WELCOME Getting Started at The LABAP PUB!

Welcome to the best Autobody, DIY, and Auto Repair Enthusiast community on the interwebs! We are glad you’re here!

You see, we built this site FOR YOU so that you can connect with other auto-enthusiasts and learn more about how to fix, repair and customize your ride, no matter what it is! And, to be honest, we just want to hang out, have fun, and build something special together.

So, feel free sign-up and Introduce yourself here! I have a special video for you below that will show you how to use some basic features of the pub and will update it accordingly.

We recommend to use your gmail or yahoo email accounts for registration for maximum deliverability.

Here are a few questions that you can get started answering to get the party started:

Where are you based, Country, City, State?
How did you get started in this trade, or hobby?
What is your experience with cars, bikes and everything mechanical?
Why do you love working with your hands?
What are you currently working on?
What are your personal goals with this project?

…And anything else that you want to share!

We look forward to connecting and reading about you and your goals!

-Tony B!

Ok! Let me quickly start off…

Hey My name is Tony Bandalos.

I grew up in Honolulu Hawaii and currently in Dallas TX. (and planning to move back to Hawaii soon).

…and I guess you can say that I painted my first car when I was 15 years old. It was a 1989 Honda Accord 2 door. It was my stepfathers and the deal was, if I painted it and sold it, he would give me half of the sale price. I said COOL!

I sort of grew up in the automotive field. My biological father was a auto mechanic/bodyman. As I kid (8-12) I remember hanging out at the shop at times watching him work on cars…

My parents were divorced so I didn’t spend much time at the shop until I was about 13 years old. My first real project was a 50cc moped that I painted when I was 13. That happened after my father found out that I was slaving away with a paper route for about $250. a month… he said “Tony, let me show you how to flip scooters for profit”. I guess he seen that I had some ambition to make some money in life.

Soon after in my early teens, I was making about 1,000-1,500 a month flipping scooters and small motorcycles after partly restoring them and cleaning them up.

Soon later I got into cars, the rest was history.

I created this site because of my passion for cars. I want to help people save, learn, and to gain the skill-set and have ability to customize and restore their vehicles and projects without the costly expense of a body shop.

I have many projects that I will be sharing with you all soon! Currently finishing up a Mini Japanese Truck (1989 Daihatsu Hi-Jet).

A goal for me is to have 1000 users on this forum by the end of the year (or more), to create a thriving community of cool people who are considerate and encouraging to other users. A community where we help each other and pass it forward.

I thank you for checking out this site/forum/pub and hope to see your story here soon. I encourage all of you to participate and take part of this autonaut community.

Here’s my “My Story Video” Feel free to post your’s if you have one, if not, make one!



Hi tony and fellow auto fans, my name is Daniel, I grew up in England and now live in Scotland with my wife and kids. We dream of moving somewhere warm!!
Growing up we’ve never had much money so out of necessity I’ve tinkered with my cars when they have needed something doing, this has grown from small things like oil and filters, to my current project of rebuilding my beloved landrover discovery 3 engine. I found tony on YouTube as I would like to take my home mechanic skills to the next level and be able to paint. So far all I have is a 1mm gravity spray gun that I’m practising on my stripped down lawnmower !! 1 coat of filler primer on so far. Problem I have is space. My main goal is to respray my transit van but can only do it in my drive when the weather warms up!! That’s my story so far!!
Thanks Daniel


Hey Tony - I’m Ryan and I live in Austin, TX. I’ve always been into cars, moving from one project to the next. Recently I took on all sorts of new challenges with a 1991 BMW e30. I’ll post in the project forum but in the past year I did a 2005 M3 motor, trans, ecu, wiring swap, coilovers, custom brakes and so forth. Now that it hauls butt I want to make it look just as good. I’ve never done any body work.

