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No matter what kind of shape a classic Redline is in, it's NOT an easy task to take one apart and strip it down for the sole purpose of restoring it. Yes, it's easy to drill out the posts, and everything else that comes with the restoration, but...taking apart a classic kinda hurts! We'll take solace in the fact that it's all with the good intention of making an old friend shine once again.

I picked up this 1969-70 Seasider at a toy show, and saw that it was a complete mess. The roof had taken a shot, and was leaning at an angle, and the right window post had separated as a result. The magenta paint, while shining through in some spots, was also a mess. Lastly, the body had major mottling throughout. That being said, this casting doesn't seem to show up very often, I snagged it.

What follows is a mini photo documentary of the different stages of completion, so you can see the progress along the way. I think it came out halfway decent for my first restoration! Thanks for checking it out!

First Shot. You can see that it's a complete mess at this point, and the frame/roof is actually twisted. But we're going to take a step-by-step approach to bring back some shine.
Drilled out the rivets, utilizing a Dremel with 1/8" bit. You can choose to use a smaller bit to start a pilot hole, but if you have a steady hand, you can go right to the 1/8". Be sure to secure your work, and wear goggles! Metal bits will be spraying everywhere. As you can see, the motor holds down the front end of the Seasider.
Once the rivets are drilled out, we can get a look at all of the parts that make up this casting. Not too complicated.
For this project, I utilized Kleen Strip Strip-X stripper. This stuff is pretty potent, so make sure you utilize a well-ventilated area, and wear gloves. It'll burn and irritate your skin. You can see the magenta paint beginning to melt away...
I let the casting soak for about 10 minutes, and the 40-year old paint peeled away pretty easily. I scrubbed the residue under hot water, using a Brillo pad with detergent, and dug the tough spots out with a toothpick. You have to get ALL of the stripper element off of the body before prepping for paint. I finished by buffing it with a clean, dry towel.
The bare look. All the paint is gone, but you can see that there is considerable mottling throughout. It would've been nice to shine up the Zamac to a mirror polish and paint right over it, but that won't be the case, here. The spots would show through. So, we're going to slap a chrome basecoat on there before we go with the Spectraflame magenta.
Had to epoxy some weak spots, as this casting is suffering from some major crumbling on the window posts. Also had to fill a crack that formed once I straightened out the frame. I used Permatex "PermaPoxy" to solidify the frame, and gently sanded it down as needed.
The Seasider is now sporting a new chrome undercoat. I'm happy with the overall results, but some mottling is still showing through. That's ok...many, MANY Redlines have mottle spots. It's part of their aging process. For the chrome undercoat, I used Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish, and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 3 minutes so all the grooves would be filled. Looks a LOT better from when I can see my repair work to the right front window frame post. I also buffed out the chassis and side exhaust pipes, bringing back the Zamac shine.
First coat of paint! Due to the mottling, I couldn't go with a total Spectraflame look, so this one's going to look more like a deep purple before I'm done. It won't be far from the original color after I've applied the clearcoat. I'm going to go with one more coat of purple, and the color will be done, with the exception of painting the lower body frame black. An added bonus: the first coat has nearly completely hidden my bodywork, so this is a good sign!
Painted the rocker panels flat black, as well as the front metal nose strip, as it was originally. It's really starting to look like it's former self, now! All that's left to do is the clearcoat, replace the Redline wheels (on order) and re-assembly.
Replaced the beater Redline wheels with a new set from The Redline Shop in Eugene, Oregon. This is the easiest wheel swap you can do, since these were the cap/snap-on types. I took an Exacto knife and popped the old wheels off of the snap hubs. Snapped the new ones on...voila...a totally new set of shoes for a 30-year old car!
Ah, Fin! I put just two coats of clear on the Seasider, since I liked how it layered out. Any more would've been overkill. But, she's finished! Hope you enjoyed this segment. Stay tuned for more restoration features...I've got quite a few Redline beaters that need some TLC.

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