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Any Tips on Finding a Good Classic Body Shop?

  #1  
Old 04-07-2014, 08:34 AM
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Location: Broken Arrow, OK
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Default Any Tips on Finding a Good Classic Body Shop?

ok i have called a lot auto body shops in the tulsa oklahoma area. trying to find a place that can paint my old classic 71 classic truck. came down to no one would work on it because they only do 2000 or newer cars n trucks. only place i ever found was Macco. i know macco has a bad rep but is there best base/clear better then driving around in a unknown primer?
 
  #2  
Old 04-07-2014, 11:48 AM
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if one could look around your area for old cars and trucks in their yard that looks to be in really nice shape or freshly painted then you could ask them where or if they would do the work on yours. you can do it yourself as well as long as you have the time and strength to do it. you're not that far from where I live either about three hours and one state over
 
  #3  
Old 04-07-2014, 12:06 PM
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Hi GGA..

I can't offer up an local body shop suggestions, I do all my own work. But sometimes body shops may tend to stray away from a job if the customer has done the prior prep work and repairs/prime, or, the vehicle is left in primer too long and exposed to the elements, surface oils, surface rust on the new prime etc., or the unknown buried under the primer since they'll almost always have to give some sort of guarantee. Unless they strip and straighten the body, or you/they have an understanding that should the paint lift or fail I find it hard to understand why a shop wouldn't take on just a complete paint/refinish job with a written agreement as to the prior work done, and not just be year dependent.

That said, 'generally' it's production= money. Collision repairs over completes and the reason they tend to stay within a specific year base, parts availability, insurance etc. Completes meaning a complete paint refinish, to most anything required even a bare body and assemble. Completes can really eat up shop space and labor time and some body shop are just more production oriented. I've seen some pretty poor work come out of independent shops, and some nice work out of Macco, Miracle and such. Some not so good The lower end shops can be short on the prep work/sanding and their low cost packages usually don't involve much if any trim and body molding removal and do most of the job with masking tape. Good, bad, may depend on what whats under the moldings, weather strip, and at the very least the paint usually extends up onto the trim, rubber etc. Outcome may depend what has already been done, (previous owner work?) what your expectations are, and a shop choice. And of course paint budget comes into play for sure.

A friend of mine had his 68 Mustang fastback complete painted at Macco (had a friend there) and he brought them the paint he wanted to use. A Red with a silver panel stripe over the body. He did most of the prep which included most of the trim removal. The 2 stage paint came out really nice over the entire body other then a dry area on the hood which they repainted. It wasn't at their package prices though, but it did come out very respectable. Even Macco's and such can very in their quality and may depend on the workers, and a bad rep/s can be generated from conditions out of their control as mentioned. Macco and others seems to get their share of bad candidates for finishing, but a lot of costumers expect quality for cheap. For some, their services are good enough. I've seen many of these low end paint shops that they painted over road oil/tar, paint chips, concrete, rust, mystery items, or their newly refinished paint was so thin in area's you could see the OE body colors or prime. It's conditions like these that can generate bad reps and paint fail which they are in control of to a point.

Some things to consider or ask,,

How long the shop has been in business.

Look for a neat, well organized shop and office. Look at, if any, cars that are inside/outside the shop that are repaired and refinished.

Are they willing to answer 'all' of your questions.

Look for signs of professionalism in the customer office/service area, membership in the Better Business Bureau, or any customer service awards. Also, most will have a wall of fame!, binder of their work etc.. Theirs no one rule, but a shop that takes pride in their work, looks together, may be a better industry choice.

Any trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work training, I-CAR or Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Some shops are Mom'n Pop and may have been in business for years. Just do excellent work with not much upfront. Quality may be spot on, and the labor and overhead may be a cost benefit to you over a high end shop with lots of cost to maintain the facility..

Maybe someone here at FF in your area will chime in on a shop recommendation, a word of mouth gold mine local to you, but certainly their must be options other then (M) or a collision repair shop if they won't take you on...
 
  #4  
Old 04-09-2014, 04:37 AM
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thanks for the tips and i look forward to see if any locals have sugestions. the local maco has vering levels of work. they have cheep side that looks it but ther high end stuff looks really good.
 
  #5  
Old 04-09-2014, 09:43 AM
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Might also check with any local classic car clubs near to you, they may have a good tip on a good shop or a trusted painter/s
 
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