I really dislike driving a car with body damage. A few scratches are tolerable, but major blemishes or dents really grate on me. So once the ignition system was brought back to life
, an appointment was made with a local detail/light body shop (my term for it that as they specialize in automotive cosmetic issues, not major collision damage) to take care of a few things.
The rear quarter dent was pulled, filled and repainted, going from this...
still needed - replacement side marker cover
Instead of buying some chrome-plated replacement mirrors, the covers were sanded and resprayed. Before...
And three moderately-sized dings, like this...
...were popped out.
And finally, the world's ugliest antenna was replaced with a shorty amplified mast.
But first I had to remove the stubborn base of the old one.
A Phillips screwdriver and and Vicegrips on the base...
...yielded nothing. So out came grandpa's old Black & Decker drill (along with a temporary case of Tourette syndrome):
Once the base was gone (and unceremoniously dumped in the trash), the power lead was routed through the trunk and up to the switched power line on the back of the radio head unit.
Yep, I had to remove the center console and radio yet again. But that's okay as the end result was worth the effort.
Nice, subtle and low-profile. Too bad the reception is far worse. I'll have to figure that out sometime in the future. For now, I just stream my local NPR station* through my phone via the auxiliary input on the head unit.
I still want to take care of the front bumper and rear finishing panel (plastic panel between the taillights), but those will come in time.
*the only FM station I listen to anyway
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