Rocker Repair on a 330GT

I have a 330GT that I take care of for a customer and it had some paint issues we needed to take care of. What started out with a door ding, and couple of rust spots has gotten a little more involved.

This car was originally painted before the current owner bought it, but we’ve watched some bubbling get bigger on the rockers through the past couple of years. Having seen this happen before on other cars, I knew these bubbles represented a much larger problem.

As the body shop removed the paint, we could see the previous paint shop didn’t spend any time repairing the underlying rust and simply filled the rust holes with plastic filler and painted the car.

With the outer rocker removed, we could see the extent of the damage. We decided to go ahead and patch the rust with new metal, and replace whole sections where it was needed.

This happens time and time again when body shops take short cuts. There are many reasons for this lack of quality from unwilling owners to spend the money to repair the rust correctly, to nefarious shops cheaply fixing rusty cars to flip them to the next owner with a shiny paint job over shoddy body work.

Fabricating internal pieces that will never be seen, but done correctly is how it should be done. The rocker will be stronger, last a lot longer, and will be worthy of a Ferrari!

Making what looks like a simple curved rocker panel is a little more complicated than it looks because the rocker panel is not curved in just one direction. There’s a slight belly to the piece that runs from front to back that also needs to be shaped into the outer rocker skin. None of these panels are available, so everything has to be fabricated.

With all the body work and being done to this car, I requested the shop fill in the extraneous holes in the back back panel by the license plate. This car must have had a European frame mounted at one point in its life, but these holes do not line up with the American plate. We’ll fill these holes and mount and drill new holes for an American plate when the car is completely painted.