Z 74 D 424196
Coming Back to Life!

Chapter 4 Lotus Cortina- Welded, Etched and Primered in Chicago

March 2011

Over the long winter season, I decided that the body was about as solid as it could be, before the next step, the removal of all the paint.

It was taken down to Redi Strip in Indianapolis. They dipped the entire body in an acrid looking, dark brown fluid that removes all paint, sealant, and also treats and removes any rust. As can be seen from the photo, it comes back in pure metal. There was some remaining rust in a few places were it had been just too thick for the chemicals to remove it. The biggest headache of this process is that some of the chemical remains on the panel surfaces, and in the sills etc. So it had to be thoroughly rinsed and scrubbed with slightly soapy boiling hot water. As part of the rinsing, gallons of water were pumped into the sills and enclosed panel areas before it was truly clean. Also, the chemical removal of all of that remaining paint revealed a few places were there was further repairs needed, before it was truly ready for priming.

Once all the repairs were completed, the inner chassis rails and sills etc. were painted with Eastwood's inner chassis rail paint, which comes with a long tube ending in a multi-directional spray head very effective. Finally the body and bits and pieces (such as window frames and hinges) were painted with 3M Etch Primer a Phosphoric based primer that sticks like gum on a blanket.

The final touch is to reseal all the joints with paintable 3M 08500 Autobody sealant the same stuff used on modern cars.

October 2011

Once the racing season was over, and the toys put away, it was time to get working on the Cortina again.

The next step was to clean the doors, trunk lid and hood with paint remover. This revealed a really unexpected disappointment. The doors were ... OK... but the hood and trunk lid were very badly battered. At some stage in the car's past, the hood had broken the catch off and flown up, resulting in a huge amount of creasing in the rear corners. The trunk lid had received a huge dent right in the middle along with two sizeable dents in the back. Off they went to a local aluminum panel specialist, and the quote that came back was just on $2000 for repairs ouch!

So now we are juggling different ideas in the air between repair the hood and trunk, get new skins from Express panel UK, or buy a set of "very good" Lotus Cortina doors, hood and trunk lid. In the meantime, the restoration of all the bits and pieces has started, and the search is on for a good painter.

Best Regards,

Peter Pentz

Now in Chicagoland
October 2011


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