The last time I attempted the art I was still a kid of 18 living a home with my poor, long suffering, parents. I bought an HQ Holden ute, with a completely knackered 308 V8 engine and worn out M20 gearbox. Many different people before me had tried to improve it cosmetically in the most superficial way possible. I decided, naively, to have a go repairing the defects myself.
I approached the problem head-on, deciding to start with a fresh canvas. The easiest option was to have the ute tray sand blasted. The sills, on both sides, disintegrated as the blasting media hit them. Wadded newspaper had been used to save the cost of bog by some dodgy bastard. The resulting mess looked really expensive. Having no welding skills, I rebogged the panels, increasing the ute's curb weight by about fifty kilos. Over the next year I poured massive amounts of money, time and effort into the project but the end result reflected the level of expertise involved.
Finally I sold it, Lost about $15,000 on the deal. The last panel beater I used told me the ute had terminal chassis rust and would never see the road again. Utterly discouraged, I took the pittance he offered and moved on.
About three mouths later I saw my ute driving past. With a few inquiries I discovered that my ever-so-helpful panel beater had slapped a bit more bog into it and sold it to his mate. Life can be a hard road when you're young and stupid.
None of this explains why I have just spent hundreds of dollars and two days of my time stripping and painting a bonnet 20 years later. It would seem the memory of my previous experience has faded sufficiently to have another go. The job still sucks. Paying a professional to do it would have worked out to be cheaper in the end but I just can’t help having a go myself. I hope the end result is worth the pain and suffering.
Everyone says 'Oh but the satisfaction of doing it yourself...’ etc. Personally I think the satisfaction of dropping it off and picking it up from a panel beater would be fine by me.