A Better Estimate

April 11, 2015 – A Better Estimate for Paint & Body

What I’ve hoped to find all along is that guy who’s willing to paint the Disgustang for a reasonable rate, but who will also take the time he needs to do the job correctly.  I don’t want to end up in body shop hell, either.  I’ve heard stories of guys who do great work painting in a two-car garage, over a weekend.  Basically, if I could find a guy who does one car at a time, a good body guy who either paints cars on the side, or someone who’s semi-retired, I’d be set!

For several days I had been singing the blues to friends about the high potential cost of body work.  I’d called around to anyone I could think of, trying to find that diamond in the rough.  And like that, my buddy Mark came through for me (as he has several times in the past!)  He got the number of a guy, Bill, who works with his brothers in an auto repair shop in San Gabriel, but who does body work as a side business for friends and referrals.

Mark and I made the trip out to San Gabriel to chat through the process and see if he might be “the guy.”  Mark has a car he’s thinking of having painted as well, so it was a timely conversation.  Bill looked at my pictures first, and rendered an estimate of “between $4,000 and $5,000.”   I almost took my checkbook out on the spot, without even knowing what kind of work he does.  Yes, it’s a little more than I’d intended to pay, but it’s also the only remotely reasonable estimate I’ve gotten.  This isn’t a show car, it’s supposed to be drivable.

The clincher, though, was his picture book of cars he’d done, one of which we’d seen at the Fabulous Fords Forever show without realizing Bill had done the complete restoration.  That and his brother’s Nova sitting in the parking lot sealed the deal.

The only thing?  Bill advised that I have the car sandblasted before I bring it to him…in the end he said it would save a lot of time and money, and he’d have a completely blank canvas to work from.  I know he’s right, but that means making some adjustments I hadn’t planned on.  More on that later…I’m just happy to have found someone who can do the body work!