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The Serious Freshening

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Exterior—Strip Body of Paint

Lynn in Bugsby, September 5, 2005

Completed: 2006-02-17 — Started: 2006-02-05

PREPARING BODY: Lynn removes all the remaining vinyl and floor coverings in preparation for professional stripping and painting of the body. Removing the flooring reveals Kissel chrome yellow paint and a frame number(?) (top row). Removing the residual vinyl glue was a tedious job (bottom row).

Work Completed:
Initially Lynn was only planning to do chip and crack repairs to the exterior paint. But once Lynn removes the body from the frame and pulls out all the old cracked and deteriorated wiring, he realizes that he will need to repeat all these steps again if his ever decides to repaint the body. Lynn agonizes over this decision for about a week since this part of the restoration will run into the many thousands of dollars and will have a dramatic visual impact. Also, he's concerned that he may be rushed to complete the reassembly of Bugsby in order that he and Jeanne can participate in the 100-th anniversary celebration of the Kissel Motor Car Company scheduled for June. Lynn finally concludes that he won't rush the job, that he can finance the expense and he can reasonably attend the June celebration even with a partially assembled car.

Starting on Sunday, Feb. 5, and working in the evenings on Monday (until 2 A.M.) and Tuesday (until midnight), Lynn removes the interior vinyl and floor coverings. The vinyl (installed sometime after 1976?) is stapled, nailed and glued to the body. It was a tedious job to remove the thousands of staples and the residual glue.

Lynn suspects that the flooring was original. The famous Kissel chrome yellow paint is evident everywhere under the flooring. Apparently the flooring is original and was not removed during the earlier restorations. He also discovers a number "KS52117" boldly stamped along the left-hand side of the floor. Lynn thinks that this may be a frame number as it doesn't correspond to the car serial number or any other number for the car that he's discovered so far.

OFF TO THE SHOP: Bugsby's body is loaded onto the Beast (left, left center). Even with the body removed, Lynn's garage is still filled with other Bugsby parts (right, right center). After three trips, all the body parts are delivered to the shop (right).

UNDER THE GUN: Views of Bugsby's body parts in the blasting booth (left three photos) show the scene after the first day of work. A close-up of the blasting media shows why Kevin refers to it as "kitty litter."

INITIAL FORENSICS: What was Bugsby's original color? Initial examination of the partially removed paint by Kevin and Lynn (top left) results in a confusing story. The cowl (top right) shows two color coats (pale yellow over chrome yellow). On the turtle back (bottom left) and rear hatch (bottom center) one sees indications of red layers and a thick base layer of glazing/body filler. Kevin also notes that traces of green can be seen on the lip of the dash (bottom right).

Based on his good experience with the work stripping and repainting Bugsby's frame Lynn takes all the car's body panels to Kevin Schell at California Reflections on Wednesday morning, February 8, 2006.

Lynn stops at the shop after the first day of blasting. He's curious about what has been revealed about the paint colors under the pale yellow exterior coat that Bugsby is currently sporting. Consistent with Lynn's earlier observations under the flooring, the cowl (part of the body forward of the windshield) shows two color coats of paint, the current pale yellow over gray primer over chrome yellow over gray primer over a layer of glazing/body filler. But there are hints that there might be other colors. On the rear turtle back one sees layers of red, and a small hint of green can be seen on the lip of the dash.

Lynn suddenly realizes that he's better make a closer examination of Bugsby's paint history before the evidence is gone forever.

EXAM & ESTIMATE: After the finish has been removed from Bugsby's body parts, Lynn and Kevin (right) inspect the car and prepare an estimate for refinishing.

By February 16, all the old paint is stripped off of Bugsby. Kevin tells Lynn that David (the man who did the actual work) said that it was a difficult job. The body had a lot of filler that had been applied by the Kissel factory and it was hard to remove. David said that it took the effort needed for two cars to remove all the old finish. In spite of the extra effort, Kevin sticks to his original estimate for the paint removal. Lynn is starting to like this man more and more.

Work Remaining:

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Last updated: May 24, 2009