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kshaha 02-12-2018 08:18 AM

I wouldn't give Daron an ounce of slack. In fact before the car ships, have someone with knowledge inspect the car. There are many people on this site that can help with referrals who are close to Tacoma. My paint references are only examples. If he produces a $60000+ body and paint job so poorly just imagine what he does to a $20000 assembly job. Parts are easy to source for your car so don't be too impressed. Your car is also quite easy to assemble. Don't trust all his phony empathy or excuses he's a sleazy D-bag. I've warned people away from him and they continue to ship their cars to his shop. Sure enough a few months and even years later they tell me what an aweful experience it's been. I hope he comes after me for my posts I have a BIG S--T hammer I would like to use on him, it's all true and all documented with pictures, emails and invoices.

nunki 02-12-2018 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavilry (Post 8059210)
Listen, I am not the typical Alfa owner...I got a steal on this car when I was 22 back in 2009 and scraped together money over the years to get each piece of work done. I thought long and hard about how to finish the car before landing on VC and it's been one of the most stressful, angering, painful experiences of my life. I don't have 10's of thousands (or even thousands) to throw around and waste so I took a big leap of faith by sending my car to them. My only hope is that by this time next year I am sitting next to my car at a Cars and Coffee and it will have all been worthwhile.

I am one of probably more than few Alfa owners on this forum that got their first or second or third Alfa for free.

Alfas were relatively expensive to buy new but a running five-year-old GTV from the early '70's were had cheap. Back in the day, I picked up non-runners for free. Jaguars cars, other than the E-type were the same way in the '60's. The prior models were abandoned by their fashionable owners when the new ones came out.

After you get your car back from VC, please stay on this forum and ask questions, and tell us about your experiences of owning an Alfa.

davbert 02-13-2018 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gprocket (Post 8056289)
I think Daron is an affable guy, I think he and his crew are capable of doing good work but I can't explain the wildly inconsistent results. How can a guy that's been in this business be so far off on his estimates? In my case all he had to do was take a shell from primer to finish paint (I took over a project that he had started). He quoted me $4,000 and charged me $16,000. He quoted me 4 months, he took 16 months. I promised me a professional job, I received an amateurish job that cost me another year and a whole lot more money to make right.

This wasn't recently; wasn't due to health concerns or financial issues. This was ten years ago when he had his shop in Auburn. Since I'm now in the business (albiet on a much smaller scale) I've been hesitant to say much for fear of sounding like I'm throwing rocks at a competitor. As mentioned, the irony is that the mess he made with my car ultimately caused me to open up our shop to others and learn from his (and my) mistakes having been on the receiving side.

As far as choosing only shops that are local to do the work I respectfully and heartily disagree. Sure, if you have the luxury of living nearby a legitimate restoration shop that specializes in Alfas but most do not.

I had a GTV that was rear-ended and took it to a bump shop that I drive by every day to work. When I came by to check in they were about to Bondo over the rear valance that they had pop-riveted on. The mistake I made wasn't stopping there more often, the mistake I made was thinking that they knew how to repair an Alfa.

The closest client I have right now is an hour away - the furthest is Australia. It's not practical for either to visit my shop regularly despite my encouragement to do so. I take and send copious pictures and videos to try to keep my clients informed as well as regular email updates. I write up a detailed "Statement of Work" which we both sign. I do not proceed outside the SOW without a written ok from the client agreeing to the cost and schedule impact. I wish I could say that we're always on time and on budget but that's just not the reality with restoration. But I make that clear too and try my best to be honest and open. To date we haven't disappointed anyone.

Sorry if this sounds like a commercial. My real point is that there is a way to do Alfa restoration correctly and not have to micromanage the job. You shouldn't have to fear handing over your car to a professional. As much as my wife wanted to be in the OR, when I had open heart surgery a few years ago she handed me off to the doctors and waited outside. Then again, it wasn't a full rotisserie restoration ( although it cost as much)...

There are plenty of quality shops around the country and around the world. There are a number that aren't so good. This forum is a good place to find out which is which...

closest shop an hour away? probably roman tucker? take it to him if you want a good work. not cheap but you wont be redoing over because he work be learning as he works on your car since he has be at if for like 30 years.

if you have to load a car on trail what difference does it make if the drive is 15mins or an hour?
i stop by for a visit last year, i saw a few gtas and half a dozen other alfas. my eyes lit up when i saw this pretty autodelta large bellmouth lucas slide throttle 1300 motor sitting in the corner.

