Much ado about paint

In one of my less mature moments, I responded to Kevin’s “to-do list” for Seven with a threat. I refused to attend Knockout if Seven was still in primer.

This ultimatum was not very well thought out. There’s only so much time before the next event at MIS; the team (with the exception of Nick) work full time jobs and have families; and much has to be addressed on the car for the next leg of the competition.

Despite owning a replica of a sonic screwdriver, Kevin is not a Time Lord.

We have an enthusiastic sponsor (Dick Taylor Collision) who wants to paint the car. They can do body work and give Seven the professional two-color design we’ve dreamed of. The only problem is time. We can’t assume we’ll be ready to hand off the car to the body shop for a few days before it has to go to Michigan.

I now find myself back to spending my evenings applying body filler (heavy fiberglass and light polyester), sanding like crazy, and racing to finish filling the craters and seams on Seven’s built-from-scratch body. She will remain lumpy, but less a lunar landscape than she has been. The important thing is that she will be improved and the body work can be done without disrupting the fast pace of the rest of the team. At worst, they have to evacuate the workshop for an hour and have a well-deserved break while the paint fumes air out.

Last time I managed to smooth as much as possible and used over a case of filler primer spray cans to cover the mottled assortment of “Bondo” colors on the car before Shakedown.

This time I’m preparing to coat the car with a proper 2-part epoxy primer and, if we’re truly strapped for time, get a coat of automotive paint on her myself. It won’t be the paint job the car deserves. Despite taking a couple year’s worth of auto body classes, I’ve never taped off a car to do a two-color paint job. I’m not about to start now, working without a paint booth in an old pole barn in rural Illinois.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted a vote for which test blue should end up on Seven. We’re saving that color swatch for when the pros can paint the car. In the meantime, we’re just racing towards the future.

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