When times are hard, it’s sometimes necessary to repair that which you would otherwise replace. Times are indeed hard for everyone at present, but that’s not the reason for attempting this ridiculous repair on a recent acquisition, a 1989 Hyundai Pony pickup. I could have stretched to a new wing for it but… this truck just isn’t worth spending £166.85 on! The truck is rotten everywhere else, and I’ve yet to decide if I’ll repair it come MOT time or not, so I’d rather not spend any more money on it than I have to. My time …well that’s a different story. I’m happy to spend time chopping and welding. Those keen on performing less than worthwhile repairs on worthless cars read on…

Probably the most amusing thing about the rusty front wing on my Pony was that it was actually worse than it looked… and it looked pretty serious already. Truth was that the bulk of it was constructed from fibreglass and filler, and once I’d given it a good poking with a screwdriver, there really wasn’t a lot left. Was it not for the fact that the Pony was clearly designed with nothing more than a ruler and pencil, I would never have attempted such a repair. The wings are all flat planes and angles so they lend themselves well to a bit of home fabrication.

The job had to be done in stages. Only the areas between the arch and the windscreen pillar, the flare around the wheel arch and the very front tip of the wing were still solid, so I had to work to those remaining parts, doing a bit at a time so as not to loose the shape. First section to make was the area in front of the wheel arch, above the height of the bumper. This was made using a cardboard template then bent to the right angle over a bit of angle iron in my vice, so as to not make too sharp a fold. The mounting lip where the outer wing attaches to the inner wing was slightly tricky to make as it curves a little so I cut it from an old N12 Datsun Cherry wing. I joined this to my new section with a strip of steel along the top of the wing. The lower section where the wing joins the front valance was made in another separate piece, and a third section rearward of the wheel arch. I didn’t go crazy making a seam like there was from the factory at the valance joint… I just welded it all together. Of course the rot wasn’t just skin deep, the inner wing structure was also badly rotten, but nothing that couldn’t be repaired with a bit of sheet steel! The headlight mounting was the hardest bit. I removed that section, soaked it in acid to remove the rust then carefully repaired it before refitting. Once it was all welded, I filled it where necessary, primed it with etch primer and then a coat of high build 2K primer. I used a bit of red left over from painting the Datsun Cherry I did a while ago, which I tinted darker with a dash of black. Surprisingly, this was actually quite a good match! The finished job looks quite respectable!

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