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SWMBO has finally agreed (after much pleading) to get the Mach 1 painted--It has a small rust thru in the trunk floor(approx 1' x 1' total area)(several pin holes, not one hole that size)--the tail light panel is rusted thru below both taillights--Left side quarter has a few small rust bubbles and the right side quarter has a fiberglass patch behind the wheel--A few dings here and there

I have the trunk floor and tail light panel already--The job will entail removing old stripes, body work,paint(bc/cc),reapply stripes(I have this also)

1. Local Ford dealership--Will take it right away--wants patch panels for the quarters-(89.95)--Needs it approx 2 months--Seemed very concerned about the quality of final result and my happiness----$5000

2.Local body shop--See them in 2 months--Has the contract with the city to repair the city policecars--Also is doing a Vintage Camaro and wanted to have that done before taking mine--$3500

3.Local body shop--See them in 2 months--Within walking distance--Has the contract to repair the county police cars--I've seen their work and its good--$5500

4.Local Buick dealership--(I know, I know)(I have a relative that works there and they are treating it as if it is his car and giving me the employee discount)--Will take it right away--Replace the whole trunk floor or patch with my metal and tail light panel--Pretty much the whole shop came out to look at the car--$2000

If you had to prioritize the shops, how would you number them?--My enire budget is $5000 and that's cuting into the kids XMAS fund--I'm hoping SWMBO will chip in for an anniversary gift(this weekend)(28 years)

If I go with the relative, I'll have $ left over to buy SWMBO a gift and some Mustang stuff--Plus get the garage floor re-surfaced and epoxy coated--I'm thinking the dealerships would be more concerned about quality

Any thoughts pro or con will be welcomed
 

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If I were you, I'd go with the Buick dealership. If they are gonna do a good job, why not? Plus, as a kid of 17, if my dad spent x-mas money on a paint job, I would be kind of upset, unless it was for one of my cars ;)
 

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Have you seen any rust repair done by the buick dealer? That would be the deciding factor for me.

I am relatively sure you are not building a trailer queen show car but a great looking, drive anywhere, any time, any weather looker. I could not justify 5k for a paint and small rust repair job in my own mind unless their finished quality really was 2.5x greater than Buick's. What's important to know though is just to ensure the 2k paint job isn't actually going to end up looking like a earl/macco paint job......then you would have paid too much.

Getting a discount is also a double edged sword. It means you have an insider, so does that mean your car will be rolled aside everytime a full price job comes in, thereby elongating the total time for the job? Will the shop be more inclined to cut corners or would they take more care? (only expereince will answer that one I am afraid).

Is this for single stage or two stage paint? Will they do color sanding between coats? Will they wet sand the final product? Will they buff it out for you? Are they painting the car assembled or are you paying for interior removal, glass removal, teardown and ressembly of body panels? Can you save some by doing most of that work for them?

An additional note on time tables.

Right now is prime mustang weather.
In 2 months we will be going into winter time and the amount of nice days left to drive the car will significantly reduced. Regardless of when they start (right now or in two months) you are really not going to have cruising weather to enjoy the new paint job in until March/April anyway so I would place less emphasis on the start time and more emphasis on quality of work as a function of price.

I personally am more attracted to the local body shop that is doing the vintage camaro as apposed to the shops that have only contracts for reparing city vehicles. Doing a vintage car and having a happy customer inheritly requires a greater attention to quality and detail than fixing city cars under contract.

What would the price be at the buick dealer if you did not get the insider discount?

one last thought...is there any possibility of seeing another deployment in the next 2-6 months for a prolong in-country run?
 

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I'd go with the family discount (as long as you and the shop agree on exactly what will be done for that $2000). Three thousand extra dollars to play with - wife and family will also benefit from your new paint job that way! After all (I can't believe I'm saying this!), it's only a car.
 

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Well being able to repair NEW cop cars and doing classic stangs are two entirely different skills!

The shop which is doing the old Chevy may be the best bet. I would look at that car at least three or four times while it is in progress - and see how they do on it.

Other than that I might be tempted by the low price, but I doubt they would be able to do the job for that price. HOWEVER if the body guy that is assigned to your car "adopts it" emotionally and as a result does it right you could get the best of both worlds, a low price (count on it being more than $2,000 though) and a good job.

Whichever one you pick ask for examples of their work on a 1960's era car that needed panels replaced that required welding. Unless they've done it a lot before don't let them touch your car!

John Harvey
 

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Since I do this work myself after all my experiences with body shops in the past, I find it hard to beleive that ANY shop would do this kind of work for $2000. I say take the extremes in any bid and toss them, both are unrealistic in most cases, and in this case, it's a good bet the low one is, resulting in more than estimated, or poor overall work that won't be noticed until it is too late.
 

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As a shop owner I have to agree with the guys that say "be afraid of the $2000 paint job." That shop is either not aware of what they are getting into, they do really crappy work, or they are trying to get your car in so they can jack up the price. These days their is just no way a shop can do quality work for that price. It does not add up, the supply costs would eat up half that amount. One more thing, if you think you will get better work from a new car dealership you are way off base. For the most part (with a few exceptions) dealerships are nothing but a profit grinding machine that has no concern for quality. My openion is only worth what you paid.

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I'm not sure if you are getting an entire paint job or just the rear and both quarters. I would have to agree that $2000 for replacing sheetmetal and painting a car seems unreasonably low. I can't see where they could afford to put much time in it.
 
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