I think it's also important to stress the importance of staying on top of the job. If you are having restoration work done plan on regularly visiting the shop doing the work. This can pose some problems if you happen live some distance from the shop but, IMHO, it's important to physically visit the shop and see the work being done with your own eyes.
Right! Phrased a different way, having to chose between a local shop who may not be a specialist in your particular marque, and a "big name" shop located some distance away, the local guy is usually the right answer. Yes, you will have to pay for the local guy's education, but you will save overall by regularly monitoring the job.
Ask about where your parts are stored and, if necessary, do your own inventory on "unobtanium" parts.... Shops are busy places and with people coming and going, parts can easily go walkabout.
When I was having my Sprint GT restored, I would visit the shop ~ weekly, bringing and retrieving the trim parts (grilles, tail lights, etc.) as they were needed. I didn't allow them to sit around the shop any longer than necessary. I trusted the proprietor and employees of this shop completely, but random people were coming and going from the facility. Also, "unobtanium" parts that go walkabout aren't necessarily stolen - they can get inadvertently thrown out, packed with a different customer's car, stepped on, driven over, or just irretrievably lost.
I hope this doesn't come across as criticism of cavilry - when he sent his car off to Vintage Customs, the proprietor was active on the BB, he was posting videos on YouTube, ...; in other words, he seemed credible. But apparently health issues, financial issues, or ??? have arisen since that time. At this point, a trip to Washington is probably cavilry's best next move; sending more emails probably won't accomplish much.