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“Barn Find” Rescue: ’78 Pace Car Goes From Tired To Great… Part 3

John continues to put his sweat and tears into this Pace Car restoration

John G. from Massachusetts had been planning for years to build a custom ’78 Pace Car, and when the right car presented itself he immediately jumped on the opportunity to restore this neglected relic from our Corvette past. If you need a quick review or missed previous episodes, click here for part one and here for part two. When we last left off, John was beginning to prep the body for paint, so let’s get after it!

Regarding a possible change of color, John is quick to note that he doesn’t want to change the Pace Car look, but “just the way it performs!” John finally gets her totally stripped and comments, “Doing final filler work and blocking. It should be pretty straight when done.”

If you are wondering about that lock cylinder and if it fits, John says “It’s close, but needs a tad more file work around some of the notches to fit perfectly. Before I shoot the primer I’ll get it fitted up perfectly.” Here’s a before and after for a refresher.

John pulled the glass for better access to the lock cylinder, and notes “The glass is in great shape. It almost looks new, so no replacement needed. Usually they’re all scratched to hell, so I’m pretty happy I can reuse them. Since they’re out, I’ll be tinting them and cleaning the tracks and re-greasing everything.”

The garage doubles as a paint booth, and John gets two coats of high-build primer down then remarks, “I’ll knock down the first 2 coats with 400 grit on blocks, fix any low spots, and do 3 more coats…”

Looking great so far John! Whew, what an amazing level of time-consuming and tedious work. The work continues as John comments, “Looks like the primer laid down nicely. I can see a few low spots that’ll need some attention, but nothing crazy. Got it blocked out, and hit it with 3 more coats of high-build primer. The car looks pretty damn straight. Got a few small things to touch up, but that’s it for the high build.

John forges on and gives us his progress report: “Final touch ups with the 400grit wet sand, washed, degreased, and ready for color. Hope to get the black and silver laid down next week. Depending on how things go, maybe even the clear!

Well, there is the teaser for next week, as it looks like we will finally get to see that unique two-tone black and silver paint laid on this perfectly prepped body. We have an active community on our Facebook page, I would love to hear from you!  Douglas B.

She has come a long way, John!