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Discussion Starter #1
Background:

I am having most of the panels replaced on my 67, and in June of last year took it to a local shop that specializes in Camaros here in Houston to have the work done. Guy estimates 2 months, I think 4, as these things always take twice as long as you think.

It has now been over 9 months and the car is sitting in roughly the same shape it was at month 2: cowl, dash, floors, trunk, and inners/outers done, quarters missing. The story for the past 6 months has been that the quarters shipped were damaged, then they were unavailable, then says the quarters came in but he's waiting on the roof, "I'll have it next week," etc etc. There's always a reason why no work has been done on my car. I even offered to source the parts myself and bring them out to him, but he claims his supplier hand-picks the straightest panels, it'll save me money, etc.

So February 1 I told him I wanted the car done by the end of the month, that I was tired of waiting. When I show up March 1, the car is sitting in the same state as it was a month ago. I ask him about the car, what possibly could be wrong now. He claims he's waiting on quarters.

At this point I lost it. "WTH do you mean waiting on quarters? I SAW the quarters! You've told me three different quarter panel stories, WTH happened to my quarters? And where the heck is the roof?"

So now he claims that they accidentally sold my quarters, that they never were damaged, just sold, and he's "still waiting" on the roof, just like a month ago. I break out the cell phone and start calling the towing company. Guy pleads with me for more time, that I won't be disappointed, he'll cut me a break on the roof (which was out of the original scope of work), etc. etc.

I really like the guy. He does good work and is one of the nicest people I've met in the hobby. So I agree that he can have until the end of March, and he promises me that the work will be done.

It's the middle of March. I went out to see the car and he still has no panels. There is absolutely no way I am leaving the car past the end of the month, and I am almost certain that nothing will have been done about the car, so I have some questions:

1. Is it safe to flat-bed the unibody and bare subframe without the quarters (it does have the inner/outers though) ?

2. Does anyone know a good bodyman/welder in Houston that will do the work on-site?

3. If #2 doesn't exist, any Houston bodyshop recommendations?

4. Anyone with similar stories? I'd like to think I'm not alone. This isn't even paint and body, just panel replacement!

Robert
 

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Pull the car, get as much of your money back as possible from the guy and find someone else. I just went through this. After a year of hearing the same things you are hearing now and getting pissed off to no avail, I pulled my car,rented a space and hired an old guy to teach me how to do it. I just finished the paint a couple weeks ago. I have a court date with the original body guy next Tuesday because he didn't have my money I paid him when I pulled the car. I sued him in small claims for the $5000.
 

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Man, That sucks! I could set you up out here in AZ but don't know of any in Houston. I hate hearing these kind of stories. You pay good money and get crap. Just like aftermarket parts. I think you have been more than patience and I would get the car out of there at month's end. Sometimes being nice isn't the answer.
 

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well I had/have the same situation here. My car has been at the body shop since June of 2005!! :eek: Now the guy is a retired body man. he actually is the uncle of a good friend of mine. He said he would give me a real good deal on the body work "IF I WASN'T IN A REAL BIG HURRY" for the car. If I wouldn't rush him that is. I was thinking maybe 6 months but dang! I figured hey while he's got the body I can get the motor, tranny, interior done, order the glass etc..etc... Ok so now I have the my whole garage full of interior parts, brand new crate motor that's still in the crate for over a year. The thing is that it's soooo close to being done I can taste it! The good news is that he has no choice but to hurry up and paint it because the shop he was leasing just changed ownership and he's going to have to move by the end of April. So I will have my car by then!! I feel bad for the guy that he's going to lose his place though.
 

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I've got the exact opposite problem my body guy is flying. I figured I'd have a year (based on his 3 month estimate) but he's chugging along faster then I make the money to pay him :D
 

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I've got the exact opposite problem my body guy is flying. I figured I'd have a year (based on his 3 month estimate) but he's chugging along faster then I make the money to pay him :D
:D Stop paying him and he will stop :) J/K never stop him or you will be waiting a long time....

Kev
 

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Bottom line is that you are the customer. If you have agreed on terms and a timeframe, and he doesn't deliver, get out as soon as you can. I am a firm beliver in the concept that as a customer I have needs and finances. If you as the vendor can't meet the requirements, I'll get someone else. There is no way while I'm living and breathing that I would ever let a vendor dictate to me the terms of my requirements.
 

