, etc) for $400 and after stripping it I got the $400 back for selling what I didn't want and sold the shell for $100 in scrap.

    So, in my opinion if I was you I'd use this car as somewhat of a teaching aide. If you've got a mig welder or even a gasless wirefeed welder (not as nice a bead, but that's what grinders are for) you can teach yourself how to cut, shape and weld metal to do the repairs you need. There's a lot of negative about the car you have that you can turn into positive if you want.

    Being a broke college student once myself, I know what you're going thru. It's your car, so trust your gut. I woudn't dump a lot of cash into it unless you're dead set on keeping it for a long time, but in the meantime teach yourself some skills.

    On a side note, every body part is now available in fiberglass for the Skylark, aside of the quarter panels. You could slowly (although not cheaply) replace the fenders, hood, doors, trunk lid, and bumpers with 'glass if you wanted to. :)

    Besides all that, you've got the beginnings of a classic sleeper. I drove my old car around in several shades of grey primer for a couple years while I worked to make everything mechanically sound. Get it running, drive it, enjoy it, and learn from it.
  5. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the positive advice and cool stories guys!

    I hope to start dissassembly as soon as my parts get here. I am still on the fence about paint. The inner fenders and core support I'd like to have the original gloss to it, but also some protection. Anyone have a special blend they use or any special application and preparation techniques?

    As for the rest of the car I'm on the fence about what to do. Do I bondo and gorilla hair the holes and rust spots or will that make things worse down the road? I do plan on replacing the panels so this is not a permanent solution, it is just to get through the summer. Then I'd like to at least paint the front end, I'm on the fence about being ready to tackle the whole car. Are there cheap paints out there that could match the vintage red or should I just primer or flat black the whole car? I'm trying to get the best protection without breaking the bank since all this is stuff I could also be spending money on suspension and transmission work. I'd also like to make the car decent looking as in from a hundred feet you'd actually want to look at it:Brow:
  6. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    if you're going to eventually replace metal, use filler but make sure you get rid of as much rust as possible just as if you were doing it permanent or the rust will blossom under the filler.

    I actually used marine quality filler that has fiberglass in it, its waterproof, and although a little hard to work, i have a fender that hasn't rusted or bubbled in 14 years.

    My dad had some stainless steel epoxy he used in the steel mills to repair industrial equipment. I used it on a fender by the headlight and its as hard as steel, and had to use a grinder to work it. It also holds a magnet and it's undetectable where I worked it on the fender.
  7. turbotimmer

    turbotimmer Stage 1 4 speed

    Jacob, I'd say satin black on the inner fenders and core support, but its your car. You should be able to buy some kind of duplicolor spray cans in satin. That should protect it fine unless you plan on driving it in the winter. As far as the body, I'd keep it in primer. No sense in spending money on paint you're gonna be taking off to redo later down the road. Plus primer gives it that "work in progress" look. I bought my 70 GS 350 at an estate sale last year for almost nothing (see my avatar). It runs so good, that I can't bring myself to cut it up. It needs a ton of work (probably too much for just a GS 350), but I'm fixing little things as I go without getting to the point where it can't be driven. It will never be a nice car, but I have plenty of fun in it just the way it is. For what its worth, I like your dedication. Reminds me of myself when I was your age. Keep the progress and the pics coming. I'm subscribed.

  8. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for all the help and advice! I am sold on the primer plan and I will try out the suggestions for filler and such. I have a gallon of lightweight bondo my friend got me so I'll try and use that on smaller areas of imperfection and pinholes and I'll definitely take a whirl at stainless steel epoxy and the marine filler. The satin sounds fine and yes I am hoping to keep it off the road completely in the winter, don't need anymore rust heheh. Good luck with your car, I think GS350's are sweet, sure they aren't 455's but they are still a GS and in the end I'm sure you really don't plan on selling it for a profit so why not make it the way you want while having fun:laugh:

    I keep reminding myself to get the car road worthy first, then tackle creature comforts and performance second. The trick is trying not to stab yourself in the foot by taking short cuts only to realize you had to perfect opportunity to fix future issues.

