As everyone says, the typical body shop today is all about insurance claims.
That's where the big money is and there's lot of competition amongst them so
they won't take the time to bother with a time sink like a Spitfire.
There's an article in this month's Ford & Mustang magazine that gives a
pretty good description of how to do your own body prep and then take it to
an Earl Scheib-type paint shop that will simply spray the paint. They use
synthetic enamel which drys slow, but is pretty foolproof if you have the
equipment they have. I imagine that you can also pay more for better versions
of synthetic enamels at the same kind of
People who like to DIY this step in their garage will probably choose acrylic
lacquer which lays down pretty good with amateur equipment and dries fast.
But it requires at least 4 coats with a thorough sand and buff process
between each coat. It is also a good way to speckle everything in your
garage, including your lungs. Results can be gorgeous, or not.
I did the lacquer approach on my Alfa way back when and got great results,
but it took six months of work, heavy on the elbow grease.
The HP Book "Paint & Body Handbook" gives a great overview of the many
variations on these two approaches.
The idea of taking it to Tijuana is intriguing, but, if they screw it up....
I'm nearing the paint step this Summer and I'd appreciate hearing about any
particularily successful paint job stories that anyone on the list can