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I had the same problem, it took him 9 months to do mine when he said three. He did a decent job, but I am going to get it repainted. There was a couple of strip issues. I wanted Ghost stripes in blue pearl and he laid them wrong. the ain't ghost, they look decent enough, and my spoiler looks like a kansas wheatfield it is so wavy. I was going to be a jerk about it, but I just wanted my car back. He gave me a very very very very very very very good price, so you get what you pay for. I paid 4 grand and provided all parts he is what he did: Replae both rear quarters, rear body panal, reskined pass door mounted entire new front clip, replaced wheel wheels on rear(should have mini tubbed) and painted the car black. Other then the rear spoiler it is mirror straight, (well was) bikes are bad when a five year old is trying to get it outta the garage!! I would post a picture but I don't know how:(!
 

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robert,
a while back, martinsr posted info on this exact topic. taking his advice, i struck a deal with my body guy that i would be in his shop every friday to pay for work completed. this way my job is paying him a weekly income. after 6 months of no progress, i walked in on that last friday, saw that no work had been completed and proceded to call the tow wrecker. the car was gone in an hour and i did not have to fight over getting money back! if you can not get around the hefty deposit some of these guys request, a document needs to be drawn up and signed by the shop owner specifying how the money will be refunded if the car is pulled due to "lack of interest" on the shop's part.
good luck finding another body guy.
rich
 

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Been through something similar myself. He's just buying more time.

Does he also do insurance work. Is your car sitting there while he does insurance work? Sounds like he's saving your car for hard times when he hits a dry spell on insurance work. That's why he's begging you to leave it.
Your car is his ace in the hole if work gets slow. Am I close?

Pull your car and get it home before it gets worse. That's what I did. If I ever do another one I will paint it myself. I did all my primer and blocking but didn't trust myself to paint it. Sure wish I had now. I say that because I now realize even the pros make mistakes and they just deal with them. I think I could have done that too.
 

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the answer to this question is "GOODMARK" I sent my 68 to goodmark installation center. car was at the center eight weeks. complete new body,floors rebuilt subframe and put tires back on for a trailer queen ride to white,georgia for final assembly and paint. the car went from garbage to full finish in ten months. have money ready when they go to Goodmark and they give you an upfront estimate. You must take your car to them for the estimate and make an appointment.
 

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When you go back, do it early in the day. If it hasn't progressed, just say OK and leave. Line up a roll back transport and meet them back there. Don't argue or let him know what you are doing, just show up with the truck and pull it out.

Good luck....I hate hearing about people like that and I hope I don't ever run into one, cause I would've lost it long before you did.
 

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Sorry about the luck. I have posted the horror stories about my mechanic and the long road we fought. I am happy that I have an excellent body shop, I couldn't go through it again. Makes you start to hate the hobby when stuff like this happens.:(
 

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It seems like whenever someone has to actually do something these days it is like asking them to donate a body organ. Everybody wants big money for every cotton picking movement they make. I am fed up with it myself. If I had the skills my ride would have been done long ago. The worst part is that I have the money to pay to get it done and it seems that even isnt enough these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the comments, guys. I am going out there either today or tomorrow to check on it. If he hasn't received the parts by now, I don't see how he can do the quarters and roof in 2 weeks and do a halfway decent job of it, given his propensity to put off my car.

I have another anecdote about this situation that I was reluctant to share, simply because I knew people would howl, "why didn't you get it out of there sooner?!"...

One time, upon arriving out there and seeing my car in the same state as the last visit, the explanation given to me was that his body guy (the guy I am dealing with is the owner of the shop) had gone on a bender and not been in the shop for over a week. Joy.

Robert
 

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I will say this and early on I was guilty of it myself.

Sometimes we let our desire and need to get things done override our common sense and gut feelings. Sometimes we know how something is going to turnout but we fool ourselves into thinking "well maybe it will workout".

I used to always give everyone the benefit of the doubt, thinking they would surely do the right thing just because it was"the right thing to do". Then I realized I was being played.

I now make myself go with my gut feeling and instinct. No matter how bad I want or need something if it looks like it's going to lead to problems like you're having, I move on. Where in the past I would let my strong desires and wants for something takeover.

I always thought you should treat people the way you want to be treated. And if you tell someone you're going to do something then do it. If for no other reason than just because you said you would. It's sad to say but I have almost concluded that MOST people aren't that way. So in situations like you are in. Where you are trying to get a service done.If you are just a pure bastard from the beginning, not giving an inch on anything, you will get treated better than trying to be courteous and flexible.
 
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