Easy, Low-Buck Paint Blending | Project Vintage Race Mustang

Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
May 3, 2021

The joys of towing with an open trailer. While returning from Cobra Automotive–where we fetched our 1965 Ford Mustang vintage racer–one of the side scoops blew off.

It happened just after we set sail, too, yet we couldn't find the missing piece. If you're in Connecticut, enjoy the souvenir.

While Shelby side scoops are undoubtedly kind of cool, they were never installed on the 1965 Shelby R model that we are loosely replicating. They were only applied to 1966 and newer Shelby Mustangs.

Since they weren’t original and just made the car a bit wider, we decided to go with the scoop-less look.

While this sounds like an easy solution, the scoops were installed before our car was painted. Removing the scoops revealed bare primer.

One more thing: Someone attached those scoops with a nasty adhesive that left a messy residue.

We called Tom from The Body Werks and asked him to come take a look and give us an estimate for the damage. Sadly, he told us, the only way to correctly fix this was to paint the entire quarter panel and blend the paint. The price tag would be about $500 per side.

While we knew in our hearts that he was right, this isn’t a concours car. Could we make a suitable race car repair for a lot less than that?

To start, we taped around the affected area so we wouldn’t make things worse. If we could keep the repair inside the side scoop area, we could work with the shadow lines of that indentation so we wouldn’t have to blend paint on a flat surface.

Next, we worked to remove the glue. A Dremel tool with a sanding wheel and various solvents didn’t work. In the end, we carefully used a combination of fingernails and a razor blade.

Our goal was to not break the primer coat beneath the glue in order to keep sanding to a minimum. Fortunately, we were able to do just that, and we quickly removed the glue.

We then sanded the area with 220-grit sandpaper on a soft rubber block. From there, we cleaned the area with a body prep product. We then sprayed the affected area with self-etching primer.

Once that primer dried, we scuffed it and primed the area again with normal gray primer: Nason 421-24.

We then did some final sanding with 400-grit paper, again on a rubber sanding block.

We then taped the edges with what is known as a smooth transition tape. This tape is commonly used in the body shop industry as it doesn’t leave much of a hard paint line.

From there, we cleaned the area once again and carefully sprayed the area with some single-stage Wimbledon White paint that we had mixed at Higgs, our local paint store. They put it in a spray can for us.

The term 10-footer is commonly applied to something that looks good from 10 or more foot away. We would call this a one-footer: Unless you were looking for the repair, you would never notice it.

Best of all, the entire process took an hour and cost about $30.

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View comments on the GRM forums
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/28/21 12:42 p.m.

Great job!  GRM for the low buck win!

And look on the bright side.  It didn't blow off on the track.

SPG123 HalfDork
4/28/21 2:41 p.m.

Well timed and great results. I am about to do the same thing on our old truck which is also single stage. Did not consider that the paint shop would put it in a can.  

Vajingo HalfDork
4/28/21 8:25 p.m.

No clear? Or was that in the can with the paint as well?

camaroz1985 HalfDork
4/29/21 10:13 a.m.

Need some of that fancy tape.  I see 3M makes it, but $60 a roll, I assume yours wasn't that costly.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/29/21 10:17 a.m.

You can make the tape by folding masking tape over itself on one edge. Works nearly as well.

wae UberDork
4/29/21 11:04 a.m.

In reply to camaroz1985 :

I snagged a roll of 3M 06800 on ebay for about $20.  I don't remember how much is on the roll, but I'm doing some patch work on my Miata quarters and when I bought it my thought process at the time said it should be enough for the job.  I don't know how well it works yet because I haven't quite gotten that far in the project.

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