Alfajay 02-13-2018 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavilry (Post 8059210)
4. I don't fully understand the business practice where it's on the customer to "stay on top of" the restoration. In any business I've ever worked in, the onus was on me to ensure timely completions, consistent communication, etc.

I can shed some light on this. Restoring a car isn't like building a new house or writing software; you continually run into snags. Sometimes the restorer needs the owner's decision of how to address an unforseen problem. Sometimes the restorer doesn't know where to source parts. When the owner is uncommunicative, the restorer will just push their car into a corner, and work on the cars whose owners show up regularly.

Sure, the ideal restorer would use Microsoft Project to manage the process down to the hour, and the ideal owner would always be available to answer any question / authorize any unexpected expense / etc. But the reality is that these guys are artists, not accountants. If owner "A" is absent, while owner "B" is present, guess whose car is going to get finished first?

cavilry 02-13-2018 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alfajay (Post 8061322)
I can shed some light on this. Restoring a car isn't like building a new house or writing software; you continually run into snags. Sometimes the restorer needs the owner's decision of how to address an unforseen problem. Sometimes the restorer doesn't know where to source parts. When the owner is uncommunicative, the restorer will just push their car into a corner, and work on the cars whose owners show up regularly.

Sure, the ideal restorer would use Microsoft Project to manage the process down to the hour, and the ideal owner would always be available to answer any question / authorize any unexpected expense / etc. But the reality is that these guys are artists, not accountants. If owner "A" is absent, while owner "B" is present, guess whose car is going to get finished first?

Sure, I get that. But why is it on the owner to call? If the mechanic has a question, ask it. I've always answered his calls (which, for the record, have been less than 10 in 3 years) and I've always replied to emails within a few hours (again, less than 10). It's just crazy that I have to call to see what the updates are...why don't I get a call with the updates or questions?

PSk 02-13-2018 09:39 AM

649 Attachment(s)
For Gods sake, go and get your car!

Didn't really want to post on this thread as Daron sent me a second hand part panel part for my restoration for no cost (thank you Daron http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/imag...lies/smile.gif), but from what has been posted here there is only one course of action that needs to be taken: Get your car back. If you don't ....

Best for all
Pete

Alfajay 02-13-2018 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavilry (Post 8061354)
Sure, I get that. But why is it on the owner to call? If the mechanic has a question, ask it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alfajay
the reality is that these guys are artists, not accountants.

.

PSk 02-13-2018 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alfajay (Post 8061466)
Quote:

Originally Posted by cavilry (Post 8061354)
Sure, I get that. But why is it on the owner to call? If the mechanic has a question, ask it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alfajay
the reality is that these guys are artists, not accountants.

.

and not necessarily managers.

Back in my club racing days it was similar with my engine builder. Nothing happened unless I was there ... spent many days driving over after work. I told him he needed to hire a manager ... Long story short, he did. Problem solved!
Pete

nunki 02-13-2018 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alfajay (Post 8061322)
I can shed some light on this. Restoring a car isn't like building a new house or writing software; you continually run into snags.

As someone who has built several houses over the last 40 years and coded for 10 years, I can say from experience that I have not had snags doing either. It can sometimes be nothing but snags.

Okay, what if we treated the restorers like Daron like the artist that you claim they are. In this case, Daron would only get paid after all the work was done and only what the customer thinks the work was worth. I'm all for that.

cavilry 02-13-2018 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nunki (Post 8061714)
As some who has built several houses over the last 40 years and coded for 10 years, I can say from experience that I have never not had snags doing either. It can sometimes be nothing but snags.

Okay, what if we treated the restorers like Daron like the artist that you claim they are. In this case, Daron would only get paid after all the work was done and only what the customer thinks the work was worth. I'm all for that.

Tou----chè

In every business I've been in, from rebuilding bikes, cleaning pools, and woodworking to being a Global Director for sales teams in business I've hit snags. If I told my boss or customer that I just hadn't been working on their _____ because they never called me so I could tell them about it...well then I would not have been able to afford even my $4,500 GTV.

