Monday, March 13, 2006


We ain't dead!

Hey, Luther here.

It is just been the busy season what with all the hunters getting there trucks fixed for hunting and fishing and such like, so we have been some what quite of late. HOWEVER, we do have a question that came through the question e-mail system of ours, and since Cletus did not see it, I grabbed it first and will answer it.
Dear Cletus,

My 86-year-old father-in-law treated himself to a brand new loaded Buick LeSabre and bequeathed to us his 1988 gold Buick Park Avenue.

The old car only has 70,000 miles on it and runs like a top. The body is in excellent condition for its age, but, sir, the paint job is just as faded and miscolored as you can imagine.

The local body shop will paint it for about $1000, but that seems high for the value of the car, which we intend to keep.

Do you have suggestions for an alternative?

Thank you.

Janis Gore
I will ignor the slight that only Cletus is the one who got named in the e-mail, agian, since I was the first one to get it. That's what he gets for being so slow. Any way, that is a very good question.

What Mrs. Gore and her husband has found out is that it does not matter how much a car is worth when you go to paint it. You might not want to put a lot of money into it, but painting requires preparation and work and that stuff cost money no matter if the car is 20 years old or brand new.

If you intend to keep the car, it is worth it to go ahead and put some money into paint. I know not everyone beleives that, but I think of it as maintananance just like anything else--if you change the oil regularly, it adds up to a bunch after a while. Paint you only change once, and it might seem to be a big hit all of the sudden, if you figure out how long you have had it, and avrage it out, it's really not so bad. And it just looks better to have it painted.

The only question is how to get it painted. Some of the high volume shops charge a lot, but they don't do a very good job of prepparation and the paint never really looks nice. YOu can waste a lot of money in an hurry with the spray-and-pray shops, and still wind up with and inferior paint job.

A local company who is been in business for a long time is a good bet--ask around and see who does good work in your area. If it still seems just too much to pay, check with your local vocational school's auto repair program. Many schools will allow there students to do work for customers to learn how. The only drawback is that it might look like high schoolers did it, but if the price is right and all you need is a nice glossy paint, it's probably about as good as letting some high-flow place do it.

As for color, gold is real hard to keep nice because it fades so easy. I would go ahead and pay extra for clear coat or better yet, integral clear coat. It helps the color last a bit longer. And GM cars of this year don't have great paint to start with--if I recall right, it was a water-born paint that didn't hold up well and tended to pull off in big sheets (General MOtors had a big recall on this, and there are still some class-action law suits ongoing that might be worth looking into--there might still be be some time to do something about it)--but anyway be sure whoever does it makes sure the surface is sanded and sealed proper for the new paint, or it could have problems later on.

HOpe this helps.

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