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The Car Guys: Paint restoration

This month we will focus on paint. Since we are currently in the process of restoring a ’69 Dodge Charger, we will tell how to balance good quality with an affordable price.

While we will not write a column discussing bodywork, there are three things that a student should know. The body should be straight and clean. No rust is an important factor. Also, bondo can make a restoration a living nightmare.

When we went to interview amateur restorer, Mike Young of Clovis, he showed us both of his muscle cars. Maaco painted one, and the other was by Bruce Williams Paint and Body. Both seemed to have high and low points.

The high point of a Maaco paintjob is the price. The car we saw looked decent and coming in at about $500, it is significantly cheaper than the $2,000 Williams charges. According to Williams, the meticulous care of a Williams paint job will make the car look superb and is definitely worth the consumer’s money.

The main difference between the businesses is that Maaco is a production shop. This means they try and paint as many cars as possible and they finish a car in about a day. If students are tight on cash or want a fast paint job, Maaco is where they should go.

Williams takes days to weeks to complete a paintjob. However, the end result is superb. If students have a pocket full of cash and time is not a factor, going to Williams would be a great investment.

We asked Williams what a student could do at home to help save money when it comes time to paint the car.

“I do not really advise that to someone because in order to do something really right, the work must be done by someone who has had the experience to know what is required for an excellent outcome,” Williams said.

However Michael Murphy from Maaco paint and body disagreed with Williams.

“The more that you do, the less that we have to do,” Murphy said. “If you want to do some prep work, depending on the condition of your car, it could save you from $100 to several hundred dollars. How much you want to participate is how much you want to save.”

We have decided to paint our ’69 Dodge Charger jet-black. We have not yet decided what paint shop we will go to, because we have to wait until our body-work is done.

Next month we will discuss how to rebuild an engine. We will take students step by step through the pain and pleasure of making an engine run and perform well.

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