Well, there's no turning back now. As you will see from the photos, I've gone past the point of no return, but it had to be done one way or another. Last month, you may have caught the debut of this hands-on SportsRoof project, where I spelled out the general plan going forward. This month, it was time to get my hands dirty and start cutting.
As there was no Johnny Five to oppose being dismantled, it was largely myself that questioned the impending metal surgery. It always gets worse before it gets better, and it was about to get really, really bad once I started opening the SportsRoof up. You start to question whether or not it was the right idea, the right car to start with, and whether or not you can actually see it through to the other side. You also question your finances, your job outlook, and your family and friends may question your sanity. Anyone that knows classic cars, though, knows this is usually the routine. Striking a check and having someone complete the build sounds great, but it is financially impossible for one thing, and I'm not going to learn these techniques without hands-on experience.
That said, let the deliberations begin—I'm going to start tearing it apart and forge ahead.
After dropping the SportsRoof off at Gillis Performance Restorations, GPR proprietor, Rusty Gillis, found some room in his busy shop to allow me to work on the car. In typical Gillis fashion, they just had to get their hands on it, so both Rusty and his son, Brian, helped out a bit for this installment. Brian handled the window trim removal, which can be tricky and requires a bit of patience. My moldings are in nice shape and I'd like them to stay that way. Rusty stayed nearby to help take photos, answer questions, and even help excavate the rodent nest from the cowl.
Most of the exterior components simply unbolt, which is nice. The only tricky part, aside from the window moldings, was the driprail molding and weatherstripping that had hidden screws securing it.
Once I had removed what I could, it was time to tackle the quarter-panels. To aid in their removal, I contacted Eastwood and ordered a number of tools to equip my mobile box and allow me to work without disrupting the shop by using their equipment.