Considering Restoring or Renovating an old, classic car? Be careful. I advise getting a written contract with the garage. You need one.
I know. I needed one twice and guess what? I didn't have one drafted. I learned.
Right now my 1962 MGB is semi-completed and the shop lost half my parts. This was the second time I attempted to get the classic car finished.
The first time cost me more money than the second time. The first time I was simply ripped off. I did receive some decent benefit from the second restoration, but as I mentioned, now I'm hunting for original parts and have buckets full of nuts and bolts.
What did I learn after two mishaps? Got to get a contract in writing. And if the shop owner has a contract, you better have an attorney review it for you. I've seen restoration contracts that are drafted far too favorably for the service provider.
What to think about before you call my office:
1. What exactly do you want to have done to your classic automobile?
2. What happens if unforeseen issues occur, such as rust in the rocker panels?
3. How much will each portion of the project cost?
4. When do you pay? If you pay as work as performed, make sure there are particular jobs that have to be accomplished and approved before payment.
5. Establish timelines for projects to be accomplished. Including penalties and incentives if completed late or early.
6. What happens if the project hits an impasse? What is your exit strategy? Will they put the car back on the road.
7. Establish that a third party may review the work and deem the work satisfactory or not.
8. Will the contract price include parts or are you paying for parts above and beyond the contract? If you pay, make sure the shop provides you a list of parts you anticipate to have to purchase. Expect to buy extra parts as the project proceeds.
In addition, take plenty of photographs before the project goes into the shop, both inside and outside of the car.
Visit the shop on a regular basis. Take photographs of the progress.
Even with these protections, anticipate that the project will cost more than anticipated. It always does.
Call Kirk Sanders at Sanders Law Firm, PLLC to protect your interests and your cars. I've owned MGBs, an MGA, Triumphs (TR6 & Spitfire), BMW 2002 tii and I'm a member of a local Car club, Corsa Rossa. 336-724-4707. Car Clubs are good sources for hearing about other folks restoration war stories before you jump in.