Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Car of the Day - Santa's Sleigh? - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - Fiberglass Repairs & Paint

The car of the day is a stunning 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. We get quite a few Corvettes and most if not all have some stress cracks in the fiberglass body. For its age, this one was in good shape but did have a fair number of cracks as you can see in the photos below. Almost Everything, of course, fixes fiberglass as well as metal and plastic.


During: We fixed a lot of cracks in the fiberglass.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Car of the Day - 2002 Honda Civic Racer - Collision Repair & Paint

This customized 2002 Honda Civic Coupe was in a front end collision. We replaced the bumper & grill & maintained the special monochrome paint job.



Make a Better World - Win $5000

My Rotary Club is hosting their annual fundraising raffle with prizes of $50, $100, $250, $500 and $5000. The odds are great, 1 in 10 is a winner. Only 350 tickets are available and 1 in those 350 will win $5000.

Rotary International is responsible for distributing polio vaccine throughout the world and virtually eliminating the disease in the past 30 years. Rotary works to improve the lives, health and livelihoods of people around the world.
Funds raised will help great causes including:
  • YMCA
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Blue Star Moms
  • HERS Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Life ElderCare
  • and many others
Raffle tickets are $150 each. Those who buy a ticket are invited to a complimentary dinner for 2 and ringside seats to the actual drawing.

Click the brochure image to get a copy of the entry form. Send your entries to:

Attention: Frank Barnard
Almost Everything Autobody
37414 Centralmont Place
Fremont, California 94536

Entries can be paid by check, credit card, debit card, PayPal. Please make checks payable to Niles Rotary Foundation.

Give a little to help our world and your generosity could earn you $5000. Again, raffle is limited to just 350 tickets so hurry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Don't Let Someone Do This to Your Car - The Dent Fix Scam

We've all seen or maybe we even have one of the cars that has grey primer on a fender. Every month we get a few of these cars so I thought I'd talk about them a bit today. How they end-up looking like they do is that someone rings your door bell or approaches you in a parking lot and says that they can fix the dent for a nominal amount. They make a show of pounding sheetmetal, drilling holes, smearing putty & spraying "primer." Then they tell you, "All you need to do is get the car painted."

We are sorry to report that most of the people doing these "repairs" are con artists. They do more damage than good. They hide dents with a thick layer of (hopefully) automotive body filler. I say "hopefully" because we have seen cars with spacklegunnite & even cement applied to them.--it is not possible to get a smooth or reliable paint finish over these materials and some of this stuff is extremely difficult to get off. The reason they often spray 2 shades of paint on the dent is to make it hard to see that the surface is still lumpy.

When a bodyshop gets these cars, it is difficult (and painful!) to explain to the vehicle owner that they were swindled and additional work is necessary before the car can be painted. Often we have to undo damage that the other guy caused. So the price is higher than it would have been if the owner had come to us in the first place. As I'm sure you can imagine, customers often look at us like crooks when we ask for money to fix something that has already been "fixed!"

The pictures on this page show what the problem is. The owner of this Toyota Corolla paid someone to repair the car before they brought it to Almost Everything Autobody. In this case, the owner realized there was a problem and stopped the repairs before things got any worse. This allows us to see some of the issues before they were covered-up with spackle & spray paint.

The person doing the "repairs" drilled holes in the body panels--this is a big problem. It reduces the strength of the panel and allows rust to start forming from the front, back and inside the panel itself. Decades ago drills were typical in auto body repairs but technology has advanced significantly. Don't let someone drill into the body of your car.

Next, he put screws in the holes and yanked on them to try to pull the dents out. What is bad about this is that where there was one bigger dent now there are lots of little dents plus ragged holes that look like miniature volcanos. It is much more difficult to achieve a smooth surface over lots of small dents. It also takes more time & expense to repair multiple small dents than to straighten an equal area with a single, large dent. Worse, the ragged edges on the holes further degrade the integrity of the panel and provide more nooks & crannies that rust just loves.

If the owner had not stopped him at this point, he would have applied a thick layer of bondo (or some other filler) to hide the various holes & dents. Body filler is a useful and necessary part of body repair. But it must be kept to a minimum. It can't provide the strength of steel, aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber. It is somewhat flexible so it expands and contracts as the base material flexes, heats & cools. In a thin layer it makes everything look smooth. In thick, uneven layers, it will crack and come apart over time.

Almost Everything Autobody, and any good bodyshop, has modern equipment that allows us to fix dents from the outside without ever drilling any holes or taking panels off the car. Benefits are:
  • Reduced repair time
  • Minimized costs
  • Minimized impact to original manufacturer's assembly & specifications
  • Minimized opportunities for rust invasion
  • Minimized use of body fillers

Almost Everything does great work and because we do more volume than any competitor in the world, we have the best prices, period. If you find anyone less expensive than us, be wary and check their references before letting them work on your car. Make sure you aren't getting inferior materials (or concrete!)

Now, if you were unfortunate enough to have been caught in this trap, we're sorry. Please don't be embarrassed. You are NOT alone. Like I said at the beginning, we see a lot of these cars and I personally know a lot of very intelligent people who have been victimized in this particular scam. The good news is that Almost Everything Autobody is great at getting your car looking good again at the lowest possible price. Drop by & we'll give you a free written estimate.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Car of the Day - 1994 Lincoln Towncar - Paint & Bodywork

This 1994 Lincoln Towncar had been hit on the front, driver's side bumper. As you can see in the photos, the bumper is sagging. In addition, the paint was getting dull and much of the chrome trim all around the car was worn & scratched.