This is a pointless grumbling since it won't change, but I just find it appalling that people's response is so often "well, it's par for the course." My uncle told me about his old Packard I didn't even know existed...he took it in for an oil change and refitting of the doors and it has been at the shop for EIGHTEEN YEARS! At this point, it's on him of course....but I can't believe that an industry survives like this...it has essentially made the decision for me that I will always do my own work.

Alfajay 02-13-2018 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nunki (Post 8061714)
Okay, what if we treated the restorers like Daron like the artist that you claim they are. In this case, Daron would only get paid after all the work was done and only what the customer thinks the work was worth. I'm all for that.

Whoa, whoa - calm down. I'm not defending Daron or any other disorganized shop owner.

I'm just saying that you have to go into these things expecting to handle some of the project management. Yes, it would be nice if every shop owner were as organized as you are, but the reality is that many simply aren't. But even when your shop owner is well-organized, participating in the management can be satisfying, save money and ensure that the outcome meets expectations.

But sure, if the shop owner turns out to be a flake, develops personal problems, or is crooked, then nothing is fun.

180OUT 02-13-2018 07:52 PM

Quote:

Sure, I get that. But why is it on the owner to call? If the mechanic has a question, ask it. I've always answered his calls (which, for the record, have been less than 10 in 3 years) and I've always replied to emails within a few hours (again, less than 10). It's just crazy that I have to call to see what the updates are...why don't I get a call with the updates or questions?

Because that's just the way the body-shop business works! I don't mean to sound unkind, but you've been dealing with this project for going on 3 years and you haven't yet figured this out . . .? Sure, there are some shops that have incorporated the kind of customer communications we'd all like to see. A friend recently got a restored Nissan Figero from a UK restoration shop that dutifully kept him reliably informed of it's progress during a full year's work on the car. The car he got was absolutely flawless, despite being restored half a world away.

His experience was exactly the kind that we'd all like to have when getting a car restored. But that is not the norm. It's worth mentioning that body-shops from crash-repair shops to full-tilt restoration shops tend to draw their staffs from the same labor pool. Perfectly competent techs may have worked at Maaco last week before coming to work at a high-end Porsche resto-shop across town. And vice-versa. Body-shop guys tend to move around a lot. This means that, with rare exception, even great restoration shops share practices and expectations that you'll find in more mundane operations---and this includes customer relations. In a work-a-day body-shop environment the focus is on work on the shop floor---calling customers with progress updates is generally pretty far down on the shop's priority list.

Yes, I know shops will promise that keeping you informed of the work progress on your car is important to them and, while they may have perfectly good intentions in this respect, the practical realities of shop practices and economics often militate against actually picking up the phone at the end of a hard day or even harder week and actually calling you. That's why in my first post on this thread I stressed the importance of staying on top of your restoration by visiting the shop to personally inspect the work being done. As Jay says, the guys who regularly visit the shop generally get their cars fixed soonest. Like it or not, this is simply the way most, but not all, shops work.

cavilry 02-14-2018 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 180OUT (Post 8062530)
Because that's just the way the body-shop business works! I don't mean to sound unkind, but you've been dealing with this project for going on 3 years and you haven't yet figured this out . . .? Sure, there are some shops that have incorporated the kind of customer communications we'd all like to see.

Oh believe me, I've figured it out. It's why I call every Wednesday at 9AM. Sure, communication, or lack there of is one of my many gripes with Daron. That, however, was not why this thread was started. It's because they have taken 30 months (and counting) longer than they committed to, are 70%+ over budget, regularly disappear, and yes, don't communicate with me.

I find the statement made to me by Daron insane "How about this, call me each week at 9AM on Wednesday. That will keep me working on your car." THAT is what keeps you working on my car? Not the fact that you committed to doing it, not the fact that I am paying you to do it?

Again, my most recent point is simply that I don't understand how businesses can stay afloat like this. Seeing many of the replies on this thread explains it: people are willing, not only to accept it, but to defend the practice. And I guess I am complicit in that...3 years later and he still has my car.


UPDATE on the car: I was supposed to get a video on Monday of him driving the car to show it was running and being broken in...instead I got a video of the headlights being turned on...I guess that's something.

classicalfas 02-14-2018 07:41 AM

Seems like NOTHING has changed in 11 years.

ossodiseppia 02-14-2018 07:49 AM

This is really about poor management practices. He's over his head with work, disorganized and has too much turn over. The turn over is one of the biggest clues to a poorly run business.


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