Front Valance Panel Faux Pas

The original front valance panels on the Impala were pretty well hammered, but in spite of that they are free of rust and savable. So I began by taking the right front panel and media blasting it to bare steel, then hammering it back into shape. I got it looking pretty close, so I then did a test fit on the front bumper assembly from the Biscayne parts car, since I had already disassembled the one that will go back on the car. To my surprise, it didn’t fit! The upper inside corner where there is a mounting tab was about one inch from reaching the mounting hole. DOH!  So I got out my spare valance panel that I hadn’t worked on and noticed that the upper inside corner was flared outward… it looked bent, in the exact same way as was the one I had just “fixed”.  Could it be that this bend was factory correct, and I had just smoothed that out? When I located a photo of some NOS unused original GM front valance panels, my suspicions were confirmed.  So, boys and girls, when you restore your valance panels, DO NOT STRAIGHTEN that bent corner!

NOS 1960 Chevrolet Valance Panels

NOS 1960 Chevrolet Valance Panels

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