….and now for the rest of the story. I was doing the final sand down, prepping this Hawk for primer, rehanging the earlier primer sprayed doors. This is where the easy sailing down to the paint finish line derailed. No way could I get the passenger door to maintain a door gap when I rolled the car across the floor. I removed the door and started going over the surrounding body parts. When I got down to the sill plate for a good look, I could see the rocker had been previously replaced. The bottom of the torque box looked solid, but nooooooooo – this wasn’t going to be easy!


When I inspected the inside of the torque box, I found all the sub-structure rusted away.  This is when I discovered I was definitely not looking at a “coming together soon” finish point for this car.

Removed the bubble gum welded rocker, which almost fell off in my hands due to only one point of successful weld joinery. Even the A pillar was poorly attached to a home-made floor, so I cut loose the floor and porta-powered the whole hinge pillar forward 1/4″. This was the only way to make the door fit correctly. I replaced the entire sill threshold with 2″ steel angle iron, which I curved in my hydraulic press to match the rocker panel.


The finished repair with freshly sanded smooth anchoring epoxy on the upper sill area.

Also fabricated an outrigger that attaches to the bat wing to support the floor and A-pillar above it. Then weld tied the floor hinge pillar and added solid welds underneath the body.

The whole rust issue of the torque box seems strange because the bottom torque box plate was solid – it wasn’t as rusted as it should have been in comparison to the surrounding box.

Another one of these un-explainable previous repair jobs?


Slowly……I make progress toward finishing this car.

This poor old Hawk states the case for the challenge of hidden problems.  On the surface, when it came in, it looked like all it needed was a paint job. It has been an ongoing repair of hidden rust bucket innards, each piece removed for repair revealing even more rust damage.

The great news is that the door area is now repaired and the door hangs as it should – squarely within the door jambs with no further movements to the dark side.

Now the priming can be finished.


 ….and here’s that purdy new paint color FINALLY laid down on the primed body/Hawk trunk.