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VR6 Resto Project

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Hi all,

Great to back on the forum after a long time out. I sold my Midnight Blue VR6 years ago and after recently tracking down and failing to convince the current owner to sell, I recently bought/saved an Ice Grey Violet VR6. Its a (very) long term project and it will need pretty much a full restoration.

Its a complete car and while it has done 180k I believe its been well looked after for most of its life by its owner. However for the last 4-5 years it sat outside not properly covered with a leak in the body which resulted in some interior rust as well as the usual exterior. My biggest concern right now is the chassis/bodywork and thats what I wanted some advice on. What is rusted (see attached):

  • Jacking points
  • Arches
  • Spare wheel well
  • Interior surface rust - especially where unprotected steel came into contact with the body
  • Underbody looks ok since it looks like it was well protected but all components looks like they have at least surface rust but some work than others

I know I should probably get it to a bodyshop but wanted some opinions before I decide to spend money. Has anyone had a similar experience and what kind of spend am I looking at?



PS. I'm based in Hertfordshire if anyone knows any good fabricators/bodyshops nearby!














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I'm also based in Hertfordshire, on the borders between Essex/Cambridge/Herts.

Fabricators are few and far between I have found! I don't really know of anyone locally except for Finishline in Stevenage. I would look at DST Rustworx up Scarborough way. He is a master at fabricating from scratch i.e he could make your arches from sheet metal... which is probably what is needed as any corrado specific panel requiring repair has no pattern part available. Parts shared with the mk2 like rear jack points can be had from pattern parts.

As for cost.... you'll not like this... but it would be cheaper to buy a "good" car from the start. Bodywork is expensive, you're probablt looking at c£3k for welding and c£6k+ for a full respray, more if you want to go back to metal. 

Then mechanicals - engine rebuild is 5k+, may get away with chains, head, clutch for about half that. Then refurbishing all chassis parts and replacing with new, inc suspension will be c£2.5k.

I don't want to put you off, anything is possible if you're resourceful and you can save money by doing works yourself.

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Hey Matt,

Thanks for the recommendation! I just had a good chat with Dan at DST about the work that needs doing. He seemed like a nice guy and very knowledgeable about Corrado's and issues with pattern parts etc. I'm going to send him a few pics and will go from there. 

In terms of cost the fabrication was a bit more than I was expecting but everything else seems inline tbh. Its a long term project and I'll do as much as I can myself and then space it out over time. The one thing I'm worried about is what I can't see under the current bodywork and so I talked to Dan about blasting vs dipping - do you have any experience of that? The body looks pretty straight but I guess its hard to know what lies underneath!  

I'm actually on the same side of Hertfordshire but south near just the Essex border - will probably have seen you on the A10 at some point!







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A project is a project, so well done in saving her and goodluck with the future.  It will be a great learning curve with highs and lows. The forum may not be as busy as it was years ago but people still drop in. Advice and helpful knowledge is free. 

Yes, your car looks on its ar#e but take it on as an area at a time. What you have done so far looks good so keep it up.

Spend some money on lots of wire brush attachments for a drill or angle grinder and make it have it..... Bare metal always looks better and you can see what you are up against.  Then choose to primer it for protection before the welder gets to it, or if it scrubs up okay, get some bilt hamber on it. 

GOOD LUCK and dont add up all the receipts you will collect 🤣

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Re the dipping - it's not something I have considered. The factory underseal protects well and when I've had any failing underseal causing some rust i've found once gone over with the wire wheel the metal is clean when you've got an inch or two away from the affected area. WIth dipping you also loose many factory features, such as the colour name hand written on the transmission tunnel and the soundproofing material stuck under the scuttle/above bulkhead. You've also got to be pragmatic about it all as these cars as wonderful as they are won't get you back what you end up putting in, even though we all do it from an enthusiast lens, it's sometimes sensible to keep yourself straight on what needs to be achieved.

Good you chatted to Dan, I am on his waiting list but my current corrado doesn't really need anything deparately doing to it. No doubt i'll pick something else up for him to work on. Good for you to go into this as a long term project, I sold a 16v oak green mk2 through impatience, though not sure i really liked the colour that much tbh. Prefer the greys and blues and white.

When you're all done use a good cavity wax, Bilt Hamber are good, to protect it all from inside out. 

I've got the Essex border 100meters down the road and the cambridge border a few miles north. Happy to help you out with things - I've got a press for bearings and bushes etc and have restored the front hubs for another corrado chap recently.

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