For well over a week the chassis and underneath of the rod was filled, sanded, painted, sanded, and filled, I felt like I was going round and around in circles, and I actually wore my fingerprints off with all the sanding, but eventually the sanding fun was done, and M.R. was happy with how it looked.
I Think its safe to say that I was happy with how it looked long Before M.R. was, but as he was the painting expert I kept going until he said stop. With the front of the chassis now painted in red lead it was time to turn our attention to the underside of the Rod.
I told M.R. that I really wasn't looking for a show winner, just something nice that I could drive. A couple of layers of red lead went on, and then, once it had dried would you believe that I endured many more hours of sanding!
I wish I could say that before long it was ready for paint, but to put it simply, it just wasn't! After all the sanding, filling, priming fun the garage was full of dust, so we carried the Rod out of the garage, and gave it a good going over with the air hose, before sweeping the garage out, and carrying it back in. Now surely it was ready to have some paint squirted underneath it. Nope, it still wasn't ready, I had no idea how much preperation work goes into painting a car, but now that the red lead was dry, and sanded smooth it was time for a primer. This just goes to show how little I knew about painting as I had foolishly thought that the red lead was the primer, but it appears not.
Because we'd had a few complaints about the smell of paint while M.R. was painting his Hot Rod, and we were painting the red lead under mine we decided that we would do it at night! We started just after 01:00hrs, M.R. said this won't take long! Famous last words, but by 04:00hrs we were no longer looking at the red underbelly of the beast, we now had grey.
This was then left for a couple of days while I tried to figure out what colour I wanted on it. I was fairly sure that the colour I wanted was Ford Tractor Blue, actually, I knew I wanted Ford Tractor Blue! I headed off to the paintshop to buy my paint, how hard could it be? I stood at the counter and this fella asked me what colour I was looking for, I said, Ford Tractor Blue! He said, what colour is that mate? Well, I said, it's blue! Yes he said, but what's it on? I said, it's on the Tractors. It's called Ford Tractor Blue! He looked at me, puzzled... Whos Tractors? He asked. I said, well, if you listen carefully the clue's in the name, it's called Ford Tractor Blue! He looked blankly at me and said, we do car paints 'ere mate, have a look through this book see if you can find it! He handed me a massive book filled with paint swatches and left me to it. I had no idea that there were so many shades of blue to choose from, and I noticed that each swatch had the paint code underneath them. If I only had the paint code for Ford Tractor Blue this would be a doddle! In the end, after looking at the swatches for over an hour I chose what I thought was pretty damn close to what I was looking for, it turned out to be a Volvo colour, and so I asked the fella at the paint shop to mix me up five litres of this Volvo colour to get me going. On the way home, feeling pretty chuffed with my choice I spied with my little eye a Ford Tractor in a field! This was a mistake, as I then decided that I needed to see just how close to the colour I wanted was in the tin. I parked up, and wandered across to the tractor with my tin of paint, I opened the tin and held it against the bodywork of the tractor, and guess what... Not even flamin' close!! Honestly it was as different as Black and White!! Well, there was no way that was going on my Hot Rod! I was furious, but on the way home I spotted a Ford Transit that looked pretty damn close to the colour. I knew that I would be passing the Ford dealership on the way home, and so, armed with my knowledge that all the swatches in the paint shop had the paint codes underneath them I figured that I'd just pop into the dealership, and ask for the paint code! How hard can that be? Well, quite hard it turned out, the guy in the dealership had no idea what the paint code was, and even though he had a Transit on the forecourt in the right colour he refused to open the bonnet so that I could read it from the VIN plate! Helpfull then!! I left the dealership more furious than I was when I arrived, and vowed to never again buy another Ford!! That bit hasn't quite gone according to plan! I got back to the garage and said to M.R., I've got the paint, but whatever you do don't put it on my Hot Rod! He asked me why not? So I told him the story of how I'd bought what I thought I wanted, but then tried it up against the actual colour and found it to be nowhere near! Much urine was then removed from me by my friends!
On the way to work the following morning I noticed a brand new Fiat Coupé was next to a Transit in the traffic, and you know what? They weren't the same colour, but they were close, and actually I preferred the colour of the Fiat Coupé! I knew that there was a Fiat dealership nowhere near where I was working, but nevermind that, I was on a mission, besides, how would they know on the building site I was working on how long I'd been held up in traffic? I wandered into the Fiat dealership hoping they'd be a lot more helpful than they were at the Ford dealership. There was a blue Fiat Coupé in the showroom, and so I wandered over to a sales girl and said that I'd like the paint code for the Coupé, and pointed at it. Certainly she said, and started to look it up on her microfiche viewer. Here it is, she said, its code is 462 and it's called Blu Sprint. She wrote it down, and I hurried off back to work. On the way home I called into the paint shop even though it was a fifty odd mile detour, but it didn't matter, I had the actual paint code, I handed it to the fella, and he went off and mixed me up another five litres of paint!
I looked at it, and thought that was the colour alright! On the way home I passed that same field, and that same old Ford Tractor was still sitting in the middle of it. I looked at it, and just kept driving! I arrived at my garage, showed M.R. the paint, and we decided it was going to be another late one! We gave the primer a quick going over with some sandpaper, and wiped it all down with panel wipe! Just like before, at 01:00hrs we were back! The colour seemed to go on a bit quicker than the primer, and by just after 03:00hrs we were looking at this...
Not too bad in my opinion, but M.R. wasn't happy, he'd got a couple of runs and wanted to rub them down and give it another coat. But honestly, it was underneath, and they were so small that I'd have probably left them even if they'd been on the top of the body! I eventually convinced him that with any luck only the MOT inspector would ever see them, and although he still wasn't happy he thought he could let it go!
We didn't touch it then for a couple of weeks for a couple of reasons. Firstly M.R. thought that as we were painting in cellulose it would be soft for a fair while. Secondly I was still waiting for my front suspension parts to come back from being sandblasted and powdercoated, then the re-assembly could begin! I was quite looking forward to it looking like a complete car again, even though it was far from it! I decided that as I was putting on the re-furbished front suspension, complete with new bushes, springs, shock absorbers, steering rack, and everything else I might aswell go the whole hog and buy the wheels that it was going to be riding on so that I could fit them at the same time. But for now I was kinda happy just to have the underneath painted, and to be having a bit of a break from it while I waited for my suspension parts to be done... Oh, and incase you're wondering what happend to the five litres of blue Volvo paint I had bought? Well, it didn't go to waste, we actaully used the lot in the end, just not on the Hot Rod. For a long time afterwards we all had Volvo blue front doors, back doors, and garage doors at our houses, I even came around to liking the colour... Eventually!