Having followed up with the vehicle restorer I had spent so much time tracking down, and diligently taking pictures, of every ding, scrape and smear of rust at his request. Then mailing him said pictures and descriptions as requested. I finally reached the point at which I thought we needed a proper chat about schedules, time scales and costs. I got costs with no trouble at all. However (and I was cross about this ... not the reason, but the outcome), our restorer man is going through the adoption process, this is tying him up and he is not taking on anymore work this year ... unless he can find someone to take on a full time role (he is advertising for a semi retired individual on a part time basis, but that’s a long shot and I don’t live in hope of a return call anytime soon).
This pisses me of for one reason and one reason only, he could have told me two weeks ago. In which case I would have kept on looking for body workers, with facilities large enough for a van and a real desire to do the work other than “it pays the bills” or “it’s all I’m trained for”. As with all things it’s got to be someone who loves what they do and requires the work because they need the challenge and or satisfaction of doing it.
It’s not that vehicle painters are hard to find, they are easy enough to track down in the yellow pages, but if you look, and I have, you find two types. Crash repairers ... in and out high turn over, like Chips Away on steroids; a bit soulless and cost driven. And then there are the specialists ... takes a year to get sorted, costs and arm and a leg, and is the province of the Porsche, Aston and Ferrari driver. I need someone in between (that’s someone in between, with a big workshop), it’s like groundhog year ... need a workshop need it big.
I could of course, (given that the rust I need dealing with is hidden ... do it myself to a point), but I’ve been down that road years ago with a Cortina Mk5, an Escort Mk2 and a Triumph Herald. It’s a slog if you only have an hour here there. So as much as I’d like to wait to get the bodywork done by the guy I’ve already found, logistically it not possible. I’d have to wait until September at the earliest to get the rust sorted and I’d have to defer the internal fit out until at least then, or beyond.
So this evening I shall be on Yell.com looking for body workers in or around Essex with a large workshop reasonable rates and obvious signs of a little passion.
So until next time, ttfn.