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Re: Cry for (body shop) help!

Hal Patnaik wrote:

> My '66 Fastback is in sore need of some body work, and the problem is that
> I'm running out of time to get it done before I need to rely on the car as
> my daily driver. I've already stripped off most of the fenders, trim,
> headlights, etc. so that I've got a car that is basically a shell and a
> garage full of body parts.
> Can anyone recommend a good body shop in the San Jose area (Silicon
> Valley)?
> To top things off, the car isn't exactly drivable right now. I will
> probably need to tow it wherever it needs to go. I could probably get it
> running even though I'm a newbie -- I think I just need to get the carbs
> balanced. The carbs, air filter, linkage rod, etc. were all removed and
> just need to be put back on and balanced.
> The bigger problem is the body work. I don't want to just put all the stuff
> back on and start driving it or I'll never get it fixed up.
> I tried "Just Bugs" in San Jose, but the owner doesn't seem interested in
> my business -- he said he can't get to it for a couple of months. Any other
> suggestions? Other body shops that I've tried (i.e. Space Auto Body) don't
> give me a real comfortable feeling that they'll do a quality job, and many
> of them give me the impression that (hey, it's just an old Volkswagen -- do
> you really want to spend money fixing it up?).
> Also, what have paint jobs and minor dent/rust repairs been running other
> people on the list? Should I expect to spend in the ballpart of $1,000 or
> $2,000 or $5,000 or (gulp) $8,000?
> Any thoughts, suggestions, pointers, or comments are *greatly* appreciated.

There is absolutely no way anyone on the list can give you an accurate estimate
of what it will cost to perform the body work on your car.  Only the person
doing the work can do that.

I've seen many, many horror stories of people that have taken their car to a
body shop and been either completely ripped-off, e.g. taking their money up
front and doing no work or even taking your money, dissassembling the car to
where it can't be moved and  leaving the car outside to accumulate rust and
never doing any work.

What ever you do, don't give the shop any money up front. A quality shop won't
ask for any. Get the estimate in writing and make the shop put on the estimate
when the repairs will be completed. Ask for references and "check them out". It
is also better to have a couple of references that the shop didn't supply.

Don't take the lowest estimate. The lower the cost for body work, the more
corners are cut and the lower the quality of the materials that will be used.
If you can afford it, choose a shop that specializes in VW's. It shouldn't be
hard to find one on the left coast.

Good luck and be careful!

Steve B.

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