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Hot Rods Current TJ Upholstery Information

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by klawockvet, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

    Well It's kind of sad so many Hamb members have such a poor opinion of
    Tijuana, so when I get a chance, I'll
    Post some pictures.
    I figure pictures are always better than words. And if anybody ever needs some help, my phone number
    Is 619 735 2674.
     
  2. Whether or not you believe Mexico to be dangerous, There is one other thing to keep in mind. You will be crossing an international border. I don’t know about Mexican border police, but I am a former US Customs & Border Protection Officer. Seeing a car cross the border from Mexico into the US with ANY obvious recent alterations...such as brand new upholstery in an old car...is a big red flag for smuggling. As such, that gives all the justification needed for an in depth search of your car...including stripping all that new upholstery out of the car. And NO, we are not responsible for putting it back together when we’re done. Whether anything is found or not. Just sayin’...
     
  3. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,513

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    The company my cousin worked for, transferred him to an office that they had in Mexico. His wife has been a Spanish teacher in the U.S. for 20 years but could not get work in Mexico because she "didn't have the proper requirements". They had Louisiana plates on their car that made them a target. After being stopped by the Mexican police several times, they learned to use the Mexican, "enhanced drivers license". It's a $20 bill, paper clipped to your drivers license. By the way, the company closed the satellite office because of all the nonsense and everyone refused to be relocated.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  4. 32Dan
    Joined: Nov 22, 2017
    Posts: 111

    32Dan
    Member
    from Chino, CA

    Rauls Auto Trim in Ontario does excellent work at a good price. Quick too.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  5. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

    Ok, I took Dave to the Cesar grill, the birthplace of the Cesar salad
    It's located on the bottom floor of
    The Cesar Hotel on revolution ave.
     
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  6. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 346

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    To late. I’m with Miguel at Ceasar’s for dinner. Car will be done tomorrow. I have no worries about TJ. Pictures and details tomorrow. 62C39F5E-5C39-436F-8E37-5CB223831A06.jpeg 0F27CD2D-386D-49BE-89C9-88728E14584D.jpeg 5EDCA1E0-5B77-42A7-BAD5-58E2D50D5FA3.jpeg 7D466EF6-7BB5-4BB5-B879-67A7C0B3D849.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  7. 08590A7C-73A7-40F7-90C3-1D34101AC6CE.jpeg There was a great article in Garage Magazine years ago. They took George Lopez’s Chevy down to TJ to get the interior done...
     
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  8. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

    Caesars is Squeak bells favorite place when comes down to visit me.
    The hotel and Grill was restored to it former glory and is just like it was in the 1930's.
    Thanks to probition, it was the favorite spot for Hollywood elite,boxers, baseball players and Al Copone.
     
  9. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

    Any way , I'll try to turn this thread into a history of Tijuana and a story of its upholstery and body shops.
    I would compare Tijuana to Las Vegas, It's has a rich and colorful history,
    And boring It's not
     
  10. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 346

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have no idea where you were employed but the Mexican and Canadian border crossings that I have been through have mirrors, dogs, X-Ray machines and my experience has been the stations are managed by trained professionals who are polite and would never tear a car apart without some other reasonable and probable cause. The few, like yourself who think you can tear up some innocent persons personal property and get away with it are the ones who really scare me. Yes, I am aware that LEO's have done exactly what you have said and some have gotten way with it but there are others who have lost their jobs over it and those are the ones who are an embarrassment to the honest law enforcement officers as well as the good citizens of this country.
    My experience in crossing the border was that it took about twenty minutes and when the officer asked if I had anything to declare I told her I had nothing but the upholstery and she waved me through. It was the fastest and easiest US border crossing I have ever experienced. I also walked back and forth for three days and the officials were pleasant, professional and courteous.
     
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  11. mopacltd
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 815

    mopacltd
    Member

    1975 was the last time I entered Mexico. And yes, coming back they pulled into tear down and completely striped my truck and did not put it back together. I was a ramp truck car hauler. I sold a Funny Car and delivered it to TJ. The only thing they did not tear down was the drive train. I was glad the truck was full of tools and it took me almost 8 hours to reassemble.
     
  12. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,441

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Last time I was in Mexico was a camping trip to Ensenada in 2005. The 16 year olds (or so they appeared) Federalies at the interior check points with M-16's who spoke as much English as I did Spanish, i.e. not much, were polite and non threatening. I wish I could say as much for the Adam Henry American border patrol agent who inspected my trailer at the San Ysidro point of entry when I returned to the states.
     
