It's taken me three days to get to a point where I could even write this.
I got a quote from a local autobody shop to do some bodywork, prep, and paint sLime. It's a daily driver, but I wanted it to look nice -- something where I could take it to a show occasionally and not be embarrassed. The shop does good work and comes recommended. We settle on a drop-off date. I spend last week taking the car apart to make their job that much easier. Two hours after I drop the car, I get a call from the owner of the shop saying they "can't do the car." (!!!) Basically, their standards of finish are too high and he wouldn't want to do such a job without totally sandblasting the car first. (Lesson Learned #1: Have the owner of the shop look at your job; don't rely on the evaluation of the less-experienced shop manager) Since this is not a total restoration worthy car, the cost and time involved in such actions is not something I want to do.
This shop owner's concern is over the various areas of surface rust on the body. Since the paint is original, his feeling is that there could likely be a 'spiderweb of rust' below the paint; the only way to clear that up completely is to totally blast the car. All of this totally makes sense to me and I appreciate the explanation -- I just wish someone had told me this before I spent three days taking my daily driver apart!
He refers me to the local one-day shop. I checked out their operation today, and they seem to be well-run. Although the one-day shop manager is very helpful and informative, he leaves me thinking that my paint job is going to turn out pretty crappy.
Now, my project plan is a mess. I still have some dents and dings needing repair, windshield/rear window weatherstrip replacement, etc. that I think I can negotiate with the first shop's owner to do before I pull the car out of there. (He was willing to do some of the work, because he felt badly that things have happened this way, FWIW.)
So, then what? Is it normal to expect this 'below the surface' rust, so you prep and paint and wait for it to show up (maybe a long time from now)? I'm thinking I should bring the car home and sand down all the 'rust point' areas to make sure the metal's clean, because it appears that I can't trust that to either place.
My apologies for length and rambling, but I'm dealing with a project plan that's totally blown up in my face. I could have done some of this prep work before I sent the car out, but I didn't really have the time or equipment at my house to do it myself, so I was willing to pay someone else to do it for me.
Much thanks to SAC69 (Tom) for helping me disassemble the car and allowing me to vent in his direction.
Any advice is welcome as I try to put a plan back together....