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Projects Building the car of your dreams ain't always a walk in the park.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, May 15, 2020.

  1. I had a conversation with a fellow Tri-City Rod & Custom club member last night and he was telling me about a miscommunication with his painter about painting his 54 Studebaker and the interior trim was painted the wrong color, they both debated who was at fault.

    Unfortunately, when we are unable to do every part of the building process we turn to professionals in their given field, these kind of things happen, it's just a matter of keeping your wit's and staying calm.

    I had a similar thing happen after I sought out the 2nd painter for the Ranch Wagon.

    This is what the car looked like when I took it to the painter.

    We discussed where and how the tutone colors were to be applied and a few weeks later I got a call to come look at the car and it was ready for me to pick it up.

    I got Brenda from her shop and drove to the painters to see what we had been waiting for the past 3 years to see - PAINT.

    Upon arrival Brenda said, 'That's not right" and she was visibly upset.


    It seems the painter and I had a huge miscommunication and it only took me seconds to point it out, he got defensive and said, "I painted it exactly like you said",

    Fortunately, I had the copy of the drawing we made a few months earlier and it had his signature on it and I had given him the original, he then realized he was in error, he said he lost the paper but thought the car was painted like Chevrolet's of that time period.

    I walked over the the cabinet where he stores his paint and reached in and got his copy from where I saw him put it, he agreed it was his mistake but tried to talk Brenda into leaving it painted that way, she wasn't going to have it and he agreed to make it right.

    A couple of weeks later I picked the car up painted correctly.

    How about you guys? what went wrong with your build? HRP


    As it sets today.

    Last edited: May 15, 2020
    warbird1, Okie Pete, LAROKE and 13 others like this.
  2. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,349

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I do everything myself and I still have miscommunications sometimes! :D
  3. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 642

    from so cal

    Eastwood’s sound deadener. [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    loudbang and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,350


    Mr. Murphy generally hangs around my place when I'm working cars, and makes sure that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But I don't farm out much work, so I usually blame myself.

    for example, I pulled the fresh engine out of the bread truck this morning, I get to put another new cam and lifters in it. Ugh.
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  5. Jim, I do most of the work but I have never professed to be a painter, oh yeah, I can spray primer, I cut my teeth on primer but to lay down a nice paint job, no way. :D HRP
  6. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,887


    Agree-I sabotage myself every now and then. No one else to blame. Maybe cause at 77 I'm kinda forgetful? Every once in a while I paint myself in the corner but still carry on until project is done correctly. The difference is that when I was younger I would just dive in and go for it-now I sit back and analyze things a bit beforehand then proceed.
  7. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 538


    Yep, been there, done that. But these days I am finding that most of my mistakes are self-inflicted.
  8. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,508

    oldiron 440

    I've been told that I'm the worst person to work for and I have to agree...:)
  9. Since I’m too cheap to pay someone, all miscommunications occur between me, myself and I. I’ve begun planning to do everything at least twice, if It works the first time it’s a bonus.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  10. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,887


    Lots of good comments. Example- a friend wants me to change the coils on his 56 for him. There was a time that I would jump on it with jacks, jackstands some chains and go for it. Now it's something I'm not crazy about tackling. Don't want to get whacked by a coil spring.
  11. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,523

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I've been really luck. The few things I've hired out to be done have either been done exactly as I asked, or if they varied from the plan, they actually did something a little bit nicer than I was asking for,

    As its been said many times, for many professions. See their work they've done before you, talk to prior customers. See what others have to say. Anyone can make a nice portfolio, but it might not even be their work they are showing off. Im far from the best pinstriper in the world, but I've caught others using photos of my work in their portfolios, some were too lazy to even crop my signature off!
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,616

    from IDAHO

    The Shop Floor Seems To Be A Long Way 44143077_10214290359877115_7278050888864759808_n.jpg Down There Now But Once There Was A Time...
  13. As you can plainly see the painter did excellent work and I have no problem recommending him to others. HRP
  14. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    from Oregon

    You and me both.:D
  15. I like the first version better.
  16. Boy, it that a true story.… A survivor of back surgery, it took me a while to figure out I now have a very limited number of 'bend-overs' available on any given day. Exceed that number at my peril...
  17. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,665

    jimmy six

    Hotrod—-you and Brenda were right. Perfect for your Ranch wagon. The painters way was wrong...and he had an easy fix too with the exception of leaning over and the rub out..
  18. You think like the painter, he thought Chevy had it right, Brenda had been around the car her entire life and she was adamant about painting it back how she remembered it. HRP
  19. Brenda was right to insist. You see this a lot; owners who decide to do 'something different' with paint without thinking about how that will effect the visual proportions of the car. You can bet the factory stylists spent a lot of time thinking about it. Same thing goes for color choices. Just because a color is your 'favorite' doesn't always mean it will look good on a specific car. I can't tell you how many cars I looked at when searching for my avatar that got no more than a glance because of color choice/layout. I ended up with 'resale red' not because I particularly liked it, but because it was the least objectionable choice among the cars I looked at that had the other things I was after.
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,350


