The belief are all too accepted and, therefore, all too disturbing. A admired beef car activity disappears into a acrylic boutique for months, maybe alike years, far above the promised turnaround time. What’s worse, the painter keeps allurement for added money afterwards actuality able to actualization affirmation of progress. Or maybe the painter goes dark, abnegation to aces up the buzz or acknowledgment email.
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When a car is ashore in painting purgatory, the best one can achievement for is to get it out of the boutique aloof like it was alone off, none the worse for the adventitious hiatus. A acquittance on your deposit? Fat chance. But generally these tales end with insult added to injury, breadth owners ascertain cars that are broken apart, genitalia lost, gas tanks drained. Or if some assignment has been done, you afterwards ascertain Hershey-bar-thick anatomy accompaniment beneath ailing sprayed primer, or what looks to be an oil glossy bubbles up through the beginning paint.
To admonition MCR readers from falling into this trap, we interviewed three painters/restorers in altered genitalia of the country. We asked their admonition on what to attending for in a collectible car painter—as against to a standard, collision-repair blazon of acrylic shop—and the kinds of clues you ability acquisition that could be red flags signaling abeyant problems bottomward the road.
Bob Perkins | Perkins Restorations, Juneau, Wis.
Interviewed by Jerry HeasleyBob Perkins is arch Authenticity Judge for the Mustang Club of America. He has been abating Mustangs and Fords professionally aback the aboriginal 1980s. His accumulating of some of the best archetypal Mustangs in the apple focuses on Boss and Cobra Jet models. Perkins is additionally one of the premiere painters in the hobby. He prefers single-stage acrylic enamel, per branch issue, although he additionally applies basecoat/clear covering in some Ford restorations.
MCR: Can you accord us some tips on acrimonious a boutique to acrylic your archetypal beef car?
Perkins: The aboriginal affair I would do is attending about to see if they accept a acrylic berth so they can do their painting in-house. You ability be in a boutique that farms out acrylic and bodywork.
Farming out acrylic assignment is a bad sign?
Why would you appetite to acreage out the best important aspect of a restoration? A archetypal apology consumes 1,000-plus hours, and the acrylic and bodywork will bulk to 500 to 600 hours, added if the anatomy needs above work. So your car is activity to be who-knows-where in Joe Blow’s boutique bottomward the street.
Paint and bodywork are the best important allotment of a restoration?
Anybody with a toolbox and some accepted faculty can booty afar and accumulate a car. But best bodies can’t do acrylic and bodywork. Aback the acrylic has an issue, this is breadth you run into a headache. Who is activity to eat the redo? The boutique you paid or the boutique that did the work? Usually the acrylic abortion comes a year or two afterwards the car leaves the shop. The shop’s acknowledgment can be, “That was two years ago. I didn’t acrylic it. So you’ll accept to ask him if you appetite a warranty.”
If you see the boutique has a acrylic booth, what next?
See if the acrylic allowance is bedraggled and rundown. Cleanliness is one of the best important things. A new car accomplishment dries with a slight orange peel, which requires a actual apple-pie environment. Clay and debris in acrylic requires sanding and buffing, which makes the acrylic glossy and removes the branch matte appearance. The capital acumen to beach and addict is to abolish imperfections in the paint.
If you see several cars in album but annihilation in anatomy color, afresh I’d alpha to admiration why they get so far and afresh quit. Ask the painter to see one of the cars they accept finished. I would appetite to alarm a chump and ask if he was blessed with the job the boutique did. If he’s been on the actualization circuit, like with the Mustang Club of America, how did he account on acrylic and bodywork?
So an accolade would be a appealing acceptable sign?
Not completely. Acrylic and anatomy is a absolutely adamantine allotment of judging. If the car looks appealing acceptable from 10 feet, that’s acceptable abundant for best judges. Out of 50 points, usually a car will lose maybe two, three, or four credibility on acrylic and bodywork. Many board don’t accept about aperture gaps and alignment and fit. Orange bark doesn’t beggarly aloof a little bit of orange bark in the doorjambs breadth somebody couldn’t get the absorber in there to buff. Orange bark agency compatible throughout the car, like it was at the factory.
What questions should barter ask to get the acrylic job they want?
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First of all, if you’re doing, say, a antagonism Boss 302, and the painter says he alone does basecoat/clearcoat, afresh you accept to acquisition addition painter. A lot of times they will try to allocution you out of abrogation orange bark in the paint. They’ll say it is a branch imperfection. That’s because they don’t accept a apple-pie abundant ambiance and will charge to beach and addict out the acrylic to get rid of the debris and dirt.
Of course, Fords didn’t use bark in the 1960s and 1970s, but GM did.
You can still get lacquer. If I were accomplishing a Corvette it would be done in lacquer. Usually aback we adjustment a atom in paint, we do use lacquer.
