Sanding . . .  AGAIN !
Did I mention there is a lot of sanding that goes on
in a restoration?!
It's Painted!
I sprayed the doors, hood, spoiler, and headlamp pieces first, then sanded and buffed them out within their "window of opportunity," and delivered them to the owner so I wasn't tripping over them, and he could salivate over them for a while. They are in his living room!
Everything went pretty well, and all of the hard work is really starting to pay off. Now another tedious but critical step takes place: Finish sanding. This step is just as critical as any other, and a sharp eye is needed to pick out all the little irregularities that need to be sanded out. The whole surface will be gone over with 1500 wet paper to level it out, then it will receive an initial buffing which will bring out places that need more attention or were missed during the first sanding.
I mentioned the "window of opportunity." There is a period of time between when the paint is "hand-slick" (impervious to dust sticking, when you can literally swipe your finger over it... LIGHTLY!) and when it is fully cured that you have to hit in order to buff it efficiently. This usually occurs 2-3 days after painting with air-dried finishes. The paint is still soft enough to be maliable, and to some extent the buffer and compound
Chiaro !
melt the scratches away. Once it cures out fully, it is soooo hard that there is Hell to pay trying to sand and buff it then!!
<<   Yours truly buffs. There is literally never a moments rest. Many decent jobs have been ruined by inattentive buffing that ripped off parts or burned through edges. Sand, buff, inspect, clean, re-sand, rebuff, recheck... It goes on till the surface is perfected. Incidentally, I have the freshly buffed surfaces covered because the clear is actually a bit too green yet. The spatter soaks into the paint and raises little "welts" if you let it lie on the surface.
Next the long re-assembly process begins. This is when you really try hard not to knock any paint off or drop anything on it! If you're looking for a simple task, this NEVER gets easy!
This is DEPTH!
Here's the point that everyone wants to get to. The point when it starts to look like a car again. Yes, the trim is going back on! This is yet another difficult process, for it is all too easy to slip and biff something, ruining many ours of dogged labor. It pays to take your time and Dummy your way through it. By that I mean assume you are "dumb" and "ignorant," do not know any "fancy short cuts", and are approaching this like a stone novice. In other words . . .
. . . don't take ANYTHING for granted!
Major panel installation is particularly problematic. It is all too easy to peel the edges of that beautiful fresh paint if you excitedly close a door before you check the alignment!  In this case, it was far less scarey because I had to leave the hinges in place, so alignment was not necessarily an issue. Still... you can see I taped the door and fender edges just in case! Remember the Dummy Rule? If you're smart, you even apply it to yourself!
I couldn't budge the hinge bolts without breaking something, so I drove out the pins instead (which wasn't easy!). Incidentally, the pins have grease fittings. Nice Touch !
Another item of some annoyance was the wiring. I was not enthused about digging around under those fragile interior panels looking for a modular plug to ease door removal, so I did it the hard way and fed all the wires out of the door to remove it. A pain, to be be sure, but the least dangerous way as I saw it.

"Yes, I know Lads. I miss the Ferraaari as well, but it won't be long now. Chin up! "
The door hardware is all quite crude and rather flimsy, but in all honesty, it went back together a little easier than it came apart. The outside handle is particularly tricky because the cable pinch bolt is REALLY in a tight spot. NOT FUN! The lock cylinder actuating system is also pretty cheesy, and took a lot of fiddling and tweaking to get working right. Definitely not something that would take a lot of use, abuse, or even much adjusting before it gave out! The door latch receiver on the jamb was quite tedious to get aligned right, and it still may require some fiddling. We also have no idea why the passenger window electrics did not function when I first got the car. Judging by the rather hillarious cable system that moves it up and down, I bet there will be some colorful language to come trying to get it working right!
Looking good, no? Eccellentissimo!
The car will depart as it arrived; on a roll back. Because of the difficulty in hauling the rear bonnet around, and the EXTREME difficulty of installing it, the owner wanted to put it on BEFORE it left. He did not relish trying to get it on himself, especially since a previous attempt had resulted in some paint damage, even with help. Defintely not a job for amateurs, and requires more than one set of hands . . . preferably THREE sets!
Re-assembly was time consuming with all the grilles and screens having to be riveted in place. The outer grille rivets were particularly tight to get to. I remembered - and amazingly found - an old riveter that had laid around the basement for 30-some years, long since deemed "worthless" and passed over for more modern and rugged equipment. It's one of those skinny Dollar-Two-Ninety-Eight cheapos, but it was the ONLY way to get at those holes. I don't know why, but I'm sure glad it was never tossed out!
Well... details. We are down to little details. Riveting on the body tag & rear bumper fillers, recaulking the front and rear windows, making minor last minute adjustments to the assemblies as well as the finish. My involvement in this project is drawing to a close. It has been an interesting one. Overall I would say that I'm pleased with the result. Satisfied? No... that never comes when one is a perfectionist. I guess I'd say that at the least it is a job that will look absolutely stunning to 98% of the people who see it. Paint work can be a singularly frustrating and heartbreaking endeavor. Am I looking forward to more restoration work? No way. I am cetainly ready for some fabrication! It has its difficulties too, but I can usually ALWAYS make something work. Painting is not necessarily within the painters control, no matter how
talented or experienced he is!
We will have to wait for Neil-the-Owner to complete the extensive cleanup & detailing, and to finish the basic re-assembly that's left before we can get some good after-photos. I certainly could do it, but the next project car is already in the works (911 Turbo in the background), Neil's budget is on its third or fourth revision already, has already passed the latest "absolute limit," and anyway he works much cheaper than I do! {;-D
Speaking of money, I know that a lot of you Ferrari Chat-ters have been watching this project with some interest. I would imagine that there are a lot of similar cars out there whos owners are faced with just such a project. Whether you think you are experienced enough to be prepared for such an endeavor or not, I'd have to say to you all, get ready for a major expense! Let's remember that this is a fairly virginal car with very low mileage and wear and had no damage. It needs nothing but the usual mechanical maintenance and general upkeep. Even given that fairly gentile state, it has required a major outlay of cash to bring it up to snuff, and I'm not nearly the most expensive guy up and down the pike! If I had to put some numbers to it, figure on at least 200-250 hours, and spending $10k . . minimum!
Of course, in addition to all you've spent already, this will probably help you easily exceed the value of the car. Still, when you are an enthusiast, or . . . junky . . . what the hell does that matter?
Neil is Finished !