  13. Merely presenting a very possible, worst case scenario. As you can see from the response above, it can and does happen.
     
    chopped and loudbang like this.
  14. Yes it does... going both ways; the main reason that I try not to cross the border anymore. It's generally not a fun experience.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  15. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,547

    uncle buck
    Member

    It all starts with respecting the BPO’s and politely answering their questions. They have a job to do. One of the first things I do when pulling up to the officers shack is roll down all my Windows’s they have a good view. Don’t be a smart ass or a jerk. Remember, they have likely seen and heard it all.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  16. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 346

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The original title to this thread was a request for current information on TJ upholstery. In that I said I had a week or two to get my roadster done, so time was of the essence. In fact, time was as important as the cost. I ignored the more obnoxious and ridiculous comments from people who have listened to more BS than facts. I did respond after 20 posts saying I didn’t mind supporting the locals north of the border and asked for recommendations. The one recommendation I got was a possibility except for the time. So the bottom line is the responses to a serious question did not yield a single recommendation for a quality shop in TJ. There were a few posts from people who have some knowledge of the situation there and I appreciate their help. I also appreciate the ones who may believe what they are saying but are a bit misinformed.

    Lets clear up the BS about the dangers of TJ and then I will go on to post some pictures of the job that was done and my experience there. After that I will make a few individual posts showing the pictures Miguel/Magoozi took so he can comment on them and give everyone some historical perspective on TJ upholstery. Tijuana is a large metropolitan city. It has some very nice areas as well as a notorious red light district where drugs and a lot of illegal activity go on day and night. Although I have no desire to visit Zona Norte I would be less afraid of walking down the street there as a tourist than I would to go into the bad neighborhoods in the LA basin. There are an average of 100,000 people a day that cross the San Ysidro border. Just like the traffic north of the border, there are times when the traffic is tolerable and times when it is horrible. You don’t want to be crossing on the weekends.

    So lets get on with the positive that may be of some help to others considering going to TJ for upholstery. As stated earlier, my primary concern was the time involved. I had called around Socal and there were a few shops that could start the job in a week or two but they all said they would need at least a week to finish. So the time involved would have meant leaving the car for over two weeks. My experience with any kind of service work is to double or triple the time originally quoted. Next was the fact that my roadster is a driver. I mean a real driver as in back roads, dirt roads, and even no roads. The paint is over 35 years old and while it still has a shine it has a lot of battle scars. Its not a car that is ready for a 3500 to 6500 upholstery job. That is the range of quotes I got except for one that was 2500. Those quotes were over the phone for the front seat and side panels, nothing else. Sorry folks, but even the bottom end of that stretches my budget to the max.

    I admit I can be a little pig headed but frankly some of the comments to my original post made me so angry that I decided I would go to TJ just to prove them wrong and I think I did. I admit I was nervous. I would have felt better if one of my Mexican friends would have been able to go with me, primarily because of the language barrier, but I decided to go it on my own. There were several posts that anyone going to TJ should pay attention to. It is very important that you have a passport. You will need that to get back into the US. Next you need Mexican insurance. Miguel said that State Farm covers you within 50 miles of the border but my old cars are insured with Hagerty and they do not cover me in Mexico. I went online and found Bajabound. Nice girls on the phone and they fixed me up. It was about 75.00 for three days of 25K coverage. The other advice from this thread was to get some local knowledge. That was the best advice and although I may have been able to get it done by myself it was so much better having a friend like Miguel to help me. I did not know Miguel till I talked to him on the phone before I went down there but he is now on top of my good friends list. I can’t say enough good about him. He is the best of what the HAMB is all about. He is a traditional rod and custom guy who knows his stuff and he has dedicated his life to our hobby. Thirtytwo gave me Magoozi/Miguel’s phone number and I called him last weekend. He has a guy who works in his shop but it would be a long wait till he could even start, so we decided to go to Champions. Miguel offered to meet me at the border and take me to Champions. I headed down to the border and got a room at the Americana Inn in San Ysidro. Its’ a nice motel with a large parking lot with lots of semi’s so there was no problem parking my pickup and trailer. Miguel gave me a call on Tuesday morning and I drove the roadster over the border and followed Miguel through the traffic to Champions. I’m an old guy and the only thing that made me nervous about being in TJ was the traffic. We got to Champions and Miguel negotiated the work but Enrique speaks English and I believe I would have been able to communicate with him on my own but it was sure nice to have Miguel to make sure I got what I wanted. I had decided that I would also get the rumble seat and back interior done as well. I had brought the top and got a good price but the material I wanted would take an extra couple of days so I left it for Miguel’s guy to do at his leisure.

    It was agreed I would need to leave the car over night but they have a secure place off the street and Miguel said not to worry so I didn’t. I spent the day with Miguel at his shop and we went to a great place for lunch and then to a nice hotel. I intended to stay there but when we went back to Champions they had done very little. Miguel got them straightened out but it was evident it would take another day so I had him bring me back to the border so I could get some work done on the US side. Once again I made a quick an easy border crossing. In fact, there was no line and I basically walked through. I took the trolley to the parking lot and went back to the motel. The next day I went back to TJ in the afternoon to check on the car and have dinner with Miguel. Once again, there was no problem on either side with the border officials. The seats were done and they were working on the side panels. I was pleased with the progress. I had dinner and a tour of the respectable part of town with my friend. Ceaser salads have always been a favorite of mine and it was a treat to get an original in a beautiful historic hotel and restaurant. Once again I had a painless quick border crossing.

