I spend a lot of time talking about the restoration of your cars, and instructing you how to do it so you can save money, and not have to let your car rot in the elements of the weather, but in this article I’m going to turn the corner, and chat about how you can locate a good shop to do the work for you.
If you’d like to take your car to a shop to get it restored, but you just don’t know where to start, I’m going to try to help you with your hunt for a good shop, and with that we’ll start with the shop’s reputation in the industry, now obviously the shop owner will always brag up his own shop.
So now that you have located a shop, how do you know that they do the kind of high quality work that you want on your car, if your actually at the shop, one of the first things you should do is ask the owner for a list of references of customer that have had car worked on by them, most reputable shops will be glad to provide you with a list of references.
If the shop doesn’t want to provide you with the list of customer references, that should turn on a big giant red line for you, but references aren’t the whole picture, take a tour of the shop, and look at the work being done at that particular shop, ask the owner if they have ever restored your particular car.
Look at how they keep the shop, is it clean, neat, and tidy, a real shop should always look the part, obviously where their doing work on the cars, the shop will be dirty, and that just means that the shop is busy, this is a sign that they do good work also, usually good shops are always busy, with projects that re in the shop, and project that are waiting to get in the shop.
Have the owner of the shop show you some pictures of cars that his shop has restored in the past, an owner should be proud of his shop, he should love it, and he should let a potential customer know how proud he is of his shop, and the work that has been done there, but by all rights should not be cocky about it.
The owner should love old cars, and a restoration should not seem like a hardship for him, he should enjoy talking to you about your car, he should be in touch with the car community in his city, he should welcome your business, and love your car, as not just another job, but as if it were his own car, and should pour his shop’s heart and soul in to the car.
Most shops don’t do estimates on restoration work, because they are in business to make money, and promote their shops reputation, in most cases a shop would have you sign a contract to restore your car, and this contract would tell you how payment is expected to be done by you on your car, and what is expected of the shop as far as the restoration of your car.
The contract should cover timely completion of the restoration project, the quality of work that the shop is to perform, it should cover added time for parts locating, if your car is difficult to locate parts for, you should read any contract very carefully before you sign it, if you have questions about it, ask the owner to explain what that area of the contract means.
Remember the contract should cover every aspect of what’s expected of you, and what the shop’s responsibilities are, this will make the entire job go smoother, this way the shop won’t be trying to squeeze you for extra money, and you won’t try to pull the wool over the shop’s eyes, a contract is a good way to do business with respect to a classic car restoration.