Rust sucks. Plain and simple, body cancer has its way with our beloved metal. Sure, there may be a weight savings with rust holes, but sooner or later, that fender is going to fly off on the highway. This '71 Buick GS has been afflicted for years. Eventually, these things require attention, which brings us to the body shop
Slicing off the quarter-panels can be a harrowing experience. Always seek professional adv
Replacing a quarter-skin is a scary thing. While the more common models have readily available aftermarket quarter-skins, the owners of less popular cars must deal with modifying panels from other models or searching the boneyards for a quality donor. Fortunately, Year One offers a full outer skin for GS hardtops; convertibles are not so lucky. For this repair, we cut the quarter-skin 6 inches above the wheel opening, where the hardtop and convertible begin to differ. The outer wheelhouses also required some repair, but this time there was no easy aftermarket solution. To replace the outer wheelhouse lip that welds to the quarter-skin, we cut up and modified a set of wheelhouses for a '70-'72 Chevelle to fit the new quarter-panels.
There are a few unique tools that simplify this process. An air hammer with a body-ripper attachment, available from any body shop, cuts sheetmetal like butter. A flanging tool, either air powered or manual, adds a recessed area that allows the panels to sit flush and makes them easier to line up.
So read on and build up the courage to filet your classic and repair the steel the right way.