There's nothing better than vintage OEM sheetmetal, but sometimes Mother Nature or good old-fashioned blunt-force trauma conspires to do irreparable damage to what is, for the most part, irreplaceable vintage tin. Regardless of how the impairment happened, one option to fix the problem is to replace the entire piece with an aftermarket panel. But if the damage is confined to just one section, then a patch panel is a great way to save the original part. Yeah, you can still find N.O.S. body panels on the market, but they fetch big bucks and can wreak havoc on your budget.
The good news is that going with patch panel is cheaper than purchasing, for example, an entire fender, especially an OEM one. But be prepared, it will take more skill and man-hours to properly graft the patch to the original part. Still, it's the best way to keep as many OE parts on your car as possible.
To see how it's done correctly, we headed over to Hot Rods By Dean in Phoenix to see their fabrication wizards save the front fender of a sweet 1968 Chevy Camaro.