Making a car look like new again takes many, many years of practice.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

I want to do some body work on my pickup truck. However, I have no experience at this and wondered how I might get started. The truck is several years old and paid for, so I do not want to invest in having someone do it for me at great expense. I mostly want to do it for the experience.

TOM: Trust us Dennis, this will definitely be an experience. Body work is something that looks easy. And we've found that doing a "functional" job--filling holes and patching rust--is something most people can learn to do. But making a car look like new again takes many, many years of practice.

RAY: My first experience with body work was on a Volkswagon Bus about twenty years ago. After two days of painstaking filling, sanding, and painting, the back end still looked like a cross between an anchovie pizza and a topographic map of Colorado.

TOM: But you sound like the kind of guy who isn't too picky, Dennis. And if you're not too concerned about how your truck looks, go ahead and get the experience!

RAY: Seriously, it would be a good idea to take an adult education course at a local vocational high school before you got started. Good luck, and don't forget to send us the before and after pictures (and label them so we know which one's which).

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