I took Pearline to a couple of body shops in the area. A couple flat refused to even consider the job because they only do insurance work. One of these people said my car isn’t in her software, so she would have no idea how to price it. I thought that was strange, but I didn’t argue.
One of the body shops, which I’ve used in the past, spent 30 minutes going over her in great detail. He got on his knees and inspected every inch, top and bottom. Then he said “you’re not going to like this”. I told him I wasn’t looking to spend $10,000 on the body work, so he sent me a quote for $9,968. I took that as his way of saying he didn’t want the job. He replied they just finished a 1955 Chevrolet Belair and billed the owner $35,000.
Another body shop owner didn’t get out of his chair to look at her and quoted me $3,500. I passed on him as well.
After striking out 4 times, I stopped at my favorite liquor store to get some beer. The owner and I have known each other for 20 years and we have some good talks. He walked around Pearline a few times and said “You should go talk to Dusty” and he gave me the address.
I got to Dusty’s place and told him who referred me. He spent 15-20 minutes looking her over and quoted me $5,000 to remove the dents, fill in where needed, and to put on a clear coat. The drawback was that he had at least a month of work in the shop, so I’d have to wait. “That’s fine”, I told him, I’ll use the time to continue cleaning her up and work on the upholstery.
Now that I had the rust removed from the interior, I applied some white Rustoleum primer to the interior areas. I also used the wire wheel on the battery cover and painted it flat black. I put plastic liners in the battery wells (she’s a converted dual 6v system, so she used to have 2 batteries).
I ordered a replacement dash cap and installed it during this time as well.
The big job for about a week was disassembling both seats down to the bare metal. I spent hours on Halloween afternoon grinding away rust and then putting a coat of Rustoleum on the frames. I painted the passenger seat in black and the drivers seat in white, just so I won’t mis-match the parts.
Somewhere in those dozen boxes with Moss Motors on the side will be the new foam and seat covers.