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How to Spot Bad Body Work

Don't get worked by that guy selling his nightmare. You'll know your rust and Bondo enemy after we show you what problem areas to look for.

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We're pretty fed up with restoration candidates. We'll go ahead and throw in "minor rust" and "needs TLC" too. We'll get these statements straight-faced from a seller while we're staring at their total piece of garbage. It's not like we've been looking for concours cars or even sheetmetal that would be considered close to perfect by our rapidly dwindling standards. It seems like each time we're presented with a potential project car, we're faced with the rusted reality that either people think they can lie to your face or they really don't know what they're talking about when it comes to bodywork. We fear the latter.

It's up to you to decide whether the car is crap or cool. Because bodywork has the biggest street machine price tag, this is an area where you should ask for help; so we're going to give you some. Consider this an education on finding the hidden damage and hacked-in repairs that can cost you serious rocks to get reworked using a perfect example: This '69 Dodge Coronet R/T. It was sold as a "perfect survivor." It really looked the part to the casual eye, but any pro would notice the signs of trouble. Then we took it apart to reveal some serious crunched, welded, and beaten sheetmetal hiding behind the sheen. Can you see it? Read and find out how.

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