I stopped by American Auto Painting & Body to check in on progress and discuss some issues that they've run into that I'll touch on in a sec.
But first the good stuff.
They have begun to strip the body down to metal. Luckily they haven't uncovered a ton of Bondo or any unexpected rust. The body is really straight and relatively ding free for it's age.
They've also been able to remove the old nose and hang the NOS replacement clip I bought from @m-tuner - thanks Bruce! They had to clean up some minor dents on the clip from it having been stored and moved around over the years, but otherwise the clip was installed without any issues and looks great.
They've also started to do some dent removal and patching.
Now on to the not so good stuff.
At some point, the rear was bumped hard enough that it bent the internal trunk supports, specifically the center one between the spare well and gas tank. This caused the surrounding metal to buckle a little. They need to go in and straighten that all out. I'm already having them go in and replace the spare tub and some rust on the gas tank surround, so they address this while they're in there.
The big surprise and the reason they called and asked me to drop in: fender fitment. I had purchased 1 driver and 2 passenger aftermarket fenders from WN.
Unfortunately, none of them fit. The gaps are completely off by more that a 1/8 inch up by the nose and close to a 1/4 by the doors, and the panel bolt holes are no where close to the frame bolt holes. Not good quality at all. For anyone considering these for their build, don't waste your time and money. Get OEM sheet metal instead. Lesson learned.
Luckily for me, the body guy says he can salvage my original fenders and used the WN ones to patch the rust on them. Whew!
That's it for now. Hope to post an update on the body work in a couple of weeks.