I have taken to polishing aluminum at night and it is a tedious job, though just heard about another product to try from Napa called simply aluminum brightner. Will pick some up this weekend.
Took the front and back to the sheet metal shop www.moosemetal.com today to have them fabricate new pieces the right size to overlap the sides. The woman who helped me said I was the first woman she had ever had as a customer who was doing a restoration (of any sort) herself. And she'd been there 20 yrs! And we're in California. I was a little surprised. I decided to have them do all the fabrication brakes, bends, and holes...even though it will cost. They can do everything in four hours plus the cost of materials (just one sheet of 48x96 .040 aluminum). I figure what they are doing would take me much longer and the risk of doing something wrong would be costly. $400 the priciest piece of this project so far. But way worth it.