It's a phrase I have heard repeatedly for more than a year: "When are you going to paint that thing?" Well, for those of you who asked, the answer is now. I have also heard a lot of suggestions against painting the car, and although I listened to both sides--we gotta paint this thing!

So what does it take to paint a car? That depends. do you want to do it right or just cover it with something? I don't know about you guys, but if I'm going to do it, I'm gonna try to do it right the first time. Originally, I had planned to do the entire job in my home garage, but I quickly realized my limitations. painting a car in the garage attached to my home would cause some serious repercussions when the overspray and fumes made their way inside the house. To that end, I did some checking and realized if I did the assembly and reassembly myself, and maybe some of the bodywork, I could save some coinage and my happy home life.

So it was decided, and I began to disassemble the Valiant at home. For those of you following the project, and for those of you who have never tackled an automotive strip fest, we thought we would give you some pointers about how we did it. Before undertaking a project like this, it's a good idea to find out what parts are available from the aftermarket. Taking things apart that have been together for 30-plus years can result in some of the parts not surviving and having to be replaced. it's a good idea to know at the beginning of the project (before you start disassembly) what you need to look for. Make sure you have catalogs from the aftermarket that pertain to your car. We grabbed the latest Year One "shopping guide" and made a list of every part available for the car, even if we weren't sure we would need it later. If you make a complete list, you can whittle it down as you go. If you don't put it on the list, it may get forgotten. Above all, take your time, take pictures, and label everything. Sure, we would all like to think that we are all-knowing gurus when it comes to our personal cars, but if your car sits disassembled in your garage, then in the body shop for an extended period of time, how sure will you be about its reassembly? keep in mind your limitations. For example, when you need to remove the glass, and you're not sure how to do it, get someone with experience to help. With the help and support of friends and people-in-the-know, restoring your own car can be a rewarding experience.