The rocker panel was the biggest obstacle in performing this makeover. It was badly damaged to the point that both of the pinch welds were pushed in. Another key member of our body-shop posse, Rob Baldwin, jumped in to handle the repair. With a little help from his father, Gary, Rob had the rocker finished in about five hours. Given the time we had to do the entire car, replacing the entire rocker the correct way wasn't an option, but we did it to where most people won't notice it, and it's structurally safe and strong.
To do the job alone is a long and laborious effort, and a fairly boring one at that. Having friends to share the workload and hang out with while toiling on such an endeavor makes it far more enjoyable, and given that three of us didn't really know a whole lot about painting a car, we all came out a bit smarter--we think. We owe big thanks to Mark Johnson, Brian Bohnsack, and Rob Baldwin, who all played pivotal roles in getting our Recession Special looking great. We are no longer embarrassed about driving it in public, and although it still retains beater status, we keep a bottle of spray detailer in the car now.