If the 1986 Dodge featured in last month's article "Mail-Order Pride" about how to spray Auto-Air Colors water-based paint over Summit Racing's high-solids urethane clear has served to do anything, it's been a great test bed to prove long-term product durability. From the very start, using Summit Racing DTM epoxy primer over bare metal to the final stages of color sanding and rubbing its five years of exposure to the elements have not caused a failure. No rust or shrinkage caused by the primer, and no dulling back of the clearcoat from exposure to UV rays or color sanding.

It was last May 2013 that I returned to cover the autobody students at Riverside City College color-sanding and rubbing out the Dodge's second stage clear topcoat. At the end of the school day I loaded the old Ram on my car trailer and hauled it home. As with any vehicle that's been apart too long there was list of vital parts missing from the truck. I lost interest and parked the Dodge in my driveway and forgot about it. The cats used it as a springboard to jump from the roof of my house and the neighbor's gardeners liked it for hurtling rocks from the jet stream of their leaf blowers. Then one morning I was in the mood to dig back into the Dodge project.

There's more than one reason to color-sand and rub out a paintjob. The first is color sanding is the final step toward smoothing the surface as flat as possible and catches any dust particles that might have settled in the clear before it dried thoroughly. The end results are the finish has been made to appear as flawless as possible.