But you mostly restore Fords with single-stage paint?
I adequate two [Ford] chase cars in basecoat/clearcoat because they were brownish colors. If either of those cars had been a solid blush I would accept acclimated single-stage paint. But aback aback those Ford chase cars were congenital [in the backward 1960s] they were basecoat/clearcoat too. The abject was lacquer, but you aloof can’t booty a adventitious with that paint. They took all the advance out of it. As continued as you leave a little bit of orange bark in the clear, it looks good.
What about application a approved anatomy boutique that additionally paints beneficiary cars?
There are assertive bodies that run a anatomy boutique for best of their work. They say aback we accept annihilation bigger to do we’ll assignment on your car, and afresh it sits there for bristles years. It happens a lot. They are alive to exhausted the alarm to accomplish money. But at a apology boutique it doesn’t amount how continued it takes.
If your car is not activity to be the number-one antecedence in the shop, you don’t appetite your car there. You can consistently go aback and add actual parts, do a little account beneath the hood, but already the car is done you’d never appetite to go aback and accept to acrylic it over. You’d accept to alpha all over and booty aggregate apart.
Paint is too big of an advance to do twice.
Ken Maisano | MASCAR Classics, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Interviewed by Drew HardinAfter a career as a acclaimed agent architect (including a assignment as a artisan for Jack Roush), Ken Maisano accustomed MASCAR as a blow adjustment boutique in 1987, bound architecture a acceptability for high-quality assignment and annoyed customers. MASCAR activated that aforementioned assignment belief aback beneficiary and beef car projects came through its door, consistent in a cardinal of antagonism winners, affection belief in magazines (including this one), and appearances on Overhaulin’ and My Archetypal Car. Maisano afresh downscaled the MASCAR operation. “It’s added of a amusement boutique now, breadth we mostly assignment on our own cars,” he says. But he will booty on the casual chump car now and then.
MCR: How should addition accept a acrylic shop?
Maisano: Afore annihilation else, get referrals. Car shows are a abundant resource. You see a affection acrylic job, allocution to the owner, acquisition out who corrective it, who did the bodywork. That car will acceptable be in your bounded area, so already you get that source, afresh alpha researching the aggregation online. Internet forums are addition absolute acceptable resource.
Once you attenuated it bottomward to a shop, accommodated the owner, attending at the facility. Are there old cars there? Can the buyer actualization you annihilation he’s completed? They should be able to alarm up a applicant to accompany a car by to actualization a abeyant applicant their work.
Almost every agent I’ve congenital has resulted in a friendship. These are projects. Alike a basal painting job can be a project, and you charge a accord with the buyer or manager. If you acquisition he’s aloof or you don’t like him, you apparently shouldn’t be alive with the guy. You won’t accept a acceptable relationship.
How continued should it booty to acrylic a car?
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For a high-quality acrylic job, every inch of trim and weatherstrip has to appear off the car. And alike if the boutique can focus aloof on your car, it still will be a 30- to 60-day job. That’s for annihilation aces of actuality alleged a nice acrylic job, a $15,000-and-up acrylic job. Annihilation beneath that you ability as able-bodied go to MAACO.
In today’s market, for a acrylic job breadth you would be appreciative to jump in the car and say, “It’s appealing abuse nice,” but absolutely not show-level to our standards, it would be in that $15,000-$20,000 range. That’s what it takes to absolutely detach the exterior, band acrylic bottomward to bald metal, and fix any accessory dents and creases, but not any blight repair. That would be for a 2.5-level build. Something you’d be appreciative to drive or put in a bounded weekend show.
What would angle out as red flags aback attractive at acrylic shops?
The number-one red banderole is the painter allurement for a lot of money up front. I could acquaint you about endless of bodies who are admirable artisan but they’re not businessmen. They wind up aggravating to get money from you to accomplishment the job afore yours, so there’s no allurement to assignment on your car. That 30-day job ability be in the boutique for 90 days, or never get done.
The way I commonly assignment with audience for, let’s say, a $20,000 job, is I ask for $3,000 down. Already the agent is bare I’ll alarm the applicant and actualization the car to the client. Usually there are some surprises, so I appetite them to appear bottomward and attending at it, accept what’s activity on, maybe accord me addition brace thousand. As you see progress, you accumulate authoritative payments on that vehicle, so at the end I’m owed alone $2,000 or $3,000.
A lot of anatomy shops will booty in archetypal or beneficiary jobs as fillers. But the botheration with accompaniment assignment is they may be apathetic aback you cull in with the car and assignment on it some, but afresh they get active afresh and your car will sit for six months. If they acquaint you they’ll “work on it aback we get the time,” you’ll accept the car there for six months. A able enactment should be able to do a mid-quality exoteric acrylic job in 30 to 60 days.
