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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Big day for my project Chevy II. After 4 years of hard work I finally delivered my project to the body shop. All the rust and sheet metal repairs I was able to handle. Now the car needs a specialist to align the panels, smooth the body and apply the paint. Body shop estimates about 4 or 5 month sentence and a $15K fine to be paid in installments. Ouch! Said fine would have been double if they did all the sheet metal repair/replacement that I did so I guess that is some solace but it still hurts alot.
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I know how exciting this is. I’ve been in paint jail twice. Once was a horror story.
Took 67 nova after I spent minimally $2100 in metal work to keep all factory/oem sheet metal. Honestly, I’ve learned a lot.
my whole process cost about $15k and took 13 months. Looks great but I still need to take it back for touch ups. I wish I lowered my expectations. I know that my car has minimal filler. Paint guy said it was the straightest car he’d ever done and he runs an auto body shop. It took me awhile to realize that my cars paint is not perfect- but I’m super picky.
if I would have went with a different paint and body guy he told me 3 months and $8-12k. His cars look great but he uses a lot of body filler and I didn’t want that for this car.
Just my thoughts

hope you have a smooth process with great results.
 

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Jesus Christ 15k and 5 months??? I am not looking forward to that price or time. Why does it take so long I assume its not worked on daily from them? Is 15k a show car paint job or is that high end? I can't imagine paying that but I also understand its the prep etc
 

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starting with the straightest body with minimal rust makes a big difference in the amount of time required to repair, prep and paint a car - the option of a really nice body is not always possible - but, trying to compare length of time in a shop compared to another makes no real sense - a lot depends on how long each day it is worked on - most body shops work on classics between regular daily driver cars that they need to push through to pay the bills - as for the primers, fillers, finish paint/clear there are a lot of options available which can really add to cost - plus, skill level of the guy doing to spraying is key factor - have had cars painted by big name discount paint/body shops using a coupon and have had great results with lots of compliments - I know a guy that took his '41 Willys pick up to a "buddies" shop 14 years ago, yes 14, and still at the shop. Like anything, do some research of the shop before agreeing to leave your ride there for work to be done
 

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Ah the dreaded "paint jail' I had a 442 years ago and the 3 month job turned into 3 years and 4K over budget, but I considered that good after my friend had a 67 GTO at a shop for 14 years, his grandfather gave him the car and was not alive to see it finished, also 25K over budget. And that's still not the worst, another friend has a 69 Charger that was at a reputable shop in RI, every time he turned around they were asking for more money so after 6 years (and counting) and over 70K the partners had a falling out and then his car became part of their dispute. He ended up picking the partner he felt could finish it the fastest but when it ended up at that shop a ton of the parts were missing. He still has no car, is out a ton of money and is trying to locate parts that he already had and were perfect, and is still sinking money into it. I'm beyond thankful to have found a guy here in Central Mass that owns a shop that does incredible work, finishes it when promised (or sooner) always almost to the penny of the estimate and his paint and body work pretty much guarantees a trophy at any show. Stripped my 67 Chevelle to bare metal, got every gap better than factory, fitted my fiberglass hood perfectly (never know it's glass) and it was back in my garage in under 5 months and well under 8K. He actually makes jokes about body shops that take vehicles in, pretty much hold it hostage and demand constant ransom and still don't produce anything. I know everyone on here has either their own horror story or has a friend that got taken. Best thing you can do is ask guys at local cruise meets ect who they used, almost all will be honest about who to use or not to in that area, funny how you'll notice the same names come up as to who to go to and who to avoid.
 

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Ah the dreaded "paint jail' I had a 442 years ago and the 3 month job turned into 3 years and 4K over budget, but I considered that good after my friend had a 67 GTO at a shop for 14 years, his grandfather gave him the car and was not alive to see it finished, also 25K over budget. And that's still not the worst, another friend has a 69 Charger that was at a reputable shop in RI, every time he turned around they were asking for more money so after 6 years (and counting) and over 70K the partners had a falling out and then his car became part of their dispute. He ended up picking the partner he felt could finish it the fastest but when it ended up at that shop a ton of the parts were missing. He still has no car, is out a ton of money and is trying to locate parts that he already had and were perfect, and is still sinking money into it. I'm beyond thankful to have found a guy here in Central Mass that owns a shop that does incredible work, finishes it when promised (or sooner) always almost to the penny of the estimate and his paint and body work pretty much guarantees a trophy at any show. Stripped my 67 Chevelle to bare metal, got every gap better than factory, fitted my fiberglass hood perfectly (never know it's glass) and it was back in my garage in under 5 months and well under 8K. He actually makes jokes about body shops that take vehicles in, pretty much hold it hostage and demand constant ransom and still don't produce anything. I know everyone on here has either their own horror story or has a friend that got taken. Best thing you can do is ask guys at local cruise meets ect who they used, almost all will be honest about who to use or not to in that area, funny how you'll notice the same names come up as to who to go to and who to avoid.
That's insane wth
 

