Thursday, February 23, 2012

You Get What You Pay For - A Mustang Update

I haven't written much this winter on the 1:1 scale '65 Mustang project because, well, there hasn't been much to say.

But things that have been simmering for a while sort of reached a boil yesterday afternoon.

As you may recall, I took it out to a shop last fall for an individual to do some body and paint prep work. I found him on Craigslist (oops) and he gave me a good quote (oops again). I worked with him to go over what needed to be done and what didn't need to be done, and ordered a couple thousand dollars in parts and had it shipped directly to him. Big parts - quarters, fenders, things like that. And more.

He got off to a slow start. He got appendicitis. He got kidney stones. Then communication stopped. Nothing. No phone. No email. I'd visit the shop and no one would be there.

I was concerned at this point, but not panicked as I could still see the car through the window and, hey, if he wanted to store it for the winter for me, so be it. I haven't finished the engine rebuild anyway.

Finally I caught up with a guy he sublet to in the back of the shop one day, and he told me the last he heard he had three tumors and was being treated in Lansing. My guess is he didn't always practice the safest auto repair/paint safety procedures. Anyway, I finally did achieve contact with him, he said he was in the hospital, but was due out in a week and hoped to get back to work soon.

Hmmm. OK.

Then yesterday afternoon, I get a call out of the blue from this guy's mom. Yes, his mom. That can never be good. Honest to truth, when she identified herself I thought she was going to tell me the guy died. He's still alive, apparently, but not doing great, and it turns out he doesn't own his building after all and his landlord is evicting him for failure to pay rent. And oh, by the way, everything needs to be cleared out by noon on Saturday.


So some frantic phone calls, I get the guy who helped me haul it out there in the first place to agree to help me get it out on Friday. Which means I'll have to take some time off work, and hope that we really don't get hit with the 4-8 inches of snow they are predicting.

I've already contacted a different outfit that looks like it could be more expensive, but appears reputable. The moral of the story is you get what you pay for. That's one of those fundamentals everyone knows, but we need to be reminded of every now and then. I jumped at a quote lower than expected, tried to help a guy out trying to get a business started in this economy (a credit to him, I thought), and all I have to show for it is I had some extra space in the garage over the past few months to clutter up with other stuff.

Ugh. The 1/25 cars are easier to deal with.

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