The two side panels to the left and right of the spare wheel tray have suffered a lot, mostly because they are of a double skin construction which traps humidity. Fortunately, all adjacent panels were in serviceable state, with surface rust only.

To effect repairs, the following parts were removed from the car: Fuel tank, rear-most part of exhaust, spare wheel tray, rear bumper, rear bumper shock absorbing mountings, rear quarter light panels.

Outer side of left hand side panel, as found.

Inner side of right hand side panel, as found.
Rusted metal areas were cleaned / cut out. Fortunately, rust had not affected the area where the bumper mounting base was rivetted to the panels, or the panels themselves near their edges, except for the front edge, where the spare-wheel tray pivot mounts were rivetted. It has thus possible to preserve the basic shape of the panel without the need to construct special templates.

Sheet of new metal has been matched to the cleaned out areas of the panels, and eventually butt welded in place, as shown in the photos below.

New sheet metal welded in, outer right hand side.

New sheet metal welded in, inner right hand side.
Remaining work consisted of giving a good clean to the whole area, proper rust protection and fitting of the spare wheel tray support brackets, pivot mounts and release mechanism.

End result is not really like new, but is definitely strong and functional.
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