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You would be surprised how man con men are out there taking advantage of people wanting their car worked on. I have a friend who works on cars and he is three years out right now and has people every week wanting to drop cars off. He has a regular job and works on cars after work and turns people away every week. There is no reason for a car to sit in a shop for extended periods of time. My advice is before taking your car for someone to work on to go and look around to "see" the shop. Then go back in a month or so and look again. If the same cars are pushed into the same corners you better find somebody else. I know a guy who is no longer with us that used to take a car in and charge for the first 100 hours up front(8500). He would have his guys take the car apart and pocket the money and move on to the next car. He had 29 cars on his board when I was at his shop. That ads up to 246,500 dollars. It was a giant ponzi scheme that finally ended when he killed himself. They lost their money and it was like a Easter egg hunt to find what was left of what they dropped off. I regularly hear stories of guys who have taken their cars to two or three shops and had to go pick them up losing money at every stop with nothing being done to their cars. My friend put disc brakes on a time warp Maverick last week. The guy had the right parts and had been trying to get someone to put them on for months. Had already had his car at another shop and couldn't get them to do the work. Took less that two days to do all the work. Only problem now is he knows he has found a place that will do what they say and now he wants more work done and doesn't want to come get his car and they have too much other stuff lined up.
 

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You would be surprised how man con men are out there taking advantage of people wanting their car worked on. I have a friend who works on cars and he is three years out right now and has people every week wanting to drop cars off. He has a regular job and works on cars after work and turns people away every week. There is no reason for a car to sit in a shop for extended periods of time. My advice is before taking your car for someone to work on to go and look around to "see" the shop. Then go back in a month or so and look again. If the same cars are pushed into the same corners you better find somebody else. I know a guy who is no longer with us that used to take a car in and charge for the first 100 hours up front(8500). He would have his guys take the car apart and pocket the money and move on to the next car. He had 29 cars on his board when I was at his shop. That ads up to 246,500 dollars. It was a giant ponzi scheme that finally ended when he killed himself. They lost their money and it was like a Easter egg hunt to find what was left of what they dropped off. I regularly hear stories of guys who have taken their cars to two or three shops and had to go pick them up losing money at every stop with nothing being done to their cars. My friend put disc brakes on a time warp Maverick last week. The guy had the right parts and had been trying to get someone to put them on for months. Had already had his car at another shop and couldn't get them to do the work. Took less that two days to do all the work. Only problem now is he knows he has found a place that will do what they say and now he wants more work done and doesn't want to come get his car and they have too much other stuff lined up.
Damn. Yeah I typically now only go to big name shops in my area. The one I take my car too only works on high end stuff for the most part so they get mine done quick so there isn't a shitbox laying around there lol
 

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$15K for quality work, including quality bodywork, quality paint materials, paint inside and out, a time frame and a contract is not all that bad anymore. Just the body shop stories in this thread should scare you, and if you don't do the work yourself ( I do not do it well) it can be a huge problem, the biggest problem in the restoration. Very few body shops want to enter a contract with a deadline, but if they promise to keep it front of shop, why shouldn't it be done in time if they have all the parts they need? I have only had a few good experiences at body shops in 40 years, so I'm not looking forward to that crapshoot any time soon. Good luck to buccflyer, and I want to hear the good news when it comes out of the shop...within budget and before deadline!
 

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Ah the dreaded "paint jail' I had a 442 years ago and the 3 month job turned into 3 years and 4K over budget, but I considered that good after my friend had a 67 GTO at a shop for 14 years, his grandfather gave him the car and was not alive to see it finished, also 25K over budget. And that's still not the worst, another friend has a 69 Charger that was at a reputable shop in RI, every time he turned around they were asking for more money so after 6 years (and counting) and over 70K the partners had a falling out and then his car became part of their dispute. He ended up picking the partner he felt could finish it the fastest but when it ended up at that shop a ton of the parts were missing. He still has no car, is out a ton of money and is trying to locate parts that he already had and were perfect, and is still sinking money into it. I'm beyond thankful to have found a guy here in Central Mass that owns a shop that does incredible work, finishes it when promised (or sooner) always almost to the penny of the estimate and his paint and body work pretty much guarantees a trophy at any show. Stripped my 67 Chevelle to bare metal, got every gap better than factory, fitted my fiberglass hood perfectly (never know it's glass) and it was back in my garage in under 5 months and well under 8K. He actually makes jokes about body shops that take vehicles in, pretty much hold it hostage and demand constant ransom and still don't produce anything. I know everyone on here has either their own horror story or has a friend that got taken. Best thing you can do is ask guys at local cruise meets ect who they used, almost all will be honest about who to use or not to in that area, funny how you'll notice the same names come up as to who to go to and who to avoid.
Best advice given in last sentence. Take the time and do the research. Talk to others that have had work done, look closely at their cars and get their input. Multiple references speaks volumes.

Regarding the time, there are other sides of the story. How many of us have taken a car to have work done and during the process added additional work or changed what we wanted at the beginning. I HAVE. Life happens to body guys as it does to us. Health, family, etc. Also initial "estimates" can turn into a whole lot more when the striping / tear down starts.

