Download Free Corvette Body and Paint Repair Basics.pdf This tech paper will discuss simple repair (non-structural) and refinishing processes to produce high-quality results on fiberglass (Corvette) panels. Recognize that there are many different product lines out there, and several work techniques for accomplishing body repairs. Different auto body professionals have different preferences as to how to do things, and I may get some disagreement on the specifics of this article. This article will provide you with a group of products and materials, and my personal technique, for accomplishing first-class results.

Two different construction techniques have been used to manufacture Corvette body panels over the years. When the ‘Vette made its debut, the new “FRP” body was a major innovation. “Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic” was a construction method that could be used to make lightweight panels with curves and design features that could not be easily duplicated in stamped steel. The body was basically built just like a fiberglass swimming pool or a boat hull: A “chopgun” was used to blow fiberglass strands and resin into a mold that was first coated with resin to produce a smooth surface finish on the body parts. This technique was used through the 1981 model year. 1982 was a unique transition year in many respects. Fuel injection was added to the ‘Vette, and a computer was installed to manage all major engine functions. ’82 also saw the advent of a revised body panel construction. “Structural Matted Components,” or SMC panels, were thinner and lighter due to a laminate construction using more plastic and less ‘glass. This panel type is used on all of our C4 ‘Vettes, and partially on the groundbreaking ’82. The composite materials on all ‘Vettes require use of specific techniques and materials. Treating a ‘Vette like a steel car can cause irreparable damage to the body: metal paint stripping techniques cannot be used, and fillers designed for use on steel will not adhere properly to the FRP or SMC panels. So read on to get the real scoop on the right stuff to use.