1959 Mercedes 190SL
The client brought this car to me for some sheet metal repairs to the front nose , and to prep the whole car for a paint job. Someone else had attempted to repair the front, but was not succeeding and parts were missing. So I jumped in.
The original nose sheet metal had been removed and worked over with some kind of a waffle head shrinking hammer and a torch, which did more hard that good. Quite the horrible job of cutting it off the cars too,
I made new metal patches for each side that overlapped all the nasty edges and gaps, hammered and rolled them til they had the right shape, then welded them in place. Used the grille and hood as a guide to make sure everything lined up and fit.
After further inspection of the car, I found that all the old paint was checked and cracked all the way down to the metal skin, so moisture had got in and under the paint, RUST. Time to trailer it off to Blast-Tech to get stripped to bare metal.
In the blast booth....almost done. The hood, doors, and trunk lid are aluminum, so they got soda blasted, the rest of the body was media blasted, and some sand where there was a lot of surface rust.
WOW......there was all kind of hidden damage. Most was some really poor repairs from years ago, lots of old bondo.
Some one had actually stuffed new paper in these holes, then bondo'd over them. I could not find a date on the papers, but had a good laugh.
Way too many repair to show all of them, bore everyone. The car was very sound otherwise, not much rust, mostly surface rust. Time to get busy.
Figured I would start with the driver's side panel behind the door. The worst first !!! Started fab'ing a new panel for it. Hard part is working all the welds with limited access from behind.
This panels had several different curves and a reverse curve. Not real radical but just slight enough to make the panel flop back and forth, just had to be light on the pressure for the English wheel.
Used the bead roller to roll the edge to match the jamb. I still am amazed at the old panel. Got it welded in and metal finishing the seems.
Was able to get a repair panel for the rear, which saved us time and money. Must have got hit in the rear sometime ago, beat out, brazed back together, sort of, and then plenty of bondo. Now it is the correct shape and the trunk fit so much better.
Got all the repairs done, hole welded up, patch panels, ect, ect. Got the door, trunk and hood fit and worked the gaps til good, hammers panels straight, skim coated/sanded the repair. Time for epoxy primer(black), the some polyester high build primer(buff). Most don't realize how much body work these old cars need to get them straight and smooth. The manufacturing in 1959 was not anywhere near what it is today, even on a Mercedes. So the polyester works great for this purpose.
After the polyester primer, I move on to a good 2k primer for the final block sanding. Yes hours and hours of blocking it what it takes. Here it is ready to ship off to the painter.
Almost a year and a half later the client decided to have me paint and assemble the car. The other painter did not come through I guess. During that time it got dented several times and was dirty. The guy who put the motor in apparently did not own any fender protectors, rags, towels or otherwise. Both fenders were covered in oil, grease and who knows what.