I certainly appreciate the time and effort you have put into your Spit. I
have been following your saga since you bought the first beast and turned
around and sold it.
Don't get down on the body shops. They are being candid with you. Unless
you have done bodywork the right way you don't know how time consuming and
expensive it is. Shops don't like to do a half-ass job, as your car later
will speak to the quality of work they do. I have a good friend that does
both restoration and collision repair. They are not the same in terms of
cost, time, and effort. They have trained eyes that see well beyond your
so-called rust bubbles. Trust me it is like opening a can of worms.
I am attorney by trade but I have done several prize winning restoration
projects. Using a MIG welder (don't use an arc welder you will warp
everything) a good air compression 3-4 HP with 30-60 gallon tank, some
decent air/hand tools, and a good mentor you can do it yourself. The first
couple of cars won't be perfect but you will get after about three. I know
you have son a maybe it is something now or later he might have an interest
in helping you with. For about 20 years I have owned English cars. I have
been lucky in the past to find some great mentors.
I would like to help you
Dayton J. Carpenter, Esq.
President of International Business and Legal Affairs
Foundsoft Science & Technology Group
12 F Office Plaza World Trade Centre Zhejiang
15 Shuguang Road
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 310007
Tele: 86-571-795-0135 ext 8011
Fax: 86 571-795-0137
>From: "Jeff McNeal" <email@example.com>
>Reply-To: "Jeff McNeal" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "Spitfire List" <email@example.com>
>Subject: LBC prejuduce sure stings... (long)
>Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 16:00:00 -0800
>High RPM's or not, I braved the freeway for the first time this afternoon
>my car (without a rolllbar, even!) to get an estimate for the body work
>I want to have done.
>The car did just fine, but due to my concerns about the revs, I kept it
>under 65 MPH, driving in the slow lane at about 60 MPH for the most part.
>The wind in my hair on this beautiful day felt awesome.
>I pulled into a body shop recommended to me by the guys who mounted and
>balanced my wire wheels. The owner wasn't around, but one of his employees
>(the painter) came out with a big grin on his face and regaled me with
>stories about the Triumph Spitfire his buddy used to have in 1972. This
>obviously appreciated the car and asked to see under the bonnet. He felt
>confident that they could do a great job prepping the car for me. Another
>employeed ambled out and stood there staring at the car for awhile. I went
>ahead and left my name and number and left -- I had to stop at NAPA up the
>street to buy some brake cleaner anyway. Perhaps when I came back on my
>return trip, the owner would be back to give me an estimate.
>Well, I was glad to discover that he was back and he sort of grumbled
>because he was trying to eat the lunch he'd just gone out to get and cut me
>off in mid-sentence after asking me what I wanted done to walk back inside
>and take care of some other business. Not a good sign. He emerged from
>office a minute or two later. "I wouldn't be interested in touching this
>car", he said brusquely. I was so shocked and dumbfounded that I just said
>"fine", got in and drove off. I stopped at two more body shops. One of
>them was called "European Auto Body" -- I figured that they wouldn't be
>interested either, given all the crunched Mercedes Benz scattered around in
>their lot. The lady sneered over the desk in the office after I asked if
>they worked on British cars, being as how they were European and all...
>"What year is it?", she offered. "1967", said. "Sorry, we can't do it."
>This time I asked "Why not? Parts are readily available!" The best she
>could come up with was "We just don't work on cars that old". I asked her
>for a suggestion and she mentioned a third shop around the corner.
>The third shop owner wasn't as curt or rude as the first two, but he was
>clearly uninterested. "If you can even find someone to do this, it's going
>to cost you ten grand", he said. (ten grand!!??) He mentioned an "Aussie"
>in a nearby town that does "good work" and might be able to help, but he
>couldn't tell me his name or the name of his shop.
>Three strikes. Arc welding and body shaping are NOT two skills I am
>interested in acquiring, and it pisses me off (sorry) that people who are
>supposed to be in the business of fixing cars can act so damned particular.
>Anyway, as I was driving my car on the freeway over the Lake Hodges bridge,
>watching the sun glinting off the water, my disappointment was tempered in
>the knowledge that a few rust bubbles notwithstanding -- I can still enjoy
>the pleasure of driving my car. But it's sure frustrating to want to spend
>the money to do things right and find that you just can't find anyone
>willing to help. Sure, there are other body shops around and next time
>call first. I'm sure I can find SOMEONE who will help, but for right now,
>feel pretty dejected.
>Any listers in San Diego with a MIG welder and the skill to use it looking
>to make a few bucks in my garage in their spare time? By hook or crook, I
>WILL restore this car. Has anyone else run up against local resistance to
>body work like this? And if you'd seen my car, you KNOW it's not even a
>basket case or anything! What's WRONG with these people!!??
>Jeff in San Diego
>'67 RHD Spitfire Mk3 aka "Mrs. Jones"