$53k body work or $73k body work? You decide
I dropped off my 67 911 about 2 years ago. The shop owner got $20k for a deposit and regular payments thereafter as he figured the car out (Original estimate indicates $40k). No issues at this point as the car wasn't rusty, but had some battle damage from being a race car for most of its life. All seemed good until the shop owner hurt his back. The quality on my car went downhill fast. He got sick again with pancreatitis and this led to the shop operations getting handed over to his daughter. She told me she was a musical theater person from Las Vegas.
One of the shop owner's last texts to me was he needed an additional $10k to get the car through primer; at this point I'm into the car for over $50k. I complied and paid. When I came to see the car though, it was a disaster. See the photos. Horrifying!! They drilled holes in the new floors to weld them because they didn't have a spot welder. The floors were actually crooked and so was the transmission tunnel. There was a 1/2" of Bondo or more in may places, including the original paint front fenders and a brand new hood. I'll show a movie someday of all of the photos just so everyone can see something more terrifying than Freddie Kruger at Halloween. The quarter panels were mis-aligned and instead of taking them off and making it right, they just covered them over with more and more Bondo. The list goes on and on, but the photos will speak volumes!! Here's one last bit about the quality and then I'll move on. My front serial number was removed from the car sometime in its history to make room for a fuel cell. The shop owner replaced the panel and stamped the same number back into it to match the dash. Only problem was when he stamped them he didn't use the proper size or font. The number 3 was round on top instead of a metric flat-topped 3. When I called him on this he shrugged it off and said, "No big deal, I'll just hit it with a chisel and make it flat".
I wrote a page and a half punch list that his daughter accepted and began working on. She indicated that a body guy no longer with the business had messed up my car and 2 others and she was sorry and would fix it. I should have trusted a dear Porsche friend from New York and taken the car and ran at that point.
Fast forward to this past weekend. There were still outstanding items from the punch list to correct. The daughter invited me over on Sunday to see the car and to give my approval to move on to the paint booth. She said it was ready and would only take a day or two to finish up. I initially agreed then texted back that I wouldn't come out after all to save me another trip as I would have to go there again anyway to see the corrected numbers in the front that she indicated were not finished (the custom ordered set of stamps still had not come in). She texted back that the car didn't need the numbers corrected to move on to the next stage and that she needed $20k more to move forward. I was puzzled.
I reminded her that the last payment made was to get the car through primer and that all subsequent work from the punch list was corrective. If there were extras performed it was not authorized by me and I'd like to know what they did to the car.
I thought we could just part ways and save my heart from pounding any further. She declined and indicated she would lien the car.
I grabbed a truck, trailer, and a former Sheriff Deputy friend and headed over this morning (Tuesday). I asked the shop guy where my hood and decklid were and he pointed them out. I picked them up and put them in the truck. We went back for the car and started to push it out to the trailer when about 6 of the shop guys stopped the car and a couple of them closed and locked the gate. We were trapped in the driveway behind the locked gate. Time to call the cops.
I advised the shop guys that I didn't want any trouble with them and this wasn't their dispute. They were told by their boss they had to stop me, they said. They let go of the car and went to sit outside the gate and wait for the bosses.
My friend and I sat there for the next 4 hours. We watched the lien sale guy come with his book of paperwork. They ran inside and presumably handled what they needed to lien the car. I photographed this process, too, all from behind the locked gate.
The cops finally came and were very nice. Although there was nothing they could do except sympathize with my frustration and loss of money. This was a civil matter.
Unfortunately the police are not in a position to make legal decisions and I totally get that. I had to leave the car there in its sad state. I hope you can see in the photos just how not ready it was for paint and what $50k plus gets you.
Whatever you do, don't trust your valuable Porsche to just any shop. Investigate thoroughly. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't let them ever say, "Just trust me".