Goodmark Industries Keeps The Classics Rolling
PreservationStory By The MaxChevy Staff
Photos Courtesy of Goodmark Industries
The preservation of classic American iron is the primary goal of Goodmark Industries. With sheet metal replacement panels for a plethora of vintage machines, including the popular '69 Camaro , no old car should be considered "foo far gone" to restore. Coupled with The Installation Center, virtually any rusted out hulk can be worked back into shape, just like this orange and white beauty that adorned the Goodmark booth at a recent trade show.Things are better today for Chevrolet muscle car owners than ever before. It wasn't all that many years ago that people had to scrounge around in junkyards or talk to person after person to track down the parts they needed for their restoration. For the most part today, all you have to do is spend a few minutes on the phone and parts will be sitting on your doorstep a few days later. While this may take some of the excitement out of the "chase" of building a car, there is plenty of other fun to be had.
If this neatly laid out array of black sheet metal looks familiar it's because all that's missing is the subframe floor pan and A-pillars for it to be a complete 1969 Camaro. Intended to show that virtually every part of the car that can rot away can also be replaced, what it does for classic car fans is provide confidence that nothing is too far-gone for it to be brought back to life. FYI, the floorboards are available, too.Years ago, collectors searched and gobbled up good cars because they were easy to restore or they were "survivors" that needed very little. As the years have gone by the totally original, rare market started drying up or got too costly for many of the people who aspired to be collector car owners. Today's focus seems to be on cars that are old, cool, safe and fun to drive. Originality isn't as important as it once was to many collectors.
A car in this state of decay was once considered a prime candidate for the crusher. Hold off EPA, these classics will no longer be sitting ducks for you to target. Instead, with companies such as Goodmark Industries, you will be banking on originals like these to increase in value and better the stock market as a sure-fire investment.It is amazing to see the quality of the cars that are being put back on the road. Vehicles that are nothing more than a basic shell with a valid title and original VIN number are being pulled out of the swamps (or where ever they have been) and rebuilt.
This car has some serious rot issues. But no worry, as the reproduction roof skins fill the void. No more patch panels to splice in. For classics dear to our heart like Camaros, Chevelles, Tri-fives and Novas, there is no need to fear them finding their way to the boneyard with quality sheet metal available to refinish them.
Quarter panels, trunk floor and deck lid gone? No problem. Goodmark has the parts that competent body shops can graft back in place.
Having a solid starting point is important when it comes to restoring sheet metal. Note the extent that this original donor car has to be rebuilt. Again, no worries about the parts, but the labor to replace all of them could be extensive. However, if you want to preserve a piece of history, it can be done.
But if not for manufacturers such as Goodmark Industries, which started offering replacement sheet metal and trim for muscle cars years ago, the market most certainly wouldn't be as strong as it is today. After all, if you can't get body parts to replace rusted out quarters, fenders, and such, could a car be saved without breaking the bank?
Having the correct tools to do the job is of paramount importance. Many of the original sheet metal parts were assembled using spot welders such as these. To restore a ride correctly means replicating these welds.For example you see a row of Camaros sitting on jigs. The jigs keep the body in perfect alignment as pretty much every body part from the front to rear bumper is replaced. Rust flies as quarters, inner and outer wheelhouses, trunk and full floors, cowl, doors, fenders, roof, etc., are ripped off. When the air chisel or plasma cutter stops, you can see a skeleton of a vehicle mounted to a jig. Standing on the shop cart behind the project are parts from Goodmark to replace pretty much the entire car. Would anyone even attempt to build cars this badly damaged 15 years ago?
Here's a great view of a convertible that is undergoing extensive restoration. Note the new rocker panels along with the trunk floor. But when this car is completed you'll have a hard time telling it apart from a car that still has its original sheet metal.
What originally came into the shop as something that sort of looked like a car leaves sporting a coating of black Electro Deposit Primer (EDP) Goodmark sheet metal and looks pretty presentable even without final paint! The EDP coating provides rust protection for the future life of the car.
The availability of sheet metal and trim from Goodmark has opened up interesting avenues for other companies, as well. We all know that Chip Foose and Baldwin Motion Camaros are now available, but there is another cool car that is already on the market. The Retro Rides Camaro is the ultimate driving machine.Retro Rides starts with an original '67-69 Camaro, and a 4th Generation donor Camaro and a pile of boxes containing all new sheet metal and trim from Goodmark Industries. Retro Rides' craftsmen totally strip both the 1st-Gen car and 4th Gen model then rebuild the older car from the ground up. The new '67-69 sheet metal and floorboards merge with shock towers and other parts from the 4th-Gen car to become what is affectionately referred to as Retro Rides "5th-Generation" machine. What you get is a 1st-Generation Camaro with all of the handling and driving capabilities of the late-model performer. Even better, since the car that ends up getting built is a "real" '67-'69 Camaro, it comes complete down to VIN and title.
This First-Gen Camaro has had a new roof, quarters and door skins installed. Starting with a factory car and meticulously installing new outer skin parts can assure a perfectly aligned body. Just wait until the paint is applied!
This car is getting totally rebuilt. The floor is about to get replaced with a full factory style floor from Goodmark. Once it is installed, it will be difficult to know that it isn't the original floor (except it won't be rusty).Retro Rides is merging the firewall and floorboards from a 4th gen Camaro with a 69 Camaro. When the car is finished, it will have the interior room, drivetrain, suspension, etc. from the 4th gen Camaro grafted into an original 1969 Camaro.
Retro Rides is merging the firewall and floorboards from a 4th gen Camaro with a 69 Camaro. When the car is finished, it will have the interior room, drivetrain, suspension, etc. from the 4th gen Camaro grafted into an original 1969 Camaro.The Retro Ride cars are available in several forms. Want an LS7, 6-speed? How about a 427, automatic? You pick the options and the car is built to your specifications. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, they offer everything from a basic body shell to a completed customized body.
For those who can't get enough of '69 Camaros, Retro Rides has been offering only turnkey cars. Due to high response, Goodmark will soon be offering the Retro Ride bodies in various stages from just the ,modified cab to full bodies. They will be complete with a real title and the 4th gen Camaro floor, firewall, etc in an original 67-69 body with new sheetmetal. At this time they are working on 1967-69 Camaros and Firebirds.Rather have an early Chevelle? No problem. Take your choice here with either a '70-ish model...
...or a vintage '66-67 ride! If you aren't into Camaros, Qualified shop can replace rusted out, 30 something year old sheet metal for your Chevelle.
For collectors, the future only looks brighter as Goodmark is reproducing more and more parts. Full factory-style floor pans are being offered, in addition to floor patch panels. Full quarters are now commonplace. Body shops are even investing in the equipment necessary to be able to install parts using factory-style welds, so the cars look like the General built them. When you add it all up, we've certainly come a long way toward the goal of keeping these and other classic cars alive.
Here's a pair of F-bodies. One just had most of the sheetmetal replaced at and the other is ready to get started.
© 2006 MaxChevy and RacingNetSource