Paint shop jail! Should I bail?


New Member
Sep 7, 2022
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?
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I agree get your car before they trash the interior and you have to replace it again so sad to hear that you are going through the headache good luck but I do have to admit that if they would do the work the price is definitely right sad to see such a beauty sitting like that.... Good luck


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
Gilbert, AZ
Do it! Do it! I feel your pain. Don't forget to let us know what you find tomorrow. I don't have a good feeling.


Veteran Member
Jan 22, 2019
this happened to me on my last build....gave 4k deposit........stated 2 months......5 months later, I have a tub that is in primer......showed up unannounced, with trailer in tow. Had a buddy stand next to him as I collect all my stuff and what i considered 4k dollars worth of tools and goods from his shop while he watched....turned to be a big pill head tweaker. grab your stuff and cut your losses. I would never stand for crap like this, and HATE to see it happen to anyone else. 5k for painbt may have been the first clue. friggin shop is a wreck in the first pic!!


Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2014
Mobile, AL
I went over there yesterday with my 2 boys. Clear progress is being made, although at a snail's pace. I spoke to the guy doing the work, who is a nice guy. He showed me where he has been stripping the roof and the hood and putting ospho on some areas of the quarter. I have said on more than one occasion that I am not in a rush but I want to see clear progress being made and that is what I am seeing. Lots of other insurance work being done so I guess that is a good sign. I will keep looking in twice a week. Thank you to all of you giving me advice and letting me know about your experiences....It is keeping me vigilant. We are slowly moving in the right direction..
Meanwhile I have been enjoying the free space in the garage to work on my 69 convertible...


Veteran Member
Jan 22, 2019
Well, it is a well known fact that insurance jobs bring in the big coin and small paint jobs keep the appeal. Glad to hear it is working out. This is the stage im at so I am right behind you, with my painter that I have known since 1979


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