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Chris, we always just call the "graffiti" a guide coat. Helps when sanding to be sure things are flat and don't have low spots. If it does, the contrasting color shows...if you are using a block and not just fingers and palm to hold the paper. Good method, gets good results ! Lookin' good !

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I would give Juan all the time he needs. Remember, painting a car is 95% prep, and a good prep job will make the painter look like a hero. I think that you will owe Juan a case of beer for all the work he has to do. He is probably swearing at himself for taking the job. The car is looking very good. Before you know it, it will be done.

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Thanks John Byrd - that is the term I was looking for, "guide coat", but could not recall it. Nobody told me that these easy things I used to remember so easily would become elusive as time passed. Actually, I think they did tell me - I just forgot! :rolleyes:

John Feser - yes, Juan seems to be doing a good job and he does remind me how much work it is. And if he does get the thing prepped without losing or breaking anything I will buy him a steak dinner and a case of beer!

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Another visit to the Avanti today, where she sits in her spot getting a makeover. I saw a bit more progress was made - always nice to see the progress. It makes me feel the anticipation - almost like Christmas coming when you're a little kid. A.J. told me that the hood had been primed, but he didn't like it so he told Juan to do it over. OK with me. The nose of the car has been primed - looks like they don't mind working around the front bumper, as they are hand sanding between the behind the bumper. Also works for me - I know it will disappoint some folks on here, but it is what it is. It's MAACO - they're used to painting around stuff.

When I was there Juan came back from lunch and kind of grinned. A.J. said that Juan was sure I wouldn't visit until Saturday. A.J. told him, "Oh no, he'll be here today!" A.J. won that bet. I would stop by every day if I could, if that pesky job didn't interfere all the time! :rolleyes:

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Whew! Another long day - toward the end of it I got a text from home saying there was a box waiting for me. The rear bumper! I knew it was coming, since I had asked Jerry Forrester for a tracking number. After I got home and had something to eat I contemplated leaving the "grand opening" until tomorrow morning. I almost had myself convinced that that is what was going to happen - nah. I had a Christmas present under the tree and it was Christmas morning, and I'm gonna wait 'til tomorrow? No! So I summoned the energy to go open the crate (yes, a pretty substantial shipping box Mr. Forrester put it in). I backed out the dozen or so screws and removed the lid. I unwrapped the three pieces - wow, what a beautiful job Jerry did. I almost don't want to put it on the car - it might get scratched. Try as I might, I could not find the couple of spots that had dents. A really nice job. Now I just need the car to bolt it to.

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Chris, Roger is right on. Greg told me the same thing. I used silver Rustoleum for mine. Speaking of paint, have they given you a date when they think it will be ready for color? They look like they should be getting close. Maybe end of the week or early next week for sure. You must be starting to get excited.

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Thanks Roger and John - I'm lovin' that chrome! I will have to pick up a can of the Rustoleum and give the inside another coat. I stopped by today and found a little more progress accomplished, but nothing earth shattering. I was slightly annoyed, as we are coming up on 4 weeks. Sorry, but I really think a car should be able to be painted in 4 weeks by a professional shop. But I get excuses. I told him I was showing up next Friday and taking it, finished or not.

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Chris, As I said, painters work in their own time. If you let them work at their pace, most likely you will end up with a better then average MAACO paint job.

The fiberglass body is harder to work with then steel and to get it straight takes time and effort. I am not surprised it is taking this long.

If you keep seeing progress, I wouldn't worry.

If you take the car, what are you going to do with it and how much will you have to pay MAACO ? They have time in your car, do you expect them to give it to you ?

What will you have left in your fund to give to the next shop ?

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Of course I am going to pay them for the work they have done, it all depends on how much they have done as to how much they get. And since I am The Customer (which seems to be forgotten, what with all the admiration for "The Painter"), I reckon I can take the car when I want to.

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No admiration for the painter. I know I can't do it. Just experience over 40. Years of working on cars. Of course it's your car and you can do what you want with it. Hopefully it won't get to that.

Hey Chris: I have been watching the progress with your car and it is truly a site to behold, this car you have salvaged from the crusher. I had experience with MAACO and they did get it right in the end. I was reluctant along the way too. However, I feel it is in your best interest to continue along this path a little longer. I think you should continue to make them think you are yanking it soon if they don't get it done, but ultimately let them paint and finish it. The other route involves a bunch of your time and likely more $$$ I know exactly how you feel though because of all you have in this car it becomes a part of you and that is precisely why I feel you should let them get it done, you deserve to have the car back, painted. It is going to be awesome and you are going to be so happy you will forget all about this drama.