    Fortunately, I'm over needing my cars to have nicer paint than I can do myself. And one of them ended up on the cover of Hot Rod, orange peel and I guess it's OK in the end!
    RICH B, lilmann, ffr1222k and 9 others like this.
  21. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,573

    from PNW

    Seems body shops are the worse to deal with. Dealt with quite a few over the years, some great, some not so. If I don't get what I asked for, I don't pay. If I get more than I asked for, and the bill stayed the same, I pay more. If I don't get the car back on the agreed date, there will be a late payment penalty. If they can't give a completion date, I find one that will. Excuses and bullshit fall on deaf ears. Years ago I had a couple kids chase me down, begging to paint one of my cars. They were starting out, and wanted the exposure. I agreed, told them the color, let them set the completion date, and settled on a price. I explained the rules, about getting what I asked for, and getting it on time. They agreed. I get a call on the due date to come pick up the car. They roll out a perfect, harvest gold 1964 El Camino. I say "nice car, but where's my black 64 El Camino?" The look on their faces was priceless. Their first job in their new business was going to be a total loss. I covered the cost of the materials, and promised not to tell people they didn't charge for labor. Gotta hand it to 'em, they didn't whine, or even try to come up with a bullshit excuse. They learned from their mistake, and in the long run, profited from it. Between me and my buddies, we probably kept their doors open for the first three years, till they got their reputation established.
    loudbang, Desoto291Hemi, clem and 2 others like this.
  22. And your car deserved the recognition, there was a lot more than the paint that made the car a magazine cover standout.

    The paint on my cars has always been unimportant and for the most part unfinished, the wagon was a labor of love for my wife and the long family history, I wanted it built to the best of my ability, therefore the paint and interior had to be nice. HRP
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,350


    Yes, it was worth the effort on that one!
  24. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,698

    from Minnesota

    Had a '55 painted by a 'old school' painter that came highly recommended. In his late 60's. His body prep work was awesome. When it came to getting the paint I had a chart with me showing the factory colors I wanted the car painted. 2 tone job. He said he didn't need the chart(with Ditzler paint codes) as he blended his own and could get closer. Uneasy about his words I paid for the body work and we agreed I would pay for the paint and labor when I picked up the car.
    Went to pick it and as I had feared it was all wrong. Looked fantastic...super deep and gorgeous BUT refridgerator white and apple green were not the colors I chose. No words were spoken as I loaded the car on the trailer and I looked at him and he admitted he screwed up. He said not to worry about the paint cost but would like something for his time painting. Gave him a few bucks and dropped the car off at another painter who could lay it on nicely but was a lousy body guy. In the end I got my Ivory over turquiose.
  25. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,054

    Jalopy Joker

    I am positive that I wanted my finished project to look like $1,000,000 - so,I paid cash up front 1 million (Small).jpg 20200429_131232.jpg the builder said that he did the best he could with my payment -but, I am still upside down with the deal
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  26. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,257

    from Berry, AL

    I've always been a low budget builder, had to do most everything myself. The learning curve took longer on some things than others. I don't mind paint and body work, I'm not the best, but my stuff is presentable. Engine work isn't bad, neither is suspension. I've even put in a couple of headliners, just never have sewn up any seats or panels, yet that is, might try it one day. One thing I will not do though is transmission repair, I just don't feel comfortable enough to try it. I watched a video of the tear down of a transmission like mine, that was enough to make my decision not to mess with it, take it to a pro. A man has to know his limits, and that is mine.....
  27. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,152


    Do most everything myself, sometimes more than once or twice. I just had a bad engine deal. Cost way more than it should have. Then the transmission went to shop at same time. 9 weeks later and installing twice plus rebuild twice i will never have anyone work on my stuff.
    I built my house , all of it. Engines just seem better to the pro's. I don't have the tools for it plus machine work. Transmission i have done just not overdrive. I will learn to do both or buy ones already done and with warranty. Engine will be broke in with dyno results.
    Bad deal on the paint. glad you worked it out. I'm still learning to paint.
  28. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,836

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Your car turned out sweet.
    On the rare occasion I do have someone else do any work (upholstery, plating) I explain my expectations, leaving no doubt what I want the end result to be..I'm convinced they are only half listening, too overwhelmed to stay focused on the task, or, are only capable of mediocre work with long wait times.
    Makes me wonder if I expect too much..but rule that out as I'm not asking for Riddler results, or next day service.
    For my peace of mind, I'll continue doing the majority of the work myself.
    Service as it is these days, makes a good argument for buying a finished car.
  29. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,573

    Staff Member

    When I built my bubbletop car the Futurian, I wanted to do it just like Roth did with vermiculite and plaster. I built the chassis, covered it with painters poly and started piling newspaper plaster spitwads on it. then cheesegrater files and grinders to shape it. I got the drivers side pretty much how I wanted it and moved on to the pass side with cardboard profile templates and measuring I spent way too long trying to get it symmetrical and the plaster must have dried too much or something. The entire passenger side fell off the car and broke into small pieces.... I started over and hurried this time . there are plenty of things that got done more than once on this car. It took 5 attempts to blow a nice symmetrical bubbletop . plaster1.JPG plaster2.JPG plaster5.JPG plaster4.JPG futu.JPG
  30. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,880


    Did they ever say what happened. Gold or Black a big difference.

    "Remember what color he said" .......... harvest gold just doesnt pop in your head

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