Even though the TR6 was in good
shape overall, the body needed work. Some rust was found
and even thought the engine was a perfect fit some alterations
had to be made.
Once the frame was fully
assembled the body was lowered into position for a trial fit.
Modifications would need to be made for several reasons:
The area where the battery
had originally been had quite some rust. This whole
section needed to be cut and patch panels were made.
The exhaust tubes required a
little more room in the firewall area. In order to
properly accommodate them, a new tunnel was made.
The original transmission
tunnel was replaced with one of aluminium. This added
extra strength and gave a much better fit than the original
one made of fiberglass.
The floor was strengthened by
welding 1 inch square tubing to the inside edge.
Once all repairs were made seam
sealer was used on all seams, both on the top as well as the
bottom of the body shell. The shell was turned upside down
and a material similar to pickup bed liner was applied using a
special spray gun. This ensured a very tight finish
underneath the car.
All body panels were sanded to
bare metal using a DA sander and different sandpaper grits.
This also allowed for all imperfections to be detected and
Etching primer was applied and
several coats of primer were sprayed. Sanding the primer
revealed where the low and high spots were and eventually all
low areas were leveled with a light coat of filler. The
body was straight as possible. This took the entire summer
Several years ago I attended the
Hot Rod Nationals in Indianapolis. It was a sunny day and
a special display of Boyd Coddington hot rods caught my eye.
Among them were several red ones that made your eyes hurt.
That was how bright the red was on them! I wanted that
same look on the TR6.
A trip to the paint store gave me
what I wanted: Viper Red. It is 99% pure red.
This is what I wanted. Two gallons were purchased.
One gallon in single-stage paint used for all the interior and
underneath the car. The other would be base/clear for all
The body shell was painted first.
A wooden cradle was made to hold the shell and paint was sprayed
in a booth. Soon after that, the rest of the body panels
were painted separately.
Putting the car back together was
time consuming because all body panels have been assembled with
very close tolerances. Many shims and endless hours of
fitting were spent in order to make the panels fit better than
then did when they left the factory.
One area in particular is the gap
between the doors and the back fender. Pretty much every
TR6 has a big gap there. After making several body to
frame shims, the gap is damn near perfect.
The links on the right show pictures of the