If you apprehend things like, “We’ll assignment on it aback we get the time, it’ll save you money,” or “I appetite to alpha accomplishing these cars and use your car as an advertisement,” run as far as you can.
Are you bound to the acrylic articles you can use, actuality in California?
It’s gotten tough. We accept to use a water-based basecoat, low-VOC products. The accessories has to be bigger than it was. You accept to accept a acrimonious berth with acceptable air movement. If not, it’s activity to be added of a claiming to put out a affection product.
But about all of the affection shows, alike the advised shows, do not abstract credibility for avant-garde acrylic anymore. If the applicant wants to get abutting to an OE finish, don’t color-sand the paint. Aloof nib any accessory imperfections, afresh you’ll accept added of the branch orange bark look. I like my being to be eye candy, but there are means to aerosol artefact to attending added textured, accord it added orange peel.
Should a chump do any assignment on the car afore carrying it to you?
I would consistently rather booty a car as is, with no assignment from customer. For one thing, alike on a assembly acrylic job the anatomy boutique can attending at console fitment and how the weatherstrip sealed. But if it’s all disassembled, you don’t know.
Now, if you’re attractive at a low-dollar acrylic job, a boutique like MAACO doesn’t do bodywork any cheaper than an boilerplate anatomy shop. So if you’re talking a acrylic job at the low end, the best affair to do is accept aggregate disassembled, aggregate categorical and taped off, all the capital bodywork done. If you do all that and apple-pie it several times, it’s activity to appear out attractive appealing good.
Jason White | Jason White Restorations, Hereford, Tex.
Jason White has been abating beef cars for 21 years. He started out acquirements acrylic and bodywork at a boutique breadth he formed during the day. Afterwards assignment he adequate cars on the ancillary at a boutique at his house. His above absorption has been American beef cars of the 1960s and aboriginal 1970s. He assuredly confused into his own boutique 15 years ago and has been abating beef cars for a active anytime since. His shop, amid in the baby West Texas boondocks of Hereford, is absolutely equipped, including a acrylic booth.
MCR: If you were allotment a boutique to acrylic your car, what are some tips?
White: You appetite to aces a baby shop. You don’t appetite a big automated boutique or a boilerplate boutique because they are primarily blow [repair]. You appetite to acquisition a baby boutique and you appetite to acquisition a affection shop, annihilation added than a massive blow shop.
So the big shops that do late-model blow are a admonishing sign?
Most blow shops appetite to cycle late-models in and out, in and out. They don’t affliction about the cars. They aloof appetite to get that allowance check.
What do you attending for in a boutique to acrylic a beneficiary car?
The boutique should be appropriately able as far as a acrylic berth and tools. The boutique should be apple-pie and organized. If they are still conduct holes and application a accelerate hammer, you don’t appetite to use them. But if they accept avant-garde dent-pullers, that’s what you attending for. If they accept spot-welding equipment, advanced MIG or TIG welders, you appetite to use them. If they’ve got old accessories and it looks like it hasn’t been taken affliction of, afresh they are not activity to booty affliction of your car.
A bedraggled boutique is a admonishing sign?
You don’t appetite to see a agglomeration of being sitting about that looks like it’s been alert to the accurate for a continued time. I’ve had barter appear to me from those shops breadth they absent absolutely a bit of money. They will say, “I gave them so abundant money and they never affected my car.” That’s actual common.
Yes, you should ask around. Analysis for comments on the shop’s Facebook page. You should absolutely acquaintance one of their old barter and ask how the acquaintance was. If the boutique owns some of the cars they adequate and displays them, that’s a acceptable sign.
When Ken Maisano and the MASCAR Classics aggregation started alive on this 1971 Duster, Maisano capital it to be “the best pro-touring 1971 Duster anytime built,” a car that looked like a best Mopar but collection like a aboriginal Challenger. Maybe better.
The Duster was a adequately solid car aback MASCAR started alive on it aftermost summer. Media announcement baldheaded some blight in the attic pans and trunk, which was calmly repaired afore the anatomy was sprayed in B5 Blue. Maisano tells us the Duster’s bodywork and acrylic were accomplished in aloof two weeks. Given the all-hands-on-deck attributes of some of the in-process photos he beatific us, we can see how a accustomed 30-day painting timeline could be aeroembolism in half.
The Duster is powered by a 6.4L Hemi and Tremec T-56 transmission. MASCAR bogus the four-link rearend; the coilover advanced abeyance is from Reilly Motorsports. Central you will acquisition acrimonious and cooled covering seats and a agrarian complete system.
Want to apprentice more? Analysis out the May 2017 affair of Car Craft, which will affection the Duster on its awning and accept a abounding adventure inside.
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