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Finally found a body shop for the Golden Hawk

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  • Finally found a body shop for the Golden Hawk

    After body shop prices of $13000.00 and $8500.00, met with a guy on Saturday that gave me a price of $5,000-$6,000, all bodywork and paint included. His work has been highly recommended by several people. Guaranteed to be finished in six weeks. My parents' anniversary is June 6, so the hawk will be presentable by then. Not finished, but presentable. May will be spent on the engine, then after gifting, helping dad finish it.

  • #2
    Visit EVERY week! Participate as much as possible! Just saying!
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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    • #3
      Before you sign a repair order put in it a penalty clause. Otherwise there is no guarantee it will be done, if ever.
      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
      64 Zip Van
      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
        Visit EVERY week! Participate as much as possible! Just saying!
        How true...........Every chance you can get ..be there.
        You will find a ton of "little things" that will pop up during the process.
        Take it from one who has been there and done that.
        ......Just remember.......Studebakers hold their water really well.
        If a timing schedule is a factor..........I will guarantee you will be unhappy with the results.......

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        • #5
          Wise words...
          My brother is still missing his AMX's 390, sent away for a rebuild. Shop closed. No one seems to know where the owner is, or the inventory/orders he had on hand.

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          • #6
            You may may want to put the qoute in writing. With all the "little unexpected things" I found that my final bill addes up to several thousand more. Just saying.....
            sigpic

            Packardbakerly,
            J.D.

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            • #7
              You guys are sure full of doom and gloom. There are plenty of shops that do exactly what they say and when they say. And this one comes highly recommended.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jnormanh View Post
                You guys are sure full of doom and gloom. There are plenty of shops that do exactly what they say and when they say. And this one comes highly recommended.
                I guess this comes with a lot of experience by this group. My own tale of woe is with my 1957 Golden Hawk. It was in a professional shop. The mechanical parts were done and all of the body and interior were with the car. It was supposed to be finished in three months. Even though I paid installments, it wasn't finished in nine years.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                • #9
                  Well...some of you know I spent a career selling finishing equipment/systems, tools of the trade, etc. Some on our forum and members of the SDC are true body and restoration craftsmen. Except for a few exceptions...I refused to sell to "Body shops." Although there are some common tasks of the profession, I see body-men as "artists." Rarely, will you see artists follow the same techniques, practices, and procedures to achieve the desired results.

                  I learned, early on, to stick to large industrial entities, with assembly lines, automation, and in many cases...written guidelines and procedures. Body shops are usually rather small, few employees (who buy their own tools), and are highly independent (interpret "difficult"), self assured, etc. You can bet, for the most part, if something goes wrong, it is always the fault of the equipment, not the operator. If there's something they don't already know, rare is the time they'll admit it. (I have to look in the mirror as I write this.) They usually can't qualify for credit, but want everything at half price with 90 day terms. Most, make their money repairing "fender-bender" damage in cooperation with a few close relationships with insurance claims representatives.

                  The vintage "restoration" project, is usually a side project. My body shop friends were the few that I was able to "barter" favors with...like finding parts for their favorite obsolete spray gun, supplying booth filters, or allowing them to buy a couple of sanders at the same price as the nearby company that bought them by the pallet. In exchange, I could get the use of the spray booth at night to paint one of my cars, or have them drop by my home and give me pointers as I was doing my own body work and prep.

                  I am a bit skeptical of the shop that will give a set price for restoration work. Now, if it is merely a paint prep/spray job...perhaps OK. But, if it involves removing fenders, stripping, working dents, filling holes, prepping, and paint...that is a whole nuther ballgame. You never know how to "cost" a job, till you know what you have to work with. I've known some pretty good automotive "artist" to go bankrupt trying to keep to "fixed" pricing. Being a good skilled craftsman and a good businessman are two entirely different things.

                  In these small shops...most are only one illness, or accident recovery away from business disaster. I hate to add to the gloom and doom direction that this thread has taken, but as long as you adjust your expectations to the reality of possibilities...this could turn out to be a great deal. I wish you, your body shop, and your family the very best.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If the shop is local and you can visit it on a regular basis, then I'd let them have a shot.

                    It seems that the tales of woe on the forum come from folks that have left their cars and expected to come back to it in finished condition. In my small corner of the world, there are any number of folks that do body work at prices lower than "professional" shops. They usually are one man or close to it operations that do durn nice work. Not a lot of overhead, so they continue in business and make a living. I can find probably three "shops" within ten miles of my house that I'd trust to finish my 74.

                    I think that "trust but verify" is the operative term here. Visit often and keep your ear to the ground. I've used several of them over the years and have no complaints but I also live in the area and generally know folks that know folks so I generally can find out the ones that aren't trustworthy.

                    Bob
                    , ,

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                    • #11
                      Just remember a person can "SAY" anything they want, but to accomplish it on time AND on budget still may not happen and certainly not, if not in writing.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by studegary View Post
                        I guess this comes with a lot of experience by this group. My own tale of woe is with my 1957 Golden Hawk. It was in a professional shop. The mechanical parts were done and all of the body and interior were with the car. It was supposed to be finished in three months. Even though I paid installments, it wasn't finished in nine years.
                        By definition that was not a "professional" shop.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No circumstances or shops are ever equal, Jeff. Best advice is to stay involved.
                          Insurance jobs are quick easy money and restorations can tend to be pushed to second class steerage.
                          I once sent a '60 convertible to a "reputable" body shop about 160 miles from me. When I got it back it looked GREAT! But, there were surfaces that required no attention that received some; areas that needed major structure attention that received Tiger Hair, etc.
                          It was not long before I realized I could have done better myself, with patience and facilities.
                          A few years later I put my '53 in to a shop that encouraged me to be there as often as possible; even contribute sweat equity!
                          The '53 is a source of great joy. The '60 convertible has joined its other minerals with the earth.
                          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                          sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This guy rode with me on a Saturday to go look at the car. He spent over an hour looking at it and figuring time and cost. Turns out we have several common friends. His shop is only 6 miles away, so I will be visiting regularly. I will post weekly pictures to get everyones' opinion. Thanks for all the advice. Exciting times.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rocket3pilot View Post
                              This guy rode with me on a Saturday to go look at the car. He spent over an hour looking at it and figuring time and cost. Turns out we have several common friends. His shop is only 6 miles away, so I will be visiting regularly. I will post weekly pictures to get everyones' opinion. Thanks for all the advice. Exciting times.
                              "All the above" sounds promising, Mark. Best wishes, and do keep us posted. BP
                              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                              Ayn Rand:
                              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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