    Finally on Friday morning I left the truck and trailer at the Palm Ave trolley station where there is plenty of free parking for big rigs. A 2.50 ticket brought me back to the border for a quick crossing where Miguel picked me up and we went to Champions. The car was done but I wanted a roll to cover the wood behind the seat and Enrique agreed to get it done while we had lunch. Miguel took me to the original taco spot and then back to pick up the car. I followed Miguel through the traffic and into the border line. It took about 20 minutes at mid day on Friday to get across the border. When I finally pulled up to the window, I showed my passport and was asked if I had anything to declare. I was prepared to show my receipt and said “just the upholstery”. She waived me through without even looking at the receipt. I was back in the USA with upholstery that is the nicest part of my car except for the engine. The total cost was $1050 and included the front and back seats and all side panels. The job is far superior to what I have in my 40. I couldn’t be happier. The other positive for the trip is that I had an opportunity to see Miguel's shop and the work he has done. Before this trip I would never have considered taking a vehicle to TJ and leaving it for paint and body work. After seeing the work at Miguel's shop I would have no problem with coming south for body, paint and upholstery. In fact, I plan to do that in the future. IMG_4013.jpg IMG_4025.jpg IMG_4026.jpg IMG_4028.jpg

    My advice for other traditional hot rodders who want to go south for the most traditional of all upholstery is to give Magoozi, Axel, or Hombres Ruin a call and get some current information. Decide before you go exactly what you want done. Call ahead and let them know you are coming and what time you expect them to have the job done. Make sure your passport is up to date and have Mexican Insurance. Leave the high dollar jewelry at home, stay in the better areas of TJ, don’t get drunk and act like a jerk and you will have a good time. If you choose to visit the brothels and bars all bets are off. Anyone wanting more specific information is welcome to PM me.
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. Gangrene
    Joined: May 22, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Gangrene
    Member

    Headed to Cabo in the morning hope they dont fill my bag with horse shit!!
     
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  18. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 346

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here is a comparison of the San Ysidro border crossing from years past to today. I'm sure Miguel will respond with some historical comment.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,604

    thirtytwo
    Member

    Glad it worked out for you, I think we need pics of the whole car though!
     
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  20. Wow....$1050....looks great...
     
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  21. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 346

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I guess I should put a build thread together. Here are some current pictures from this afternoon. Next step is a chrome windshield and stanchions, then I'm going to try to get my 35 wire wheels done and drop the back a couple of inches. Like everything in my life, its a work in progress.
    IMG_4032.jpg IMG_4038.jpg


    IMG_4040.jpg
     
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  22. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,547

    uncle buck
    Member

    Looks like you had an overall great experience. Glad it all worked out for you. Thanks for the update. I doubt you would have been to get the same job done for 3 times the price and done in less than 2 -3 weeks around here .


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  23. Gangrene
    Joined: May 22, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Gangrene
    Member

    Man,that came out nice. Beautiful car btw
     
  24. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

  25. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,334

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Wow... a quality job, done in a timely manner, for a reasonable price, minus the horseshit. Maybe the shops in the states should go down there for a quick business lesson on how to treat a customer. Maybe they'd learn that 9mos to a year for a weeks job is a little over the top, and charging 50 to a 100 times more doesn't make a quality job better, it just makes it more expensive to have it done. That's the real definition of horseshit stuffing.
     
  26. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,865

    Gman0046
    Member

    Thanks for an up to date TJ experience. Car looks great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  27. magoozi
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,722

    magoozi
    Member
    from san diego

    The upper picture is the San Ysidro border crossing in the early teens.
    37 hot rod must have worked there when it looked like that.
    The U.S. federal government just spend millions modernising the San Ysidro check point, and added more lanes and state of art equipment.
    So why did they do This? 40 percent of San Diego's economy is sustained by Tijuana residents that cross every day to spend money in the states.
    During the week, after 10 a.m. , the border crossing is pretty good especially since they added 6 new lanes on the left side of the port.
    If you do come down to visit on the weekend ,stay till Monday because Saturday and Sunday the lines are long because of all the Tijuana residents that go shopping to the U.S. and the U.S. citizens and residents that come down to Tijuana to visit their relatives.
     
    Jay71, kidcampbell71 and Special Ed like this.
  28. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,036

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    I`d like to see those 50 to 100 thousand dollar roadster interiors.
     
  29. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,600

    Special Ed
    Member

    [​IMG]
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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