Peace, brother!

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Hey hey, brother Brian and fellow Avanti enthusiast! I am cautiously optimistic at this point - I stopped by yesterday and was very happy to see much progress made. The rest of the car had been primed and the door jambs even! I was shocked! Juan came in and had a seat and I thanked him for his work. He waved a hand at the car and said, "She's ready", with a smile. A.J. said, "Oh, not yet - still needs sanding, washing, masking. Then painting." I asked if we were still good for Friday and he replied that we were. So, I am happy and, like I said, cautiously optimistic.

Pictures to follow - I was unsure about whether to post or not since everybody is on my case :rolleyes:

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Yesterday I was working on this new job site which happens to be about a mile from the storage unit. Might be convenient if I keep the job - big job too. It's also not too far to the paint shop, so I slipped away at lunch time and paid a visit. I parked my truck outside, grabbed my camera and got out of the truck. From in the building I heard an engine cranking. I recognized it immediately - what a sound! Then the engine fired and revved, the supercharger whining. Oh yeahhhh, I thought. They must be moving it! I went in the office and A.J. greeted me with a big smile, "We just finished sanding it - they are taking it around for washing." I was very happy to hear that news. I went in the shop just as they were moving the car out. Juan was grinning, "Almost ready!" I told him what a nice job they had done, then heard the horn honking as the guy was driving it around back. Juan laughed and I headed out to unhook the horn, just in case someone thought there was an emergency.:o

I caught up with the honking car at the wash station, raised the hood and unhooked the horn. The boys got right to it and started scrubbing the old girl. I watched for a bit, then noticed that the area below the bumper had not been primed. On my way out I mentioned it to A.J. and he said he would look into it. Later, I got a call from him saying that they brought the car back in and sanded and primed that area. Not sure how Juan missed that, but I'm sure he thought he was done with the old car when it rolled out of his work space.

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Today, back at the big job site, I figured I wouldn't make it to the paint shop because of the rush, rush of the project starting up. I was on pace for a stellar day of stakeout, me and my robotic instrument. After setting 50+ points I sat in my truck and had some lunch, planning on hitting it hard and finishing up after I ate. I jumped out of the truck and prepared to make the final assault. Then the sound of the record needle skipping across the LP screeched across the landscape. A man approached, "Have you taken the requisite safety course?" I looked at him, growled that I was busy and told him nobody told me that a safety course was required. "Well, you aren't even allowed on the site without it, then." "Okay, bye!"

I packed up all the equipment and hit the road, realizing that I could now make the trip to the paint shop! Upon arriving there I met Titch, the young lady who oversees the shop. She smiled and announced that the old Avanti was in the paint booth! She led me back to the booth and we entered. Another young lady was wiping the car down - almost there. It was so gratifying to see the Avanti finally this close to having new color! I almost got emotional. I took some pictures and let the young lady continue her work. On the way out we saw the painter suited up and in the paint room mixing the color. Titch said he was going to paint it before he left for the day and let it dry in the booth overnight. Wow, almost there!

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Hi Chris, looks like things are shaping up well and not too soon either. I hope you don't mind a change in subject for a moment but you mentioned something here that I became curious about after witnessing it while traveling last week. I saw a lone surveyor working and it appeared that he was using "automated" equipment. Is this what you meant by "robotic"? If so, when did that come into use and how does it work? Thanks for info and I hope it's not premature to congratulate you in the completion of a major step with your Avanti.

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Chris, I just looked back to see your 1st entry was Dec. 7 of 2011. For a guy doing most of the "fun" himself, and learning as he went along, you have achieved a great deal ! Congrats, and I too can't wait to see the old gal out there shining ! As I told in a previous post, I did paint and body for several years as both a hobby and a business, and as an example of "how it can be", I bought a 59 English Ford Thames in 78, drove it a couple of years, then started working on it. I sold it in '10 to move over here, and had to pile several piles of parts, push it on the trailer, and hand the guy several boxes of new parts. And I loved that little rascal and knew what I was doing, ha ! So your time seems painful and slow sometimes, but.........good job, fellow !! jb

