Being around a bunch of classic car enthusiasts for a long time, it's not uncommon to hear horror stories about how a supposed top-notch hot rod shop lacked the talent and ability to properly fulfill a contract of restoring someone's prized vintage ride. But rarely does it happen to the same customer with two different cars almost simultaneously.
Unfortunately, what seemed like a good idea at the time turned into an inconvenient truth to some nice, honest people ... Not once, but twice.
Will and Shanna Blanton are business owners who attribute much of their success to Will's parents. Seems his dad was instrumental in getting the business going in the right direction early on, so the couple thought it would be a cool idea to pay tribute and give a little thanks to Will's dad by surprising him with a fully-restored '66 Chevelle on Father's Day; a car similar to what he had owned before Will was born.
Will and Shanna came across a local shop near their Fayetteville, North Carolina, home that they felt could handle the show-quality restoration they were looking for. About half way through the Chevelle's build, Shanna noticed Will was showing a bit of interest in owning a muscle car of his own. So Shanna secretly contracted the shop to build her hubby a Pro Touring-influenced '69 Camaro convertible.
Well, Father's Day comes and the shop kept their promise on delivering the Chevelle on time. That's great, but the car was only about eighty percent completed. Unhappy with the car's appearance, the Blanton's sent the car back to the shop to be fully completed. Fast-forward three months. The Chevelle returns, but is still full of noticeable flaws. Will turns to Shanna and says, "I think we have a little problem here." Shanna confesses to Will that the problem is bigger than he knows, and informs him that the half-finished '69 Camaro he's been seeing in the shop belongs to him.
Appreciative of his wife's thoughtfulness and goodwill, he gave the shop another opportunity to make good on their promise to turn out a show-quality hot rod. Confirming the shop didn't underbid the job, Will offered up additional funds to get the car build right. He didn't want to have issues with his Camaro like had happened with the Chevelle.
Months later, Will's "finished" Camaro was delivered in similar condition as the Chevelle. It featured horrific panel alignment, multiple shades of paint on each panel, and shoddy wiring. And that's just touching the surfice.
Having enough of the shop's circus act, Will contacted Frank Serafine at Prodigy Customs (www.prodigycustoms.com) in Orlando, Florida, and had him fly up to see the cars in person, and to give a professional diagnosis of the cars' problems.
"I hated to break the news to Will, but I felt like a doctor informing him that he was dying," Says Frank. "Will was hoping a little tweak here and there would fix the problems, but that just wasn't the case. Both cars had to be stripped to bare metal and basically started over from scratch."