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Stupid Mistake Corrected!


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So just three days after I got my 1969 Riviera leveled with new springs and the newly chromed and painted wheels with new tires mounted on the car I am backing the car out of my mechanics shop and stupid me I managed to rake the right rear quarter panel against the shop door steel frame opening. The frame did not move but the bumper and fender sure as hell did ! This is a car that has been completely restored with a beautiful Twilight Iridescent Blue paint job that I had just bought. Needless to say I was sick to my stomach and I did not want to get out and look after I pulled the car forward into the shop. My mechanic and his helper looked with shock not believing I had just messed up my beautiful car.


So, after I finished accepting the stupidity I drove the car to my friends body shop and we assessed the damage. He gave me an estimate and I forwarded it to Hagerty. They came through the next day with a deposit to my bank account (less my deductible) and I went to work taking the bumper off. By the way, notice there are no bumper bolts on this Riviera's bumper. As part of the Riviera design process they came up with a neat hidden method to mount the bumper. I just had to remove all the taillight parts and then remove the back third of both sides of the exhaust system including the resonators so I could get to the mounting bolts. Once I got to the bolts the bumper came off and I took it to the chrome shop to remove the dent and re-chrome (even though it had been re-chromed during the restoration).

I ruined the red round running light but thankfully a Buick buddy on V8Buick had an NOS  light", the body shop took in the car and began work last week. The big dent in the quarter panel popped out with one firm smack with a fist from inside the trunk so we did not have much to repair with bondo etc. I had three very small bubbles at the bottom edge of the truck lid and when they removed them found they were caused by tiny rust spots left on the edge during restoration, they did not go through the metal. So they repaired the bubbles, applied the paint then clear coated the whole trunk and the full quarter.


I picked up the car today and I must say it looks great. The fact that I had more than 1/2 gallon of the original Twilight Iridescent blue paint made the color match much easier.

The white tape is holding the taillights sort of in place so I could drive the car to and from the body shop. I am now waiting on the bumper to be finished, I get to put it back on, and then I am back in business enjoying the car.

Moral to the story:
First: with a new car get accustomed to the width and length before driving in tight spaces
Second: when your car does not have a passenger side mirror carefully depend on your other two rear view mirrors and don't guess
Third: always ask you Buick buddies for support when needed especially hard to find parts 
By the way, before I was offered the NOS light I bought several other used ones so if one of you 68-70 fellow Riviera owners every need a light contact me.

So, a happy ending to what could have been a much worse situation. Think positive!




P.S. Working with Admin to try and rotate photos






IMG_6926 - Copy - Copy.JPG



Edited by chuckfmtexas (see edit history)
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Next time do what I did. Back out at an angle and put a dent in your door skin. Then you can take it off and take the skin to the body shop.  Raises a lot of eyebrows but it sure a lot cheaper.  Luckily I didn't stretch anything, and it popped out.  Black lacquer mixed to the original formula and I was back in business.

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