Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 31, 2011

There’s nothing more satisfying than checking off a punch list on your project. Whether it’s something as basic as a tune-up or as involved as paint and body, it puts a smile on your face, and allows you to exhale and concentrate on the next phase of your project. Our particular list for our Generation Gap fastback project’s paint and body was an extensive one. The truth is, the more modifications you make at the paint and body phase, the more work you’ll have to do.

We’ve been involved in many paint projects over the years and we have to say that this particular project was one of the most extensive projects we’ve ever undertaken. While the end result will be a unique and aggressive-looking classic Mustang, to put it bluntly, there’s not a stock body part on the whole car. Every major panel has either been modified with fiberglass, steel, or at the hands of a cutoff wheel, or just plain replaced with an aftermarket part (like our hood, trunk, and front fascia). Every one of those aftermarket parts or modifications equals more work. It’s one thing to bolt on a bunch of stock metal, smooth the car’s flanks, and shoot color; it’s a whole different story when making modifications like we have.

That said, we’re happy to see the light at the end of the paint and body tunnel with our third and final installment on Generation Gap’s paint and bodywork. In our previous two installments (Mar. and Apr. ’11 issues), we shared some final modifications to our fastback, including ditching the stock cowl vents for some air extractors similar to what we fabricated for our upper quarter-panels, plus finalizing many of our panel gaps and getting the whole body into a coat of PPG K-38 high build primer so that we could move forward with final block sanding and sealing of the body surface. That’s where we pick up our paint and body finale this month.

We’ll be working a few problem areas, filling any pinholes/scratches, wet sanding our K-38, and sealing the surface with PPG’s DP50LF primer sealer. Once the DP50LF has dried, we’ll spray our base color, allow it to dry, then tape the body for our stripes so that we can spray the stripe color and then clear the whole surface. Check out our last steps in the following photos and stay tuned as we plan to wrap up our project before the year is out.

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Step By Step

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Mdmp 1106 27 O Project Generation Gap Paint Concept
With the Le Mans stripes and taillight black out completed and given time to air dry, the masking paper and tape were carefully removed. The surface was cleaned once more before Gaydos mixed our PPG Concept DCU2021 urethane clear with the proper DT reducer and DCX hardener for our temperature conditions in a 4:1:1 ratio. Three medium wet coats of Concept clear will give us plenty of surface thickness to allow us to cut and buff the clear to a show-winning finish.