Your courses have been incredibly helpful. To see if I could do the car I took on a project for a friend. In hindsight…it was probably not the first project to do but I learned a ton! and I think I made every mistake possible. The plastic spoiler on his 2002 Porsche 996 was looking bad. The paint was dry and cracking was evident. I sanded it all down to the plastic and refinished it. I think the final result is pretty good for a first try:

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t sand aggressively with 80 grit… After I took it down to the plastic I spent hours just trying to smooth out the surface again with higher grit and several passes of primer.
  2. Don’t do a black part on your first time… I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it was really really hard to get the final finish defect free. In the end, painting it in my garage I had a few things of dust in it but I was able to cut and buff it to a nice finish.
  3. I probably wouldn’t take all the paint off if I did this again. The paintshop said I should because of the cracking but if I did it again I would sand everything with 400 grit and only sand down more on the few areas showing cracking.

Anyhow, here is the car I’m starting the bodywork on now. My plan is to do a panel at a time, taking the paint down quite a ways, body work, then epoxy prime it. Then do the jambs in my garage and rent a booth to do the exterior color and clear.

Tony if you see anything wrong with my strategy please let me know!


My name is Donovan and I live in nowata, Oklahoma. I have been messing with cars since I was a kid. I do it for a hobby. Currently I’m doing a frame off restoration on a 1969 Chevy c10 Short stepside.



hey @discodan thank you for sharing your story! You talking about moving someplace warm, I can relate to! lol. I was just in Hawaii for a few days and it was amazing. Growing up there I took the weather for granted, now I am planning to move back! HAHA!

I hope to see you in new topics and posts. Please share this forum with all that you know! Thank you again :slight_smile:

@Doc74048 The truck is looking great! Thanks for stopping by, we look forward to the progress my man!

@rjmcdermott81 hey Ryan! Love the e30. Fantastic cars for sure. I drove my fathers back in 1995-1996, some guy wanted to trade it for a Nissan pick up that he had. The points that you made above are correct. Black is a hard color to start painting if you’re new to the game lol. No, never sand bare plastics with 80 grit that is way to coarse. I only use 80 for heavy cutting and shaping and quickly move to a 150-180. The plan for your BMW seems sound. Do the jambs at home and the body in the booth. Keep us posted, I can’t wait to see the finished project. Maybe start a new topic in the classic section for your BMW. Talk soon and thanks for sharing your project!

My name is Glynn Wright, I’m 74 years old and I love cars and country dancing with my wife. i’m presently fully restoring a 1976 MGB Roadster. In the muscle car days, I owned one of the first 1967 RS 327 Camaro’s in this area. Then I bought a 1969 442 Cutlass, 4 in the floor Hurst shifter 370 hp. I could kick myself for trading in the Camaro, almost had it paid for. I still have the original sales receipt on both cars and tried to find them on the web but no luck. I live in Olive Branch, MS just south of the Tn line from Memphis. I also have a 1979 MG midget that I restored. I’m married and have two daughters by previous marriage. Been a VIP member almost since inception of LABP. Thanks for all the videos Tony.


Hello Everyone & @TonyB.

I am a LABAP VIP member and live in the beautiful mountains of Northern Idaho. I’ve been working on hot rods my whole life and I am currently working on 3 projects right now. The one I think I will share first is my 1940 Ford Coupe, complete frame up rebuild. Starting with the frame, it’s an Art Morrison chassis, mustang 2 front end, narrowed 9 in rear end 4 link with 21.5" wide Mickey Thompsons. There’s not much going on with it right now due to the winter but I’m working on stuff that doesn’t require body work or paint. While working on hot rods sometimes things don’t work out as planned and I’m changing directions on the front end. Trying to put a tilt front end on this did not workout so going back to original. I will post more pictures later showing what the challenges were and what I was not willing to give up or modify to accommodate the tilt front end.

