After teardown, all the manageable...
After teardown, all the manageable parts of a GTO are categorized and stored on these heavy steel shelving units. This allows Jackie to keep the smaller parts all in one place so she can check to see what needs to be sent out for plating or restoration and what needs to be replaced because it's too worn. The shelves are labeled with the GTO's description. This one says "'70 Sierra Yellow Judge, All shelves"-the same Judge shown in an earlier photo. With this storage system, immeasurable time is saved over having to look everywhere in the shop to find things.
New replacement hardware is...
New replacement hardware is also categorized and stacked in metal closets, making for easy and quick access and effortless inventory control.
The rafters of the shop are...
The rafters of the shop are stuffed with the larger reproduction, N.O.S., and good used parts required to complete various restorations. The vertical beams provide convenient slots for storage yet are open for quick recognition of parts by just walking down the isle-another inventory timesaver.
Smaller hardware and other...
Smaller hardware and other items can be found in clear, sectioned plastic boxes on open shelving units for quick and easy access as well.
When Choosing A Shop
John and Jackie advise you to, "Stay on top of what is needed during the resto and to be involved. Take time to visit the restoration shop before you decide on it and again while your Pontiac is in the process. So many people trust their cars to shops they have never seen."
With that in mind, below are some of the statements that may be made by a shop owner or manager, which can be good news or bad news, according to John and Jackie.
Good News Statement: "I can provide a list of references for clients who have had their cars restored here. You can speak with them directly regarding their experiences with my shop."
Reality: It appears the shop has satisfied customers. Take the owner up on the offer and make the calls. Just be sure the list is longer than two people and that they aren't his relatives.
Statement: "I can provide a basic estimate of what the total restoration should cost with the proviso that more damage could be found upon disassembly."
Reality: This is an honest statement because no one can provide a definitive price on a restoration prior to teardown. Bondo and paint can hide myriad past owner sins, but the estimate must be realistic so you don't end up in a situation where it is 25 percent of the resulting total cost. When collecting estimates, beware of lowball numbers and question them. You may find the shop with a higher price will be more cost efficient in the long run.
Statement: "I can take you on a tour of my facility so you can see other projects in process and can see how organized and clean the shop is."
Reality: A shop owner who is willing to show you other projects in progress and who is proud to show off his shop is generally a much better prospect than one who is secretive on this subject.
Red Flag Statement: "I will work on your Pontiac part time to save you money."
Reality: It probably won't be cheaper, but it will definitely take much longer.
Statement: "I will work on your Pontiac between other jobs."
Reality: It will probably never get done. Instead, it will likely get pushed into the corner and forgotten; parts will be moved all around and possibly lost.
Statement: "I primarily do collision work, but I can do restorations, too."
Reality: If the shop charges like a collision shop, it could be a bad sign that they don't know much about restorations and they may cut corners just to get your Pontiac out the door more quickly.
Statement: "Once I tear the car down completely, I can give you an estimate on the restoration cost."
Reality: It may sound good at first because it would appear the shop is working to give you a more accurate estimate, but once your Pontiac is torn apart you are really trapped, regardless of the estimate.