69 GTO

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  1. The car is a 68 olds 442 and here is the condition as of Friday when I picked it up. This is 51K in work...
  2. Just to confirm, would any of you paint (and wet sand/polish) a fully assembled exterior before removing all the panels and painting the undersides and jams? I just pulled the vehicle from the shop who completed the body work and left the car assembled after block sanding/sealing and immediately put the fully assembled car in the booth and painted just the outside. Then the shop went into the wet sanding/polishing process on the exterior before they were planning to finish the painting of interior panels and jams. I'm not sure why it was done this way as it wasn't equating to an efficient process and it's likely the exterior would be scratched/chipped when disassembled/reassembled. The shop owner told me this was the best process for consisteny and efficiency but considering they went directly to wet sanding and polishing, I couldn't rationalize the benefits and reached out to a restoration expert who felt they were overcharging and questioned the process. This expert advised me to pull the car and continue with anther shop. I did this last Friday. Incidentally, the wet sanding/polishing took 40 hours on just the left fender, left door and roof. That's when I ended the project with this shop and contacted the expert who could not explain the rationale of the process. The estimated time to finish just the wet sanding and polishing of the exterior would be 125-145 hours (or 10-12K). Then it would need to be fully disassembled, underside and jams painted/wet sanded and reassembled. I pulled the car before this 51K project/475 hours (paid to date) turned into a $75-85K project (no mechanical/no parts/frame on restoration).
  3. I'm restoring a 69 GTO and would like to know the proper procedure for painting. The car was disassembled, blasted and the body work completed. Then the car was reassembled to finish the body work and block sand. My question is, at the point the car is assembled and the block sanding has just completed. Is the proper procedure to then disassemble and paint each panel separately or is the procedure to leave the car fully assembled and paint the full exterior and then disassemble it to paint the undersides of fenders, doors, hood, jams, etc.? Shop owners opinions are very welcome here as they know their craft on the proper procedure. Thanks!
  4. Hi Folks, quick update on this issue I brought up 2 years ago. The car is still in restoration - slow walked and now over $54K with no end in sight. They encountered no unforeseen issues, just hours and hours of billing. The time to pull the vehicle from the shop is long gone (IMO). The original expectation of $25K will now fall over $70K for a body only restoration of a very solid and clean 69. As a reminder, the shop is doing a frame on, body work only job. All parts and chroming were done by me so there are no parts involved. The current state is the car is assembled and panted (exterior only) and polished/wet sanded. Not sure why it was done in this order seeing they now need to disassemble the vehicle to paint the inside of the jams, doors, hood, fenders and trunk. Then the reassembly, so based on this and the vast history of billing, the total will now eclipse $70K for the body/paint. It's a shame because the shop knew I was on a $25K budget and looking for driver quality. last August I was given a verbal estimate for cost and timing but these will be more than double as we have already exceeded both late term estimates. It's a frustrating situation and one that is a huge learning exercise but I will say, these shops that clearly take in work for the revenue regardless of their clients expectations only hurt themselves as they ruin their reputation and the industry's reputation. I talked to several industry experts and unfortunately this is the pattern - say what you need to in-order to get the vehicle in and disassembled, then the customer and car are hostage. We already discussed the merits of pulling the vehicle, which I should have done at the start of this thread but it's too late at this point. Again, live and learn but for the $$ does it really help the overall industry when there are many collector owners out there telling folks the horror stories. This directly impacts the industry when folks who would restore are scared away - business lost. Fyi, when this car is done, I will have about $95K all in for a vehicle that's worth at best $45K.
  5. Thanks McHinson, this basically sums it up. The point at which the cost became known was at the point of the initial block sanding which is only 25% of the way complete. The post was to understand if the cost is reasonable and if not, should I pull the car and find a shop willing to do the remaining work at the level of my budget. That said, I'm already 5K over due to the post blasting work, so it will not solve the issue and the most important concern is whether there would be a shop willing to finish the project. That seems unlikely. I really did not want go 45K deep into the body but it seems I may have no choice.
  6. I asked the shop for any information on the approximate cost and stated I have a budget of 25K. They stated that they cannot estimate and would know more after the blasting. After blasting they stated it was a "top 10" in condition but that was also when the $3,500 went into block sanding the quarter panel and I realized I would be into 45K. I called to confirm expectations and they stated it would wind up 40-45K but again, no promises "could be more". That led to the initial post.
  7. I heard this from multiple shops and I do believe it applies to the current restoration industry, especially regarding the body.
  8. Restorer32, since this is my first restoration, I can't comment on the differences. I only know the budget and the process the shop performs. Full disassembly in and out was always part of the process and I knew that from the beginning. What I did not know was that the process of block sanding, repairing the 3 rust spots and priming would cost 20K. This is on a fully blasted, straight car with little rust and no dents. The 20K on straightening to perfection is where most of the difference resides. The block sanding process on one quarter alone (no rust/dents) cost $3,500 which caused me to question the level of quality (and cost of a full replacement of the quarter). I wasn't expecting 4.5 full days to block sand and straighten one quarter, which was as close to perfect (to my eyes) as I ever seen in a 47 year old car. They literally removed every imperfection, high, low, etc. that they could uncover. I have no issue with the quality, just wondering if it's overkill on a partially restored driver. This is why I set a budget at 25K, to keep the total cost under 50K when you factor the parts and cost of the vehicle. I didn't want a 65K+ driver.
  9. So far I have over 1200 pics of the work, so yes it's well documented. I can't post pics because in case the shop reviews this board, I don't want any bad blood. I'm in this to finish and came to the forum to avoid any conflict with the shop. That would be the most costly situation to be in.
  10. Thanks for the great summary Matt, It's spot on. The work continues, just wish I knew that it would run this high otherwise I would have planned better. Honestly, the 34 hours spent on the quarter panel alone caused the majority of my concern and then I contacted the shop who told me it would come to 40-50K in total. That was already obvious after the time spent on the quarter. I just wasn't expecting that after they told me the car was a top 10 post the blasting. Ugh. Either way, it's gonna get done and I'm on this forum because I could not have the conversation with the shop for fear it would sour the relationship. I do think the restorers can learn from this too, as no one wants to enter a relationship that could end in divorce.
  11. So what's the correct way forward? I have a reasonable budget but no way of knowing if your particular shop will do work which equates to that budget.... Is it just a roll of the dice and I got the one that resulted in 100% over-budget? How do home remodelers survive? They are in a similar situation and always provide estimates but often have unforeseen structural or land issues.