Having said all that, there are places/people to avoid. Find that out in the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the stories. I did interview a few different shops. I had each come over to see the car at my house because I had just taken it off the rotisserie and I didn't have a trailer at the time. Found each shop by asking around at the shows. First guy to come over says he hates old cars but is willing to look it over. I pretty much ruled him out right then but since he took the time to come over I figured it wouldn't hurt to let him take a look. I quickly figured it out from our walk around that he wasn't the right guy for the job. He said materials would be $3-4K and labor of 100-150 hours means I'm looking at $10-12K and he wouldn't be able to start the job for 3 months.
Second shop I found out about from a buddy who has a beautiful 66 Nova that was painted at this shop. His car is absolutely mint and they did extensive metal work on his car. I would love to have my car done by this guy but he is booked solid and since they are mostly a collision shop, it could take a year.
The owner of the shop where I took the car came over early on a Saturday morning and spent about an hour and a half going over the car. I showed him everything I had done to the car to this point so there would be no surprises for either of us going forward. I thanked him for his time and said I would think it over. About a week later I stopped by his shop unannounced. He didn't mind at all and gave me a good shop tour where I got to see a couple cars that were just finished. I told him I would like him to do my car and I asked him when could he start. He told me to bring $5K and the car in 2 weeks. I did just that on Tuesday. Now I have an empty spot in the garage and maybe a little free time on my hands.
What color are you going with?
Going with the original color of the car. Laurel green.
 

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I hope it turns out great. I don't look forward to getting my next car painted. I can;t justify putting another $10 or $15k into my '63. I've done a few restorations and partial restorations but only paid someone to paint my car once (one car I bought had new paint but nothing else done). The one question I would ask 'is what can I expect for defects for the quoted price?'. I think the answer would be very informative. I'm guessing that for $15k or so they are estimating around 120 hours of work to prep and paint. It seems like that should be ample if bodywork is truly paint ready (why does it take 5 months? You would think getting them in and out quickly would be more profitable). The big variable is what work is involved in aligning the panels and smoothing the body. Hopefully his assessment of the work required is fairly accurate. Its tough because some people will paint the car with whatever defects exist and some will want many thousand in extra charges to rectify the issues after you committed already. I just looked at buying an old Porsche last week with fresh paint. The guy was in a rush to paint it (backyard job) and over looked dealing with many easily fixed defects. What a shame. Preparation is everything.
 

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Jesus Christ 15k and 5 months??? I am not looking forward to that price or time. Why does it take so long I assume its not worked on daily from them? Is 15k a show car paint job or is that high end? I can't imagine paying that but I also understand its the prep etc
15k for final bodywork and paint is not bad for a good job, it can go a lot higher

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Hi Guys

After reading some of your horror stories, It appears to me that maybe it would be cheaper and quicker to enroll on a body prep and repair course and do some of the work yourselves thus reducing the cost and time, after all the labour rate is what keeps pushing the price up. I am a time served body man of over fourty years experience so believe me when I say it is not rocket sience, and with a bit of application virtually any one can do at least some of the donkey work and reduce the overall cost aswell as the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.
Cheeers Ian 🇬🇧
 

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Hi Guys

After reading some of your horror stories, It appears to me that maybe it would be cheaper and quicker to enroll on a body prep and repair course and do some of the work yourselves thus reducing the cost and time, after all the labour rate is what keeps pushing the price up. I am a time served body man of over fourty years experience so believe me when I say it is not rocket sience, and with a bit of application virtually any one can do at least some of the donkey work and reduce the overall cost aswell as the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.
Cheeers Ian 🇬🇧
I will def be stripping the paint myself to see what is underneath and lessen the cost
 

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my dad had his chevelle painted artesian turquoise BC/CC for 5K, guy even did rear lower quarter patch panels because he found rot. granted, he lap welded them in, which isn't ideal but is certainly serviceable. very few imperfections in the paint. but this was for a driver quality car.

this was an on-the-side guy, and it was done in a year. you really just have to know the guy, see some of his cars, and know some of his buddies who will either back him up, or say "well, he's okay." if they say the latter, then keep searching.

-Rusty
 

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my dad had his chevelle painted artesian turquoise BC/CC for 5K, guy even did rear lower quarter patch panels because he found rot. granted, he lap welded them in, which isn't ideal but is certainly serviceable. very few imperfections in the paint. but this was for a driver quality car.

this was an on-the-side guy, and it was done in a year. you really just have to know the guy, see some of his cars, and know some of his buddies who will either back him up, or say "well, he's okay." if they say the latter, then keep searching.

-Rusty
And I can pay a little more and be okay with it but I wont wait a year. Couple months max is okay. Not going to have it out for 6 months. Get that **** done and get it back to me
 

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And I can pay a little more and be okay with it but I wont wait a year. Couple months max is okay. Not going to have it out for 6 months. Get that **** done and get it back to me
Yeah I have heard too many stories about shops getting a car and then progress billing monthly. Before you know it you have spent the budget and there is nothing to show for it. I think it is a popular business model for restoration type shops. A reputable business will give you a quote and stick to it. They also make money by moving cars through the shop and not storing them. If they want to 'store' your car then I would be very concerned about their business model.
 
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