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I've started stripping down the paintwork on the panels of my 2+2. I was mildly shocked to find several little (and some not-so-little) dings which have been filled with body filler. It is not accident damage (my dad bought the car new in 1965, and has never been in an accident of any sort with it). It looks more like damage caused by warehousing of the panels before assembly. I found this so far on the trunk lid and the hood. I now expect to find much the same on the fenders and doors. Is this normal, or could Ford have been 'saving' damaged panels for the export market? :p

Rikkie
 

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Body filler has always been used on assembly lines to repair imperfect sheet metal,cover welded seams, and repair damage that has happened on the line.It's done every day to every car. I know, I did it for awhile at the Jefferson Assembly Chrysler Plant in Detroit.
 
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Thanks for the reassurance folks. I was starting to wonder about the old man :eek: At least I know for sure that I didn't cause the damage as a 16 year-old kid when I sneaked the car out after my folks had gone out ;)
 

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As mentioned by others, both lead and plastic body fillers were used by the factory. It is also possible that the selling dealer could have repaired "transportation damage" before the car was delivered.

By the way, just looking at your RSA location, and was curious about the history of your car. Was the car exported to Africa originally or did your family move there and take the car with them?
 

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I also found a lot of filler on my 65 when I stripped the 7 layers of paint off it..Below the first coat of primer which I was told was the original coat. There was filler on both fenders so they matched up with the headlight doors as well as both rear quarters. In order to get the lines to line up right one has to add some filler I guess. I didn't put it back in and my lines are a little off kilter.
Don
 

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i worked as a Ford auto body repairman back then.
it was not all that uncommon to have transportation damage before the car got to the dealer, dings scatches etc.
i repaired more than a few brand new Fords and repainted them before they got sold. Some mostly early 70's looked like they had been in a wreck, doors hoods fenders didnt line up and had to worked over before sold.
Factory replacement panels always needed repair to dings before use.
 

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The only "body filler" that the factory used prior to 1969 was lead.Any other filler was done after it left the factory.Many cars were repaired at the depot:ie train yard or DSO from minor damage encounterd in trans port.What you are describing is most probbaly hail damage and who knows where that was fixed.Don't you wish it could talk?
 
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mrgem,

My Mustang was one of the very first batch (of 4) '65's to be imported into RSA. My dad gave in to an off-beat impulse when he saw it standing in Steyn's Ford in Pretoria, and bought it. I was all of 7 years old, then. I won't tell you of all the great times I had with this car, as that would be giving away my youthful delinquency :eek: I will however admit to having my own set of spare keys cut, and I got quite good at disconnecting and re-connecting the speedo! When my parents sold their Johannesburg home around 1980, the estate agent was an old schoolmate of mine. After meeting my folks, he enquired about our (uncommon) surname, asking whether my parents had a son called Rikkie, who drove a red Mustang. Luckily my dad saw the humour in the situation, and it is still a family joke.

So, yes - you could say that my car is a labour of love, and I'm glad to be able to involve the car's next owner (my 20 year-old son) in the restoration. At least he won't have to push it out of the garage and freewheel 2 blocks down the road before he fires it up!!

Have a great one.

Rikkie
 
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