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Thanks everyone - the big reveal is happening! First, the front bumper. On Labor Day I worked all day pulling parts off the old car, getting her ready for the paint shop. It was blazing hot that day, I was soaked in sweat and just plumb worn out. I looked at the bumper and decided we could paint it with it on the car. I was just too tired to tackle it. Then, in the ensuing weeks we went back and forth about removing it - I was on board with them removing it, then got cold feet about it (same with the headlight buckets). Then I would relent, but the body people got cold feet. And just two or three days ago, when I noticed they had forgotten to prime below the bumper line and I mentioned it to A.J. he said he was going to remove the bumper. Titch spoke up and said, "I wouldn't do that - you're just asking for trouble." I said, "Smart lady." And the matter was settled. I'm glad it stayed put - you can't tell it wasn't removed, really. The rubber grommets are gone, but I'm not missing them yet.

Don, I will post a little bit about the "robotic" instrument, along with pics. Basically, it is a beefed up surveying instrument with servo motors to turn the scope this way and that, and I control it with a bluetooth connected controller/data collector. Pretty cool when it isn't acting up and turning in a random direction looking for something other than me.

Mightfast the Avanti is mighty pretty, I think. She's pretty spooky too - one minute she looks gold, then you'll turn around and there will be a silver car sitting there. Kind of tricky and spooky at the same time.

Today, while staking out with my aforementioned robot I got the call. The masking had been removed from the car, A.J. had looked it over and said it was done. I told him I was on my way - I finished the first part of the job, emailed the superintendent and told him something had come up (Ha!) and I had to go. I arranged for my wife to meet me at the storage unit, where I could leave my truck and catch a ride to the paint shop. First I stopped by the house and picked up all the pieces I would need to make it "street legal" for the trip to the storage unit. When we arrived I looked around for the car - it was parked in front for all to see. A sight to see, really. We pulled alongside and I asked my wife, "Does that look gold to you?" I was sort of shocked at the color - wasn't sure if it was too gold for me. But as I walked around and around it grew on me, especially as I could make out the silver base to it.

I went inside and settled up with A.J. (one of the better deals I have had in my life) and told him I wanted to pull it around back in the shade and put some pieces on it. He was only too happy to let me do that. I spent about an hour or so installing lights, tags, door latches, etc. and before long I was pulling out of there in my newly painted Avanti. And man, did it feel good to drive the old car again, and look down across that shiny gold/silver hood as I did. When I got close to the storage unit I pulled into a gas station for some fresh gas. I left the car idling, as she doesn't like to start while hot. A guy at the next pump kept looking at the car and finally said, "I'm trying to figure out what that is." I said, "It's a '63 Studebaker Avanti, just come from the paint shop." "Hmmmm, pretty cool." I don't think he knew what a Studebaker was.

I drove to the storage unit and hopped out to open the unit up. I turned around and there was a silver car sitting there. I chuckled - OK, now you're messing with my head.

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Looks very nice, nice color which will be accented nicely as the "ice" goes back on! MAACO deserves some credit for getting going with it and giving you a fair deal to boot. Beats the hell out of sanding, sanding, sanding.... priming, priming, priming, etc. yourself!

Looks Good!

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Need the shades to protect my eyes from the SHINE!!!icon12.png

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Pat - you are sooo right about that first ride. Thanks everyone for the nice words - the car did turn out very well. I was a real nervous wreck the first couple of weeks worrying about what the end result would be, but MAACO did a super job on it. My hat is off to them for pulling it off - it's not a perfect job, but I wasn't looking for perfection. They "nailed" it - nice job for a nice price. I couldn't be happier!

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Wow !! Chris, I'm proud for ya' ! That rascal sure looks good, and the first turn-back-around glimpses you speak of when doing a double check of the color is a lot like the first look at your first "WOW" girl, so the Silver-ish gal has got you ! Ha ! Sure looks nice, enjoy. Oh, and Roger nailed it about seeing other things that will need a bit of "upgrade", I bet... John

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Hey Chris- Boootiful!!!! I like the color in silver, hard to get the gold tint in the pics for my bad eyes. It will be a sweet ride when the trim is all back on, you should be very proud. Only sad thing (maybe) is that she is done almost in time to put her up for season. Or is that just a jealous Yankee speaking of his own loss? You probably get 2-3 more months of drivable weather!

Looks really good!

