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Question: Minor damage repair

johns81

Active member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
32
Location
Indianapolis
Corvette
1981 Beige/bronze
Hello,

My 1981 Corvette has received a small amount damage on the passenger side front. Don't know when or how, guessing someone back into me. I would like to have this repaired without painting the entire car. Every body shop I visited, wants to paint the whole thing. I don't want that, the original still looks good except for the damage. Wanting some recommendations on where to go, or how to go about getting this repaired. Sorry about the first incomplete post. I have attached a file, hopefully you can see it.

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

Attachments

  • Damage.jpg
    Damage.jpg
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stevolwevol

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2015
Messages
241
Location
Michigan
Corvette
1977 light blue
With some good body filler and paint to match, you could fix it yourself. From the looks of the pic it doesn't look that bad, unless I missed something.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,381
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
John, I deleted the second posting as duplication.
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,223
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
First off, Frost Beige is easy to match and blend. Down on the side of the front fender where the light changes makes it even easier. Also any good paint shop that has the system to mix their own paint can very closely match the bronze too. Don't let anyone paint the whole car. Bumpers rarely matched perfectly from the factory (as can be seen in your photo) so if someone tells you the bumper won't match, that's not a good excuse as they mostly didn't match when new.

The days of being able to buy just a bumper and fender stripe decal form GM are long past but they are available from sources like Corvette Central in a whole car kit for around $289.00. No matter who retails them there is probably only one company that manufactures them so shop around. Look on Ebay too. Someone might have just a partial kit that has the stripe you need.

Your front fender bottom has a L shaped flange that the bumper cover bolts too. The damage photo makes me suspect that the flange might be cracked right in the corner and will require a proper fiberglass repair. If it's just filled with body filler it will come back to haunt you in the future. The bumper cover might also need some repair or maybe it can be rubbed out by hand and be nearly undetectable depending on how deep the scratches are. There are specialty products for flexible bumper covers to fill that damage. Regular body filler is not to be used there. Best way to do the bumper would be to spot in the damage area and try to not refinish the whole bumper. If the beige needs painted you have the top fender crease that comes down over the bumper which makes a perfect stopping point for a blend. If the bronze needs paint there is no reason to go any further than the front corner of the bumper. With the light change on the corner that's the perfect spot to blend.

I searched for shops in Indy and 3 popped up on Mechanic Adviser as doing Corvette body repair. Do the search. You may have already called them or they may be someone new to you. Also there are a few Corvette Clubs in Indy. Check out their web sites and Facebook pages. There's a great chance of getting a good recommendation from local Corvette people on who they use.

Tom
 

johns81

Active member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
32
Location
Indianapolis
Corvette
1981 Beige/bronze
First off, Frost Beige is easy to match and blend. Down on the side of the front fender where the light changes makes it even easier. Also any good paint shop that has the system to mix their own paint can very closely match the bronze too. Don't let anyone paint the whole car. Bumpers rarely matched perfectly from the factory (as can be seen in your photo) so if someone tells you the bumper won't match, that's not a good excuse as they mostly didn't match when new.

The days of being able to buy just a bumper and fender stripe decal form GM are long past but they are available from sources like Corvette Central in a whole car kit for around $289.00. No matter who retails them there is probably only one company that manufactures them so shop around. Look on Ebay too. Someone might have just a partial kit that has the stripe you need.

Your front fender bottom has a L shaped flange that the bumper cover bolts too. The damage photo makes me suspect that the flange might be cracked right in the corner and will require a proper fiberglass repair. If it's just filled with body filler it will come back to haunt you in the future. The bumper cover might also need some repair or maybe it can be rubbed out by hand and be nearly undetectable depending on how deep the scratches are. There are specialty products for flexible bumper covers to fill that damage. Regular body filler is not to be used there. Best way to do the bumper would be to spot in the damage area and try to not refinish the whole bumper. If the beige needs painted you have the top fender crease that comes down over the bumper which makes a perfect stopping point for a blend. If the bronze needs paint there is no reason to go any further than the front corner of the bumper. With the light change on the corner that's the perfect spot to blend.

I searched for shops in Indy and 3 popped up on Mechanic Adviser as doing Corvette body repair. Do the search. You may have already called them or they may be someone new to you. Also there are a few Corvette Clubs in Indy. Check out their web sites and Facebook pages. There's a great chance of getting a good recommendation from local Corvette people on who they use.

Tom

Tom,
Thank you for the information. I will look deeper into finding a body shop that does not want to paint the entire car. And I would not be comfortable doing it myself.

Thanks again!
 

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