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Project Buckshot – our ’75 Bronco Sport gets body work and paint

Project Buckshot gets base coat and clear coat

About Project Buckshot: If you haven’t been keeping up with Buckshot, here’s a synopsis; TJ Arvas, a great friend of ours, had a dream to have a great looking, capable, classic 4-wheel drive truck. After 6 months of searching, he landed on a 1975 Ford Bronco Sport. The platform seemed sound enough. It was an uncut beauty that was in nearly stock form. Sure, we knew about a few rust spots, but the chassis, drivetrain and most other components were in good working form. And thus we began on the quest of rebuilding, restoring and transforming this aged truck with lots of potential into a head-turning, more-than-capable off road machine.

For more information, visit Buckshot’s Home Page.

There comes a point in time with every restoration project where it reaches an apex. A summit if you will. Where everything up to that point seems to move slower than expected because that’s where the toughest parts of the job are and that’s where you run into unforeseen problems. It’s an immutable truth – every restoration project has it. But, once you reach the zenith, everything after all of that hard work seems to come together and you’re on the downhill slope. This is exactly where we are now with Project Buckshot. It’s been a few months of hard work and its now paid off in spades. 


At the beginning of the summer, we had completed a number of milestones on this project. We fitted Bushwacker flares, installed a Skyjacker suspension system, bolted on Raceline Monster beadlock wheels with Goodyear MT/R’s, converted the front drums to discs, built an 8-point role cage, installed AutoMeter gauges and rebuilt the rear axle with Yukon lockers and gears. We also completely stripped the truck back down, loaded it on a trailer and took it to our friends at Midlife Classics – a Princeton, TX auto restoration shop  where it would be soda blasted, have body work performed and get a fresh coat of paint. 

About Midlife ClassicsMidlife Classics is a full-service restoration and support shops that specializes in the restoration, preservation and enhancement of vintage and classic automobiles. All levels of restoration can be performed at Midlife Classics – from the daily driver to concourse-ready autos and trucks, and everything in between. From super exotic and rare cars like ’69 Marcos 3000 GT and Austin Healy Sprites to vintage panel vans and 4-wheel drives, They can perform various levels of restorations on your vehicle.

Midlife Classics
2351 County Road 447
Princeton, TX 75407
Phone: 972-736-3560
Email: bob@midlifeclassics.com

So now here we are – Project Buckshot has reached a key milestone in our restoration project and we want to share our successes with you, along with the great work that Midlife Classics has performed to date.

 

 

Project Buckshot Progress…

Disassembly & Tear Down

Bob Carroll and Dennis Cassatt began their work on Project Buckshot with their general disassembly. They started by removing what was left of some various body parts and then removing the body from the chassis. The roll cage was left bolted in place because the body on early Bronco’s isn’t strong enough to support its own weight when installed onto a rotisserie.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

Soda Blasting

Midlife Classics is one of the few shops in north Texas that can perform soda blasting. Soda blasting is the next generation of media blasting and it is better than glass beads, sand, walnut shells, etc. because it has far less collateral damage to what is being stripped. Plus, it uses standard baking soda, so it’s far friendlier to the environment. The entire body of our 1974 Bronco was soda blasted inside and out.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

Chassis Prep & Paint

With the body separated from the chassis, Midlife Classics went to work pressure washing the entire frame (The suspension was new and the axles had been cleaned and painted prior). Once the frame was prepped, it was treated with a coat of POR 15. POR 15 isn’t regular old paint. It’s flexible enough to deal with stress and flex, but hard enough you can beat the snot out of it with a hammer and it won’t chip. POR 15 also completely stops and prevents rust from attacking any metal surface, once prepped properly.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

Body Work

The entire body was treated to world class body work by the boys at Midlife Classics. The rocker panels had rust holes in them big enough to stuff a small animal inside. The right rear corner was bashed in. The rear quarter panels had a line of pitting rust on them and the doors needed some help as they were tweaked. The front clip of Buckshot was a disaster. The fender aprons were tweaked hard, the fenders were bent and the front grill unit was in poor shape. New fenders and a new grill were added, the rocker panels were patched, a new passenger floorboard was installed and bodywork to the rest of the vehicle was performed. Also, the custom rear bumper built by yours truly, required modifications to the tailgate, which Midlife Classics also did.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

New Hood

A new fiberglass hood was ordered from Wild Horses. Actually, two of them. The first hood came with severe cracks and damage to it, and a replacement showed up a few weeks later. We ordered a “Buckaroo” hood, which comes with a large hood scoop, heater vents, a gas piston hood lift kit, hood pin kit and more. Dennis Cassatt did a great job cutting out the heater vents, and opening the hood scoop to make it functional.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

Primer, sealing, Interior Protection and Guide Coat

Once the body work was complete, Bob and Dennis painted the interior of the truck with POR-15 to permanently seal and stop any future rusting. We chose not to have bedliner material installed since we would later add HushMat and carpet. They also applied POR-15 in a satin finish to the wheel wells and the entire underside of the truck too. After that, etching primer was painted on all of the surfaces they applied a guide coat to identify any remaining areas of body work that needed to be performed.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

Base coat, clear coat

With all of the body work and priming complete, Midlife Classics rolled Buckshot into the paint booth where the surface was cleaned, tack clothed and prepped for our paint to be added. Buckshot was now getting treated to a medium grey / silver metallic base coat and a liberal application of UV stabilized clear coat. Here you can see the general color that Buckshot will become. Later, satin black accents to the hood scoop, front grill and a few other key areas will be applied.

 

Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics
Project Buckshot at Midlife Classics

 

So what’s in store next for Buckshot?

The guys at Midlife Classics will color sand and polish the entire truck to get a high gloss to the paint job. Then they will add the stain black accents, pain the roll cage and other key areas, install the doors and more. So stay tuned for future updates.

About Rick Webster

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