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A Friend's 56J Wrecked While On Test Run

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  • A Friend's 56J Wrecked While On Test Run

    I recently received a call from an old friend/fellow 56J owner in distress. In prep for St Louis, he had transported his car a couple hundred miles to a shop that supposedly specialized in repair of Classics. Long story short, while test driving the car, one of the shop gurus ran into a semi trailer from behind (not due to brake failure).

    He said they also happen to be an auto body shop, and have promised to make his 56J like new again. But he's probably not gonna be taking it to St Louis, as originally planned.

    He advised me the shop may be calling for tech advice (as they had already done a year ago). I advised him as to where to refer the shop for sheet metal, so they do not drag it out by claiming they cannot find parts.

    Sounds like they are kinda evasive as to details of exactly what happened to his car. I suggested he get a copy of the accident report, and then consult an attorney if need be.
    Last edited by JoeHall; 06-01-2015, 04:28 PM.

  • #2
    Test run by test pilot. I would be getting some independent appraisals for the damage, get the cash from the shop and put it in trust. As it is repaired, I would pay them back. I suppose accidents can happen, but accidents of this type should be "evaded", and an explanation should not be "evaded."

    There should also be some compensation for pain and suffering, especially if it was ready to show. I would be very upset.

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    • #3
      He should talk to his insurance company NOW. His insurance will likely pay for the damage repair at a shop of the owner's choosing and collect from the company that did the damage to the car. There is no reason why the owner should be limited to the repairs happening at the same shop that wrecked the car.
      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
        I recently received a call from an old friend/fellow 56J owner in distress. In prep for St Louis, he had transported his car a couple hundred miles to a shop that supposedly specialized in repair of Classics. Long story short, while test driving the car, one of the shop gurus ran into a semi trailer from behind (not due to brake failure).

        He said they also happen to be an auto body shop, and have promised to make his 56J like new again. But he's probably not gonna be taking it to St Louis, as originally planned.

        He advised me the shop may be calling for tech advice (as they had already done a year ago). I advised him as to where to refer the shop for sheet metal, so they do not drag it out by claiming they cannot find parts.

        Sounds like they are kinda evasive as to details of exactly what happened to his car. I suggested he get a copy of the accident report, and then consult an attorney if need be.
        I suggest he call his collision Insurance carrier. Have them appraise the damage, then make a decision on repair shop. His carrier can deal with the shop on reimbursement and keep you out of it. For the most part attorneys don't help much unless there's big bucks for an injury claim. Might actually get in the way of getting his car back quickly. Good luck--I'm not sure I'd let the damaging shop touch my car unless I personally knew them.

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        • #5
          I would get to see it as quickly as possible, document all the damage with photos (and perhaps an independent inspection) and perhaps consult a lawyer about any other steps that might be time-sensitive.

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          • #6
            I wouldn't let the shop who caused the damage touch it. Plus I would ask for a copy of the police report. The whole thing sounds fishy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 58PackardWagon View Post
              I wouldn't let the shop who caused the damage touch it. Plus I would ask for a copy of the police report. The whole thing sounds fishy.
              I agree. How far away is the car. I'd take a lot of pictures and get it away from the guys that wrecked it. I also agree that this sounds fishy. Any reputable shop takes extreme care with customers cars. How do you just happen to run into the rear of a semi?
              Last edited by TWChamp; 06-01-2015, 07:49 PM.

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              • #8
                I agree....something is not right hear

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                • #9
                  Bad news. Hope things are set right.

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                  • #10
                    How much is damaged?
                    Where is your friend located?
                    Where is the shop located?
                    Do not let them straighten the old sheetmetal and Bondo it.
                    Insist on new or rust free original unbondo'd sheet metal.
                    If the car has an original 1956 Hawk hood do not let them replace it with a 1957 or later hood.
                    If your friend is located in the Midwest , let a real expert bring it back to original by contacting Deluxe in West Chicago Il. 630 793 7750.
                    They did many first place restorations on 56J and other Hawks and really know these cars and sources for original parts.

                    Robert Kapteyn

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                    • #11
                      Joe, the owner called me on Saturday & I can help him with the parts he needs.
                      An even worse thing happened to a Packard Hawk in CA several years ago. It was a very nice original car which had just been to a garage for mechanical service incl. new brakes. It then went to a body & paint shop, which was in a hilly area. The young shop porter moved the car & the brake pedal went to the floor. While he was looking for the parking brake pedal with his left foot instead of pulling the handle out with his right hand, he ran into a tree about 25 mph. The shop owner called me after already having called 20 other vendors after speaking with Bob. He was shocked that I had everything he needed at a reasonable price. He drove here from CA to pick the parts up which included hood, bumper, nose cone, core support, lower valance, grill, etc. He then installed them & painted the car. Just because a shop has one idiot working for them does not mean that the management are all crooks or incompetent. An owner DOES expect the management to be open, honest, and communicative, taking responsibility, & dealing in good faith.
                      Barry'd in Studes

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                      • #12
                        A bit of difference between brake failure at a shop and checking whether a car will do 85 in 2nd OD...
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                        • #13
                          Thanks to everyone for all the helpful input. I spoke to the owner again today, and relayed everything to him. I also suggested he come on here and read this thread for himself. He is feeling a little better, since he discovered repair parts are not impossible to find.

                          He is still waiting on a copy of the accident report, but did find out it happened NINE MILES from the shop! It sounds more like someone was out for a joy ride than a test drive.

                          The owner was supposedly on vacation, but has since returned and now pledging to make things right. IMHO, "right" would be to have the car back in the owner's driveway, good or better than before (already immaculate), and in less than one month.
                          Last edited by JoeHall; 06-03-2015, 06:24 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Yes, out for a joy ride & driving like an idiot!
                            I emailed the ins adjuster a list of all needed parts with prices yesterday.
                            Barry'd in Studes

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                              He is still waiting on a copy of the accident report, but did find out it happened NINE MILES from the shop! It sounds more like someone was out for a joy ride than a test drive.
                              Coming or going?
                              Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

                              The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

                              �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

                              For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

                              "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

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