Professional Help

On July 29th 1999 I paid Terry a visit and took the grand tour. Terry gave me the impression that he was committed to quality work and I was especially impressed by one member of his team, Doug Clarke, a fellow Fury owner and "certified" Fury nut. Terry assured me that Doug was very good, took pains to do the job right and Doug would do all my sheet metal work. I took Terry over to the house to look at the Beast. I explained to Terry, I wasn't much interested in car shows, I wanted a street car not a trailer queen. Terry guessed $5,000 to $8,000 should cover bodywork and paint, but that another $4,000 would be needed for interior, roof and mechanical work.

Sticker Shock!

Thinking it over and making a list of things to be fixed, rebuilt, restored, replaced soon convinced us that the price would probably be higher. The money pit was starting to grow.

Susan and I tossed the numbers around and decided our options were;

  1. Scrap it
  2. Continue ourselves
  3. Go for it

After all our work the previous summer, scrapping the car wasn't going to happen. I'd already convinced myself that if we continued ourselves, the result would most likely be less than pretty. So the only real option was go for it.

Once the Bondo Man's legacy was uncovered and costs for engine work, transmission, power train, interior, roof and missing chrome were added to the list I figured $20,000 was more probably where we were headed. This was still much less than any new car on the market so we decided to proceed.

Body Work Starts

George O'Handley the owner of Good Guy Towing arrived August 16th with a flat deck truck and loaded the Fury for its trip to IVR. The Beast was away from home for the first time in 18 years.

Nothing much happened for a couple of weeks, unfortunately Terry had to relocate his shop and as you can imagine, this was not an easy undertaking. However, when the move was completed, Doug was able to get started and the transformation began. All the front sheet metal was removed, the engine pulled and all Susan's firewall sandblasting and POR-15 painting was blasted down to bare steel. I guess Doug didn't much like our POR-15 firewall. Doug did comment that the POR-15 was really difficult to remove so it must be pretty good stuff. The money pit was starting to grow.
To get started all bolt-on parts are removed, including the engine, transmission, roof, windshield and chrome. Using a combination of sand blasting, hand sanding and power grinding, old paint and bondo is removed. Now it's easy to see the bad areas and decide which should be replaced and which should be repaired.

Rusted areas are cut out with care taken to leave as much of the "shape" defining metal in place. With this approach is you do not have to "create" compound shapes such as wheel well lips from scratch. Note how all cut edges follow natural body lines so that any imperfections introduced while welding will be easier to correct.

The panels are then sprayed with a filler primer and sanded to identify high and low spots needing more work. This process is repeated using different coloured primer until the surface is perfectly smooth. Skill, patience and a lot of hand finishing is required to produce a surface that will be flawless. Note Doug hiding from the camera.

The front fenders were in much better shape, but the lower surfaces between the wheel well and the door post were rusted through on both. A small spot was also rusted through below the side marker lamp housing on each fender. Note how clean the butt welded patches look after grinding. Doug is definitely not related to Bondo Man!

Quarter panel patches must also look good in the trunk as you can see, Doug 's work is outstanding. Notice how little effect the heat of welding had on the undercoat - that's heat control! Next the trunk floor will be restored and the inside areas made ready for a coat of speckle trunk paint.

A couple of views of the finished trunk, looks better than it did new! Notice also the mounting surface for the convertible top, how that stayed virtually rust free while sitting unprotected for nearly twenty years is nothing short of amazing.

While all this cutting and welding was going on, Doug and I started to make a list of things which were missing or damaged beyond repair. Bolt on parts are generally cheaper to replace with good, used, rust free ones, than to spent hours trying to repair them. Using this logic, we decided to replace the hood which had rust all along the cowl edge. Repairs would have been difficult and expensive since extensive welding a panel this large would cause heat warping almost impossible to control.

Fortunately, Doug Clarke, being a Fury Man, has a number of parts sources in Saskatchewan and was able to find a perfect hood for $400. A very good find since rust free hoods with turn signal cut-outs are scarce. He also found all the exterior mouldings, side marker lights, driver side remote mirror and other small bits and pieces. I had mentioned to Doug that I had always liked the hidden head lights used on the GT models, he didn't forget. He found a complete hidden light assembly from a 1971 Sport Fury and $200 later it was mine. My thirty year goal to have a Fury GT convertible is now finally with in reach.

While Doug continued to finish up the sheet metal work, I started to search the Internet for a rear valance, a dash pad and the 440 badges that mount on the hood.