Paint shop jail! Should I bail?


Nov 3, 2009
Thunder Bay, Ont. Canada
OK, I need some advice. I dropped off my 71 at the paint shop on July 5th of this year. The shop owner and I agreed (on paper) that he would finish final bodywork and paint the car within 60 days. I gave a down payment of $1500 to get things rolling. The remaining $3500 would be due after the job is finished.
Very little has been done to my car. The whole car has been sanded and that's about it. It has been over 90 days and all I get is excuses. It looks like he is having trouble keeping employees and maybe even keeping the doors open. My car is covered in body shop dust inside and out. My interior is brand new and now covered in thick dust. The engine is also covered in dust. They pulled the rear windshield off for paint and did not bother to cover it. Only one employee remains and is doing all the shop work.
My worry is that his shop is going under and that I will show up one day to find the place permanently locked and closed and my car will be trapped in red tape and court cases.
Should I just cut my losses and go get my car? Do I trust that he will finish the job? I check on the car twice a week and I get stories about how they are "about to start working on it" but that never happens. The owner is a poor communicator who avoids me and is never at the shop. He is going through a divorce and I'm worried that my car is just not a priority anymore (if it ever was).
I understand that I am getting a good price on the work and I understand that some people wait much longer to get their cars back but I don't want to ignore red flags that can be trouble if I wait. I have heard horror stories about cars getting stripped for parts and cars getting stolen or sold...
What should I do?
View attachment 148357
If all you say is true, get your car out of there.

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