Powdercoating

After Devco removed every bit of paint from the chassis and body, it was a clean slate. The body was then transported to Ludikrs Kustomz for powdercoating. Its task was to powder coat the chassis, floorpans, and backside of every body panel. Basically, it will coat every part except for the exterior of the body panels. Every square inch of the surface to be powdercoated had to be prepped. Donnie Wilson and the crew sanded every surface with 120-grit sandpaper to ensure that every surface is prepped for proper adhesion. There were a ton of nooks and crannies to sand, and a lot of pieces. It was an
all-day job for multiple guys. After the sanding was finished, Big Red was moved to the oven rack. The guys took great care to securely hang it with hardened-steel links.

Now that Big Red’s in position to be rolled into the oven, it was Eric Lewis’ turn to don the mask and get to work spraying the powdercoating on every surface except for the outer sheetmetal. Big Red’s chassis had been black since she was first built in 1987-88. During the filming of the Big Red documentary series, the black was a big contrast to the outside lighting. That contrast created some difficulty getting good footage inside the car. During the rebuild
planning stages, the color of the rollcage and interior was discussed. It was decided to go with a lighter color. Gray was reminiscent of vintage Trans Am racing Camaros back in the late ’60s, so the team felt this was acceptable. Spraying an even coat of gray powercoating over bare gray steel was challenging, but Eric really got it right. He wasn’t afraid to get dirty. After baking the body and chassis for 20 minutes up to 400°, the assembly was rolled outside to show off all the shiny new gray. A quick inspection confirmed that Eric did a great job. All the necessary surfaces were coated. If anything was missed or if repairs were necessary

after the fact, the crew would have to spray color-matched paint. Compared to the old black paint, the gray powdercoating will be much easier to clean after the next trip to El Mirage Smaller parts also were coated. It was challenging keeping track of all the small parts. In the long run, another local shop, Extreme Powder Coating in Hesperia, California, was used for some of the shop’s powdercoating needs. The aluminum wheel tubs are a glimpse of how nice the interior was going to look when Big Red was back together. They don’t look as good as the previous carbon-fiber tubs, but they’ll do the job.