It can be a difficult thing to find a shop that you can trust to build your classic car the right way. There are a lot of shop owners out there with different ideas of what a trustworthy shop is. My idea of is quite simple give the customer the highest quality work possible, and make their car perfect when it's done.
Obviously you need to listen to their concerns about the car and give them what they want. I know that this can be very hard to do, but it is the job of any shop to make the customer happy. There are a lot of way to do that but the best way is to listen to them.
The people that restore these cars expect perfection, and they are spending a lot of money to get it. An average custom car or restoration can easily exceed $70,000 and usually does. That is a boat load of money.
Now for that meat and potatoes of this article. If you're a customer looking for a high quality shop first you should look at what past customers are saying about that shop. You need to use discretion here because some customers are just vindictive and have nothing good to say.
So you should weigh the good against the bad. Most shops that practice high quality restoration work don't have a lot of customers that are saying bad things about them. But we are still human beings and accidents will happen, but no shop should charge you for an accident.
A shop owner who takes pride in his shop and keeps it clean and nice looking probably does high quality work, but make sure that you talk to the owner and see what vibe you get form him. Owners are business men who just happen to love cars, and you should get that feeling.
You want them to be concerned about their business and love the cars at the same time. If the owner is concerned about his business he will make sure that the shop always does the highest quality work that it possibly can.
Take a look at the people who work for the shop. If you are constantly hearing them bitch about the cars and the people that own them you should not have that shop work on your car because these are the same people that will be building your car.
You are trusting your classic car to these people and if they don't like working on it they won't do good work. You should always get references from people who have had work done by that shop in the past. It might be just a bad day that they are having.
Keep in mind that some employees just like to bitch, and they do such good work the owner doesn't thinks that the shop can afford to get rid of them. It's not rocket science you just need to pay attention to whats going on around the shop.
If you do these things you should be able to find a great shop to restore your classic car or build you a hot rod. In the end it all comes down to how you research the shop before you leave your car to them. Enjoy you classic car, and have fun building it.
I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models.
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