Hand Laid Panels – Replacement fiberglass panels are built by layering fiberglass mat and resin into a single mold. Construction of each piece begins with the spraying of gelcoat into a female mold; once cured, alternating layers of fiberglass matting and resin are hand rolled to eliminate air pockets and ensure an overall uniform thickness. Once “popped” from the mold, panels are hand trimmed and ground to final shape. Hand laid “(hl)” panels have a smooth exterior and a rough fiberglass/resin underside.
SMC Panels – 1973-1982 Corvettes were assembled of panels made from a sheet molded composite (“SMC”). SMC panels are formed by a high-pressure mold compressing a mix of fiberglass, resin, catalyst and release agent. SMC pieces are smoother than press molded fiberglass panels and have a marbled appearance – typically gray in color. Note SMC panels require special adhesives for bonding.