As careful observers may recall (or anyone with exceptional vision that can actually see my profile picture on here), the grille on the Chevelle has been missing a couple chunks as long as I’ve had it. It’s weird really, since there was no other damage to the front end, just broken-out pieces of grille.
In 2012 I got a replacement grille for my birthday, despite that this was in the 5-year stretch this car just sat in storage, getting very dirty and generally decaying, while I was Getting My Shit Together. That replacement grille stayed in its box, moving from shed to shed, basement to basement, until now.
There are two things that need done for this to be “good as new” (excluding the lackluster silver paint job, which does actually kind of look like the lackluster silver paint job on the original one from the factory). One is the bottom section needing to be painted body color, and the other is for the mounting ears to be blacked out so they disappear when on the car.
From memory, I knew there were six screws holding this piece on so I anticipated having to painstakingly mask off six little sections of grille to paint flat black.
I was wrong.
It turns out (and I checked this against the original, which matches) there are six screws, but both ends are filled in the whole way top-to-bottom, meaning there are 22 little sections of grille to painstaking mask off to paint black.
Now I understand why everyone puts SS grilles on everything... the whole thing is painted black.
After much futzing about with it, and getting pretty good at jamming tape into little corners and pressing it down with a little screwdriver, cussing at things, etc. it was masked off. I almost ran out of tape, too.
The paper over the whole thing is probably overkill, but it can’t hurt. I put a few light coats of flat black on the intended areas, and will find out tomorrow how well I did masking it.
I mentioned above the bottom section needing to be body-color - since the front clip is in primer, it won’t be problematic at this point for it to be silver. At some point in the distance future when I finish all the bodywork and am actually ready to paint the car, this section will be scuffed and painted as well. It should be much easier to mask.
This post ended up long-winded, which from experience means most people won’t read beyond the first picture, so as a thank-you for having an attention span longer than a snapchat video, here’s the current state of the car in general.
I picked up a new air cleaner today as well (my old drop-base was hitting the carb/throttle linkage) and mocked it up. I’m a bit concerned about hood clearance, it’s going to be close. Resolutions would be to remove the carb spacer and lose some plenum volume (and risk other clearance issues) or make the terrible decision to spend the money on a factory-style cowl induction hood. Hopefully it just fits as-is, though.