Almost Everything Autobody repaired the bumper, repainted the entire car with our premium, 2-stage, base-coat/clear coat paint, replaced the pinstripes and the chrome mouldings.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Car of the Day - 1954 Plymouth P24 Station Wagon - Cost Effective Restoration

1954 Plymouth P24 Station Wagon before restoration--we'll post pictures of it again after it is painted. This car is owned by Grant of Grant & Dan's Transmissions in Fremont--the premier transmission repair shop in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Almost Everything Autobody will be cutting out some rust & welding in new metal, pulling out some dents & painting the car to match the original salmon & beige paint scheme.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Car of the Day - 2006 Jeep Commander - Bumper Repair

This 2006 Jeep Commander had a large rip in its rear bumper cover. The options for replacement parts were $740 from Jeep or $566.75 for a reconditioned bumper (a bumper that had been previously damaged and repaired by a third party supplier). And these prices did not include the cost of painting or installing the bumper cover or any of the other parts that were damaged in the accident! The owner received quotes from other bodyshops for over $2000 in repairs for this one little mishap!


Unfortunately, because the damage was the owner's fault and their insurance deductible was high, they were going to be stuck paying something no matter what. In addition, they preferred not to have to make a claim on their insurance, if possible, because of increased premiums they would have to pay for years after. But $2000++ was much more than they expected.

Almost Everything Autobody is able to do the same repairs that the reconditioned bumper suppliers perform. So we were able to repair the existing bumper on site for a lot less money than a replacement would cost. And like always, our prices are the best around for top quality materials. We were able to do the repairs for less than half of what the others wanted to charge. And the owner was thrilled with the results.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Most Beautiful Cars of All Time

Here's a list I (Frank) spent a ridiculous amount of time compiling. I'd like to get some more photos of these cars so please send what you've got. We'll add them to our Blog. Make sure any photos submitted are not copyrighted. Of course, any list like this depends on personal preference. Over the years some of the cars I thought I'd love forever have become boring while ones I thought were pedestrian when they were new are cars I find myself admiring every time I see one. Please let me know which cars you think I left off the list and which ones you think I am insane to include. The list will undoubtedly continue to change over time. Enjoy!

Manufacturer, Model, Years
Bizzarrini (Iso-Bizzarrini), 5300 GT Corsa & Stradale (AKA A3/C), 1965-1969

Delage , D8-120, 1937-1939
Ford, Mustang, 1967-1968
Isdera, Imperator 108i (Mercedes CW 311), 1984-1987

Jaguar, XJ, 1968-1994
Jaguar (Swallow Sidecar), SS1, 1932-1936
Jaguar (Swallow Sidecar), SS100, 1936-1940
Jensen Healey, 1972-1976
Lamborghini, Miura, 1966-1972
Lexus, SC300/400 (Toyota Soarer), 1991-1997
Lincoln, Continental, 1961-1964
Lincoln, Model K, 1931-1939
Lotus, Esprit, 1976-2004
Maserati, Ghibli, 1967-1973

Mazda, 6/Atenza/, 2001-2007
Mercedes Benz, SL, 2003-2007
Mercedes Benz, SL W113 “Pagoda”, 1963-1971
MG, B-GT , 1962-1980
MG, TC, 1945-1950
Mitsubishi, Eclipse, 1990-1994
Nissan, Altima, 1993-1997
Porche, 944, 1982-1991
Porche, 904/911, 1960-2008
Rolls Royce, Phantom II for Countess Dorothy Di Frasso designed by Dutch Darrin, 1929-1936
Rover, P5, 1958-1973
Rover, SD1, 1976-1986
Shelby, Cobra Daytona, 1964-1966
Toyota, 2000GT , 1967-1970
Toyota, Supra, 1993-1998
VW, Jetta, 1999-2004
Audi, 100, 1983-1991

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Car of the Day - 2007 Nissan 350Z with Three-Stage Paint

This 2007 Nissan 350Z has a spectacular, three-stage orange pearl paint job. When sunlight hits it, the color fluoresces in shades of gold and even blue and white.

It is difficult to see in the "Before" picture but the car has been severely vandalized. There are scratches going all the way down to the metal. The scratches go half way around the car.


The owner was upset. He did not think that the car could be repaired so that it would look original. He knew he had special paint. Three-stage paints are much more temperamental--there are a lot more variables and process steps to achieve the color intensity and variation than in single-stage and two-stage paints. If any of the steps in the process is slightly off, the special effects can be ruined and the color will be wrong.

He was amazed when he saw the car a few days later after we repaired it. He said, "Wow, you guys are great. I'm going to tell eveyone about you." Thanks, we hope you do!

P.S. Can I have your car? It is very cool.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Car (Truck) of the Day - Ford E350 Custom Box Van - Insurance Claim - Accident Repairs

This truck was in pretty bad shape. A tow truck carrying a car changed lanes into the side of it. In addition to the visible damage, the structural members under the hood & fender were crushed, see the photos below.


Almost Everything Autobody replaced the hood, fender, headlamp, bumper & wheel cover. We repaired the support structures underneath the skin plus fixed the dents in the door and replaced the broken suspension components. Then we repainted the entire cab and replaced the emblems & decals. Looks like new, huh?


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