There are certain phases during a car's build when things really start to change. One is when you get to step back and look at all of your hard work as it's torn down for the final time before it heads off to the spray booth. Another is when it turns back into a roller, gets wired, and the engine is fired up. Both fuel an adrenaline rush, similar to experiencing nitro Top Fuel cars launching from the line.
When we last left off with Project Orange Krate, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, was heavily into the bodywork stages. It's a time where hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks as you constantly raise the bar, striving for perfection in every body panel.
The journey to achieving perfection isn't for the faint of heart as the stages of panel replacement, bodywork, surface preparation, priming, and finally paint require both experience and attention to detail. Sure, a quick glance at a panel might reveal a nice, flat surface but a closer inspection could reveal minute flaws that will stand out like a sore thumb once the paint is laid down.
With Orange Krate's bodywork completed, it was time to focus on the application of a primer/sealer to the panels and body surface. For this we once again called on our pal Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes in Medford, Massachusetts, for his expert recommendations. Ray suggested we proceed into the final stages by using Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes SpectraPrime P30 color surfacer/sealer, which is a urethane high-build primer combined with their SpectraPrime H38 hardener and UltraSolv US3 medium reducer. For an added touch, Ray custom blended the primer in orange just for our application.
With the body in the spray booth for the final time, you could feel the excitement build as Peter made his final go-around, preparing it by masking and bagging, pre-cleaning with Sem Solve, and a final wipe with a tack cloth. It was then time to mix the first batch of the car's signature color: Sherwin-William's Planet Color Big Bad Orange to bring the project to life. The level of vibrancy increased with each and every coat of base color and exploded off the charts once the clearcoat was applied. Peering into the spray booth once Peter laid his spray gun to rest, left you in awe as the glistening body was finally ready for its journey into re-assembly, where it will come to life the next time you see it.