Remove Paint, Find Truth
Remove paint, and put on jig, I suppose it should say.
As mentioned, my shell turned out to be less nice than I had hoped. To put that in context, I originally did an idiotic thing and bought it on Australian eBay.
I then had a ton of luck when the vendor turned out to be completely honest and very helpful, so a matching numbers RHD S did indeed arrive at Southampton docks, unscathed, exactly as described on eBay.
I then thought I'd had another ton of luck because the shell seemed amazingly good - loads of original metal, not much corrosion, some half-complete resto work, some very neat resto work that Barry was even contemplating keeping (unheard of). No damage to the scuttle, which tends to be the tell-tale in the case of a front impact. Seemingly original rear panel, which tends not to survive a rear end bump.
But you don't find out the truth until the blasting / dipping is done, and the car is on a jig. So let's summarise what turned out to be wrong with it.
I should point out that the vendor made absolutely no warranties other than RHD S, matching numbers with CoA. So none of this is sour grapes against him. I knew I was in for a major project, but thought I had been extremely fortunate. I'm not complaining that I was only mildly fortunate.
Right, let's summarise the status.