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Thanks John Bryd and Bill! The old girl has got me and I've got her! And yep, Roger is right, as I drove along yesterday looking across that shiny beautiful hood my eye fell to the dash and I thought, "Man, that dash looks crap!" Oh well, something to keep me busy for the future.

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Thanks John Bryd and Bill! The old girl has got me and I've got her! And yep, Roger is right, as I drove along yesterday looking across that shiny beautiful hood my eye fell to the dash and I thought, "Man, that dash looks crap!" Oh well, something to keep me busy for the future.

Chris, not so long ago the dash was the nice part, after all that cleaning. It is all relative isn't it? Enjoy!!!

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Thanks Pat, yes it is all relative, the body looked sooo bad - now, not so much. Then the other parts take on the sooo bad - like I said, keeps me busy :D

Speaking of, lots of family stuff this weekend, then back to the grind for work. But I hope to start putting this old Avanti back together next weekend, if not before!

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It's been sort of a rough week - certainly not good for any Avanti fun. And it's not just the weather that's been a downer. A little over a week ago, after one of my long days in the field, I was having something to eat here at home when I bit down on something hard. Probably a pepper seed - whatever it was, it was a direct hit on one of my teeth. I've had it happen before - I just grabbed my face and waited a minute or two. The next day I could tell something wasn't right, so I called the dentist and made an appointment for Monday. We had a family weekend, celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday, and by the time Monday rolled around I had pretty much figured out what the dentist was going to tell me. Soon after I planted myself in the dental chair the dentist said, "Man, you got that one - split right through the center groove of the tooth." He couldn't tell how deep the crack went, but his experience told him that the tooth was most likely a goner. He sent me to the periodontist, who also does dental implants (same guy who had already done two implants for me). He told me that he could take it out and put an implant in at the same time. "Let's do it then", I said.

I like this periodontist because he doesn't waste time - he gets after it and gets the job done. This time was no different - my appointment was 10 AM Wednesday and I was back in my car at 10:29. He numbed me, pulled the tooth, did something with an electric drill sounding thing, then screwed a titanium implant up into the area that the tooth had just come out of. I could feel the torque and hear the click, click of the ratchet as he tightened the implant down. As I was leaving I had a look at the tooth, it was split from the biting surface to the root, a clean split all the way. Like it had a hairline crack that gave up. I headed off to the pharmacy to get some painkillers and antibiotics - the painkillers I took before I left the parking lot, because by the time I walked into the store to fill the prescription I was quite aware that something had just been screwed into my head. I was down for the rest of the day.

But today I felt good enough to take the day off (no field work, it has poured rain for the last two days) and head to the Avanti storage unit to start putting things back on the car. I started by replacing the spare in the trunk and laying the carpet back down. Then I switched the door handles that I had put in at MAACO - it turns out I had them reversed. I don't think it made a lot of difference, other that the way the door lock key goes in. I wanted the key to go in with the grooves facing down - I put them in at MAACO the other way. No big deal, take them out and switch them. After switching them I fooled around with the latch on the driver's side to get the door to shut right. Below you can see where the door didn't line up, it closed too much. I left it like that for a while, moving on to re-installing the sill plates, then the door panels and various fixtures. Once the sill plates were in place I tried the driver's door again and it wouldn't shut all the way. I adjusted the latch some more and finally the door shut and lined up with the body. It sure was good to get things back in place. You will also see a couple of pics of the 12 volt vacuum I bought - not as good as a gas station vacuum, but better than one where you have to pick up the lint and dirt and put it in the nozzle.

I re-installed the dome light switches, put the carpet mats back in, and cleaned the interior some - still has a way to go though. On the exterior I washed the hubcaps and tried to install them, but I was only able to get one on. They are real fighters - I gave up after awhile. Always time for more battles later. Finally, I finished up by installing the fender mounted mirror. Juan at MAACO mentioned to me that the other fender had two holes for another mirror, after he had covered them up with bondo. Oh well, life is full of missed opportunities - I should have tried to make it clear from the start that if they found 2 holes on the other fender they should leave them open, as I like the dual mirror look. Maybe I can find them some day and reopen them. Before I left the storage unit I dug through the bumper box I got with the rear bumper and found the upright bumper guard brackets. I believe mine are not as good as the ones I got with the bumper I bought from the Solankis in Georgia.

Progress was made getting the old girl back to fighting trim - still a ways to go, but we're getting there.

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