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My Story
 

 

 My wife shares my love of Corvettes.  While this is a good thing, it is solely responsible for our second addition to the family.  I have always dreamed of owning a '68 and soon after we were married in 1997 my wife decided she also wanted a Corvette.   I wanted something different from the C4, she wanted something she could drive every day.  Since a '68 is not a daily driver and at the time we couldn't easily afford a new C5, we had to compromise.  After months of searching, numerous hours of internet surfing and endless newspaper reading, we happened upon a '82 Collector Edition. 

    We found this gem in California as well.  It is rather unique since only 6,759, or little more than one quarter of all 25,407 Corvettes produced in 1982 were Collector Edition models.   This was the last year of the 'shark' body style.   What was to follow with this weekend project car was more than we would have imagined at the time.

   It really is hard to find a good body and paint shop for a Corvette.  Many paint jobs that I've seen tend to settle after just 2 - 3 years, and show all of the sanding marks in the fiberglass.  If the job is not completed correctly, you will be throwing your time and effort away.  It may take quite a bit of time to get the job completed correctly, but well worth it if you plan on owning your Corvette for years to come.  After scouring many body and paint shops for experience with Corvettes, we found a shop that said all the right words....   "If it is not done right, you will know in 2 - 3 years!"  "To prevent this... "  Sure enough, we found the right place!

Gameplan:  Take extreme care in the preparation of the body by applying multiple layers of primer and paint, while allowing each layer to settle in the hot Georgia sun for a month or so in between paint applications.  Follow our timelines to see the stages of completion.



This is the day we brought the 82 Collector Edition home.  May 1998


 September 2002 - San Antonio Car Show


 


When we purchased the Collector Edition, it had experienced both and rear fender damage.  While not severe enough for a replacement, it was worth cutting out the bad fiberglass and replacing it.  While these photos do not do the damage justice, the cracked fenders were going to take more than the primer the previous owner applied.  While living in California, our project Corvette did not get much more attention than my replacement and reshaping of the fiberglass.

 


November 1998 - on our way from northern California to Georgia!
 

After arriving in Georgia, we didn't have much time for Corvette activities or projects, getting settled in new jobs and going to grad school.  This really put a damper on our Corvette hobby!  With a few minor drives from time to time, the 82 Collector Edition spent most of the year nice and dry in the garage next to the 91.  Not having a finished Corvette did not sit well with Beth, so while I was "vacationing" in Saudi Arabia for a few months, she decided to press on with the restoration previously stalled.  She found a body and paint shop that was experienced in Corvette restorations and knew what I was after.  Everything the I had read about the correct way to paint a Corvette, they said.  Beth initially started a web page to keep me posted as to the status of the 82's progress while I was abroad.  The below chronological list of events and photos are presented as Beth initially posted them:
 
   Tuesday, December 14, 1999   Paint Project Start - The day the journey started.  Prep work was to begin later this week... 
Thursday, December 23, 1999   Initial Prep - The wheels and bumpers have been removed along with all the stripes.  Photos show work so far including a close-up of the driver's side lower door panel absent the graduated decals...
Tuesday, December 28, 1999    Paint Strip - Work is moving right along! As the pictures indicate, most (if not all) of the stripping of the original paint is completed...  
Thursday, December 30, 1999   Fiberglass Application - Wow! Excitement builds as work continues.  All paint stripper and initial sanding are now complete and photos show the application of fiberglass as the bodywork is now under way...
Wednesday, January 5, 2000    Polyester Gel Coat - It is really starting to get exciting!  All the initial body work is complete.  The entire car has been sanded and is ready for the initial coat of polyester (also known as the "gel" coat stage)...  
Friday, January 7, 2000   Primer - As the pictures will show, the primer has been applied...
Tuesday, January 25, 2000   Base Coat - These pictures show the car in the booth and the paint applied to the jams... 
Wednesday, February 2, 2000    Settling of Paint - LOOK!!! LOOK!!!! LOOK!!! You won't believe it...it is finally at a point where we can really start to get excited!!  While it still needs to be buffed and sanded, it looks beautiful!  You have GOT to see this...
  Sunday, February 20, 2000    Detail Work - The vette is painted and has been put back together (including the hood).  Final detail work includes the rubber trim under the front bumper, the area around the taillights, the trim all around the bottom and on our car, the louvers (obviously not original) and dying of all the interior vinyl including headliner, seatbacks and dash.  The car should be buffed next week and I will get some more pictures to load then.   The decals are still being discussed, and it looks like we will definitely go with the professional on this one. 
Thursday, March 9, 2000    Detail Work  - The detail work continues; windows have been reinserted in the doorframes, trim is being placed back on the car and other minor "put-it-all-back-together" things that have to be accomplished.  Plans call for the car to be buffed mid-week.  The interior will also be re-dyed to the original color including the interior roof, dash and seat backs.
Thursday, March 16,  2000   Interior Detail Work  - The dash has been replaced and the car is put back together. 
COMPLETED!   FINISHED PAINT! - We still need to add the decals and the interior, but you can see how beautiful this car now looks.  The clear coat is incredible!  These photos were taken in the paint shop just days before we finally picked her up and brought her home.

While we love our 82 CE, we also have careers that take us throughout the country as well as outside the country.  That said, we've had our 82 CE in storage since 2004.  We are not parting with it, rather keeping it for when we settle down in one location.

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 Emule
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Last updated Wednesday, September 15, 2004

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