It may not seem quite right to call this a project car but it gets back to the old saying, “the car is never finished!” This is our Talladega that was the first one off the assembly line, has been featured on Muscle Car TV and won its share of awards but it is slightly modified.
We are getting ready to go to the 40th Reunion of the Aero Cars at the Talladega Speedway on Halloween weekend and want the car a little closer to the original factory look.
To make sure we got the best job possible it went into Mark Stacey’s Restoration Shop outside of Murfreesboro Tennessee.
We are going to get a complete color sand on the paint job. It is a great job but has never been wet sanded and has just a hint of orange peal and a very few dust particles in the paint. The goal is to wet sand the paint so that is looks like a really high quality factory paint but not so perfect it looks like glass.
The hood and rear tail light panel were painted gloss black during the original restoration and we like the look a lot but want the look of the factory flat black.
The car has never had the correct factory stripes applied. These run over the top of the fender along the door and top of the rear fender. There too will be added.
You will see a complete photo record of the transformation as it takes place at Stacey Restoration. Mark’s shop has a history of award winning Shelby and Mustang restorations. I have admired his work at many shows but this is the first of our cars to benefit from his skills. Based on what he has done so far it certainly won’t be the last.
Here is what we started with; gloss black hood, magnum wheels and an excellent paint job with no stripes.
Here is the final results. Believe me, they may look similar in the photos but the change is dramatic. I liked the modified look but the all original appearance is much more appropriate for this very rare car. Look at the procedural photos below and let me know what you think in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
The Five Step Process.
Sand it down and buff it out.
The gloss black hood will be repainted in correct competition black. Here the sanding has just begun.
In preparation for the wet sand and buff all critical areas are masked off to keep from accidentally sanding through the clear and to keep openings clean.
It is remarkable what a little wet sanding and a buffing wheel can do to an already great paint job. The car really stands out after the Stacey’s worked their magic with the buffing wheel.
The first efforts were to wet sand all of the areas that were to be painted or buffed.
At this point the white has already been sanded and buffed and the black has been sanded.
Time for a little clean up prior to application of the new flat black.
Mark is going over the body one last time to ensure all scuff marks have been buffed out to his satisfaction.
He found one last place to hand polish.
Repainting the gloss black areas with Competition Black.
We debated for a long time about which was the best route to go; should we use the new base coat with semi gloss clear or stick with the tried and true original competition black.
Mark shot test panels of both colors for our inspection and consideration. After lengthy discussions on the pros and cons we agreed to stay with the original style competition black.
The tail panel receives its proper color.
The cowl cover is painted to match the new hood color.
The hood now has its proper Competition Black paint an looks fabulous.
Add the stripes and put it back together.
The antenna had to be removed to correctly lay the stripes on.
Not only did the antenna have to be negotiated around, Mark also had the mirrors to deal with as well as those ultra rare “T” emblems on the doors.
Unfortunately, even though the stripes came from a reputable source the quality left much to be desired. Mark had to work very hard to remove irregular spacing between the stripes. The stripes were also cut incorrectly with the thick stripe on the outside rather than the inside.
Change out the tires and wheels to the factory style whitewalls.
This is what the Dega looks like after all the work in the paint booth but prior to the change in tires and wheels. This will help provide a good before and after comparison.
The hood is now competition black, the stripes are on, the white has been wet sanded and buffed now for the correct tires and wheels.
The final step:
Add the correct wheels and new BFGs.
Compare this to the photo above. The only change is the 15″ Magnums are changed our for 14″ factory steel wheels and trim rings as the factory intended. New tires were also added.
The car now has a 100% correct exterior for a Talladega with the exception of lacking the whitewall tires that all Talladegas left the factory with.