A great amount of time was spent
getting the body straight as possible. Viper Red
was chosen because it is about as pure of a red as can be
purchased. This stuff is R-E-D, and very quickly I found out
that pure red paint is not cheap. Two gallons of paint
were purchased, one in 'single stage' for the inside, fenderwells and underneath the body; the other gallon was
'base' for all outside body panels. Finally a gallon of
clear and all the other hardeners and activators were purchased.
All body panels were painted
separately. This ensured a very high quality finish, but
made things very tough to put back together. Extra care
has to be taken not to scratch or ding panels as they are bolted
back on the body shell. However, to get the best finish
and overall quality, painting all separate is the way to go.
After the car had been painted
and assembled, it was given time to cure and then the process of
wet sanding began. To give the surface a very smooth
finish, it took many hours of careful wet sanding. To give
clear coat a glass-like finish, it must be sanded with very fine
sandpaper. The end result turns the car to a very dull
The dull finish is then buffed
until it is 'right'. It takes a lot of care because if not
careful one can go through the paint all the way to primer and
it makes for a bad day if that happens. Several compounds
were used, mainly the ones made by 3M. Machine glaze was
applied to bring a even brighter finish out and the whole thing
was worked with a special swirl remover. All these
compounds are applied with their corresponding special pads.
After several coats of wax, the result is a very bright red.
It is not 'original', but if red is going to be used, why not do
The front grille surround was in
very poor shape. The thin finisher trim piece that goes
below the grille was also rotten. So, new ones were made
from aluminium. Fortunately the eggcrate grille was still
good, but needed sandblasting and painting.
The original medallion on the TR6
was the cloisonné version. Unfortunately it was damaged.
After a long search, I was able to find a new one that had never
been used. These little critters are as rare as hen's
The medallion was attached to the
grille in a different way than 'original' because I wanted to
give the medallion a 'floating' look. This was done by
removing the bright trim piece and mounting the medallion
directly to the grille.
1972 TR6's did not come with
the plastic spoiler as attached to later model cars.
However, I did like the look of the spoiler - it hides the front
sway bar nicely. I was able to find a used one on eBay,
and with a little detail work was able to make it look good as
The original bumpers were pretty
bad. The chrome was peeling off and badly pitted.
Also, there were quite a few dings. The worse thing about
these bumpers is they are heavy. Way too heavy.
So, new ones were made. The
new bumpers fitted are hand made from a very lightweight
material (Unobtanium/BR547) used in the aerospace industry. A good friend of
mine was able to get some scrap pieces for me. The color
turned out to be almost the color of the Panasports, and with
some clear coat on them they look awesome. They are
extremely light; they weight about 4 pounds each.
The downside: they were a bitch to weld.
I wanted a top that would
compliment the car. Vinyl is just not my idea of cool, so
I had a custom made top from Stayfast canvas material. The
top was hand made in England with a twist: no side
windows. At first I was concerned for outward visibility
when the top is up. However, after a little getting
used to it, this is not a problem.
The rear window remains and it
has a zipper around it. This makes it nice to unzip and
fold. Finally by zipping the window out of the way and the
lack of side windows the entire folding process is easier to
The top's frame was completely
disassembled and primed and painted with black paint. All
fasteners were replaced with new ones made of stainless steel.
The rear of the car took a long
time to buff out and get the paint perfect. Because of
that and the expense of red paint, I really had a problem
covering it up with black paint. So, the rear of the TR6
is left body colour. I think it gives it a rather unique
The rockers were also left body
color, instead of painted black. However, to protect them from stones and the
abrasiveness of sand a 3M clear tape was applied. This
stuff can be bought by the foot, and when properly applied it will
protect the paint very nicely.
The windshield frame was
painted body color also. On early TR6's, the frame was the
same as the body, instead of being black. I thought that
since there are more black windshield frames around, why not
make this one body colour...