    Here are pictures of the firewall support for the inner fenders, the first picture is the driver side, the second is where the mount should be on the passenger side. I should be able to make something to work out.

    Also here are some pictures of my $45 tach from autozone, I tried to install it cleanly without taking my dash apart

  9. KFD

    KFD Just passing through!

    Hey PHX, I saw an article in one of the ricer mags floating around the tent out here about a rattle can spray job on the car. It might be a cheap alternative, and quick...

    As far as the firewall, you will find a '26' crayoned on it denoting the color, and an 'm' or a 'p', depending onthe brakes, if you want to replicate that. I did when I had the car apart for the frame swap...

  10. turbotimmer

    turbotimmer Stage 1 4 speed

    Jacob, I might have an extra mount for the inner fender. I'll check tonight and get back to you.

  11. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much I appreciate you checking:TU:
  12. 73 Centurion

    73 Centurion Well-Known Member

    Many primers absorb water from the air. They need a topcoat to protect the metal. Leaving the car in primer might do more damage to the metal than you want.

    If you want a flat black look use a flat black top coat instead of black primer.

  13. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    I can throw a +1 on the personality thing, I thought the guy was pissed at me or something:blast:

    Stupid me, I forgot to check my spam box for a shipping confirmation. I call them up and the guy asks for the order number. I said I didn't get one (I ordered the stuff on my moms computer and was in a rush) I give him my name, he says he has nothing.

    So I order again, print the confirmation page and check my spam box, I should have switched the order now I have two identical orders. Hopefully they put 2 and 2 together and cancel one, I sent an email to be sure but I don't think I'll call just yet, I don't wanna piss the guy off even more:laugh:

    Figures, I have a debit card for 2 hours and already I'm messing up
  14. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    That is what I have heard, thats why I asked here before just doing the primer. The absorption will be a magnified issue on long island with all that salt water in the air. I was reading an OPG article on paint and they say napa will match your cars color and mix up an aerosol can for $20 That $20 can add up especially to do a whole car but would it be worth it to just prime the font end and top coat it with the napa stuff? It would be nice to keep it that red and save money on paint at the same time. Then I can just prime and paint the areas I repair vs. the entire car.
  15. KFD

    KFD Just passing through!

    If you look at the primered spot on my buick's driver's rear quarter, it looked like that TWO HOURS after I primed it. If you use primer, make sure it has a sealer either in the paint itself, or use a gloss (or even matte) finish over the primer...
  16. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Yes, with what you and other members have said, I won't leave just bare primer on the car:beer

    Wow, I order the parts from the parts place the cheapest place around, and I worry they will hose me for shipping. Not only do they not hose me, they didnt charge a dime, the total for the parts was $269 they charged a $1 back order fee for the battery tray and then on the totals section they say the parts were $244 and the shipping was $26:shock: I hope the parts quality is as good as the pricing
  17. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Parts will be here the 13th, so I have started to get to work on prepping the parts. With no sanding block or power sander it is quite fun sanding down each piece. How crazy should I go? Bare metal? Should I use a wizz wheel or something else other than sand paper? I'm not looking for a concourse paint job, just something protective that will last a year or two. Also I have been scraping off the old undercoating on the inside of the inner fenders. What is a good cost effective replacement and can I drive the car a short distance without it (i.e. will rocks and debris destroy the paint?) My hopes would be to get the car to the shop so I can get it on the lift and take care of all the places that need new undercoating at once instead of trying to do it before I even install the pieces.

    One of the inner fenders has a couple pinholes around the core support mount area, is bondo a good way to take care of this or should I just leave it be?
  18. Xerxies

    Xerxies Suncoupe Owner

    Wow that is some dedication!:TU:
  19. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, but honestly I am being lazy and impatient, I should be outside sanding right now!:laugh:


    This stuff looks good, my friend scott was saying he has been looking everywhere for it, maybe I can convince him to go in half with me on it. It is alot of money (for me) to spend on just undercoating. But it would come in handy when I patch the rear foor pan
  20. GSXER

    GSXER Well-Known Member

    Yeah sure throw 20K at the junker and it will only be worth 2k do yourself a favor and call a scrap yard and start hitting the books early:laugh:

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