How to Restore Classic Car Bodywork


A book written for the home restorer who, until now, lacked the confidence to tackle bodywork. With specially devised techniques which don't rely on workshop plant, this work spans the gap between professional and amateur. The text is readable, the photos bright and the instruction clear. A real boon for the enthusiast.

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How to restore Classic Car Bodywork: New Updated & Revised Edition

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A book written for the home restorer who, until now, lacked the confidence to tackle bodywork. With specially devised techniques which don't rely on workshop plant, this work spans the gap between professional and amateur. The text is readable, the photos bright and the instruction clear. A real boon for the enthusiast.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher, June 2007 - UK website

Classic Car Bodywork is a guide of start-to-finish body restoration, it goes through techniques from how to replace panels with new items all the way up to fabricating your own sheetmetal from scratch. The author is a Triumph fan, and all the examples shown in the book are applied to British classic cars with occasional examples from other manufacturers thrown in where there are fundamental differences.

I have to say that this book is a great read, the author's enthusiasm for classic cars comes through in the writing yet all the way through it remains easy to understand; an enthusiastic reader can easily digest it from cover to cover. Many of the techniques for metalforming shown will come in handy for those doing running repairs at MoT time, as well as covering proper restoration. It also has useful advice on dealing with rust and making the basic preparations for painting.

In short I rate it at 5/5 – both useful and a good read.

"You can't fail to pick up lots of tip if you're the average DIY mechanic. The book is recommended for any home mechanic undertaking restoration work, and could end up saving you a small fortune." – Mini Cooper Register

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Product Details

Meet the Author

On leaving art college, Martin worked as a graphic artist to a local paper, but surgery to his right wrist prompted a change of direction, and he retrained in panel-beating. After 10 years in crash repair and salvage, Martin chose to specialize in classic restoration, which appealed more to his creative nature. Customers have always been welcome in Martin's workshop, and many have gotten their hands dirty under his watchful eye.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Scope of the book 7
Buying your classic vehicle 7
Vehicle construction 8
Mild steel sheet 9
Surface tension 9
Spot welds and spot welding 10
Chapter 1. Rust - know your enemy 12
Protection 12
Chapter 2. Tools, equipment & workspace 14
Basic tools 14
Hand tools 14
Hydraulic gear 17
Power tools 17
Welding gear 17
The workspace 17
Chapter 3. Workshop safety 18
Specific hazards 18
Welding 18
Power tools 19
Hand tools 19
Chapter 4. Basic panel removal 20
A very simple panel 20
Front wing 20
A real life example 22
Drilling spot welds 23
Alignment 24
Welding at last 24
Welding completed 25
Problem areas 25
Chapter 5. Basic panel fitment 24
Alignment 24
Welding at last 24
Welding completed 25
PRoblem areas 25
Chapter 6. Sectional repairs to basic panels 27
Circular patches 27
Corner repair section 30
Sill end 31
Salvaged panel sections 31
Typical lower wing sectional repair 32
Proprietary wing bottom section 34
Proprietary boot lid section 34
Supporting structures and alignment 35
Section upon section 35
Bowl sections 37
Pillar joints 37
Methods of joining and fixing 38
Gas welding 38
Soldering 38
Chemical bonding 38
Cold rivets 38
Pop rivets 38
Chapter 7. Doors 39
Door construction 39
Problem areas 39
Window frames 39
Hinges and supports 39
Check-strap 40
Removal and handling 40
Door bootoms 40
Basic door skinning procedure 40
Tools and equipment 40
Starting off 41
Grind off the return edge 41
De-seam 41
How's your bottom? 42
Split off the skin 43
Clean up 43
Position the new skin 43
Seal and clamp 44
Tap up 44
Fettle 44
A few good tips 45
Extra safety 47
Chapter 8. Sills, floors & outriggers 48
Triumph Spitfire sills and floor 48
Assessment 52
Set up and support 52
Work order 52
The Triumph Stag 54
Tread-plate sills on a separate chassis car 57
Half still section and oversills 59
Half sill 59
The oversill 59
Chapter 9. Chassis members - repair & renewal 61
The basic checks 62
Lift check 62
Drop check 62
The jig 62
Outriggers 62
Example 1 62
A bit more on safety and fuel lines 64
Example 2 64
Repairs to chassis main rails 64
Miscellaneous 65
Chapter 10. More about floors 68
Typical mid-floor repair 69
Half floor sections 70
Making floor sections 71
Chapter 11. Multiple panel assemblies 73
Triumph GT6 74
inner wheelarch rebuild 76
Rejoining the inner wheelarch to the bonnet 76
Fitting new wings 76
Lamp panel repair 77
D-plate and inner valance 78
Chapter 12. Wheelarches 80
The options 80
Assessment 81
Replacing a wheelarch 81
Inner wheelarch repair 82
Welding in the new wheelarch 82
Making a new wheelarch 83
shape formers 83
Forming the wheelarch 84
Half round repair section 85
Arch lip repair 85
Templates 85
Remove old metal 86
Fix the new metal 87
Full rear quarter panel/rear wing replacement 87
Concealed welds, brazed joints, etc. 90
Pillar joints 91
Internals 91
The inner wheelarch and location 91
Half panel sections 91
Welding 92
Chapter 13. Metal forming techniques & panel beating
Basic metal forming techniques 93
Folding 93
Curving or rolling 93
Shrinking and stretching 93
Edge spreading 93
Cold shrinking 94
Planishing, raising, and hollowing 94
Planishing 94
Hollowing 94
Raising 94
Chapter 14. Basic hammer exercises 96
Planishing 96
Raising and hollowing 97
The teardrop bowl 97
6in bowl from a 7in disc! 98
Annealing 98
Folding, curving and shrinking 99
Bonnet (hood) scoop 99
Fabrication 100
Dorian's spoiler 100
Chapter 15. MGB facelift 101
The design 101
Constructing the station former 101
Creating the blank 101
Hollowing, raising and planishing 101
Finishing the edges 102
Folding 103
Flanging 103
Swaging 104
Wiring 104
Welding panel sections 104
Chapter 16. Panel repair techniques 105
Principles 105
Assessment 105
Roughing out 105
Hammer and dolly work 105
Indirect hammering 106
Direct hammering 106
Other panel beating techniques 106
Spring hammering 106
Pick hammer 106
Hot shrinking 106
Faux shrinking 109
Metal finishing 109
The body file 109
The bumping file 109
Finishing up 109
Appendix 110
Glossary of terms 110
Index 112
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