I’m really Looking forward to this new Forum and Thank you Tony for all the excellent teachings in the LABAP VIP platinum courses .:+1:t3:

Winter… I’m over it!! :persevere:


@Skeeterusa Great to see you here! Yeah WINTER, OVER IT!!! LOL! Love the ride my man, can’t wait to see it get done!

yo @Twostepper Ohh boy, my favorite classic the 67 Camaro! Especially the RS model with the folding lights. It looks like you have a great taste for cars :slight_smile:

Aloha to you Tony and all Auto fans and DIYers.

I am Raiden aka Mark. I am a total fan of working on automobiles we aka grease monkeys. I have also lerned from a friend a little on body work.
I live on Oahu the west side Waianae, i have my own home. im in the middle of restoring my 85 Isuzu Pick up hard body, i have already pulled out my old motor and dropped in a working motor, pressure washed and painted engine bay, intake, covers block. I have also tried welding and im doing better on it, practice makes perfect. my engine bay is almost done and getting ready to do the interior. I yanked out all of my interior redid my dash board, welding a piece of sheet metal for the passenger side. did my own seat brackets.

I have a facebook page that you can check out my pics:


here is where you can see all of my progress on my 85 Isuzu Pick up.

Again thank you tony for this website. i will like to post my pics or even just to chat with others here and get help or tips on how to’s or even give out tips.


Yeah, it was a beauty. My 67 Camaro was maroon color with black interior and white trim. I’d give my eye teeth to have it back. I have yet to figure out how to get my picture on this page. Perhaps you could give me a little hint as to how. I’ve right clicked on the T logo but nothing says upload a picture.

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Thanks for the add… Name is James, live in Northern Utah. Retired Military and gotten into cars as a hobby. I cant leave anything stock though. I have a 71 MGB Roadster with a 3.4L V6 fuel injected, tremtech 5 speed, ford 8" rear end. Last year I restored a 69 VW Karman Ghia and sold it. Now I’m working on a 79 VW Bay Window bus. Putting a Subaru EJ2.2 with the Subaru 5 speed tranny(Converted) to a rear wheel drive. Things I’ve learned is… I’m a horrible welder. Warpage has dominated my panel replacements, and going to do my own painting when the bodywork is complete. Looking forward to your other videos and learning… Thanks


Hi guys,

Larry here, a VIP member from San Francisco. Tony’s videos were a big help for my repaint-- of a 1996 Dodge Neon. Not exactly the 1940 hot rod and '67 Camaros we’ve seen here, but it was peeling paint and there was rust along both the passenger and driver side window sills (why both?) that I had to cut and patch.

I had the car ‘repainted’ about ten years ago, and the job they did was terrible-- within a year it started fading. I got so tired of it, and knew that I would be facing major rust issues before long, that I stripped it to bare metal, went with epoxy, then hi-build primer, about 40 hours of sanding smooth, then single stage metallic and clearcoat and another 40 hours of wetsanding. (Along the way I discovered that the prior painter simply slapped paint on top of the existing surface, no primer at all.)

All told it took three months. Thanks to Tony’s assistance and VIP membership, about a month ago I finished the job. I do have some more questions and will be posting those in the main forum. This board is a GREAT idea, as there are hardly any like it out there.


Hi Larry, welcome and ditto’s on Tony’s videos being a big help :+1:t3:

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Good Morning
I am a transplant from the north (Minnesota) move to Charleston SC 4 years ago now I am a yacht mechanic specializing in painting boats working all of my life in cars having a few shops of my own always been a boat guy just made sense. spraying gel coat is alot like spraying paint just as finicky my last car project was a restoration of a 65 c10 complete engine frame up paint and body, at this moment I am painting a 26 ft center console fishing machine but I do it all and enjoy boat sides have done it all bikes fourwheeler,golf carts mopeds cars trucks and boats all the way up 65 ft paint ,body,airbrush,gel coat, base clear,far out flake

my goal is to learn more and help anyone that I can with the experiences I have

My favorite quote :I have more fun in a day than most people are aloud to have



Thanks for the feedback @larryq! Keep it rocking!