At this point I was making fairly regular trips to purchase parts. The store I was buying from was Pony and Corral as they were the only Mustang parts specialist store in the area at that time. It was run by Bill and I found him to be fair, honest, and trustworthy, unlike the prior Mustang specialist I had worked with. Most of what I was purchasing were trim pieces. My car was missing the grille and some of the trim. Much of the other trim was rusted or scratched. And a good deal of the weatherstripping was worn out and needed to be replaced. My plan was to install the GT emblems and stripes in place of the standard Mustang emblems. I also ended up purchasing front and rear valances, the other front fender, and a used trunk lid. Most of these last body parts I installed myself in the driveway. The trim and weatherstrip I put away until after the car was painted. Finding a shop to paint the car was my next challenge.
After having been burned by the previous body shop, I was confused as to how to find a decent body shop I could trust. Right around that time a friend of mine named Rick started working for a golf car company. Rick did mechanical work, but the company also had a body shop. The body shop repaired golf cars that had sustained body damage, presumably by drunken golfers who crashed them. One of Rick’s friends was interested in painting my car. We arranged for a date and time when I could bring the car by for him to look at and work up an estimate for body work and paint.
The day arrived and I drove over to the golf car shop and met with Rick’s friend. We talked for a little bit to discuss my plans for the car. Then he looked the car over. I was careful to point out any rusted areas I was aware of. He ended up giving me an estimate of around $750 to do the bodywork and paint the car. I also noticed that while we were talking somebody else in the shop was watching us carefully. In the end I felt that the price was fair for the work to be done and we agreed that I would bring the car back in a few weeks after he could give me a firm date. I left and went home to wait for Rick to let me know when to bring my car in.
A couple of days later Rick let me know that the arrangement for painting my car needed to be modified. It turns out that the man in the shop watching us was the boss of the paint shop and he wanted in on the deal. Rick said I needed to bring my car back and have him look it over and give me a revised estimate. So back I went.
When I brought the car back I was told by the boss that any agreements I had made with his employee were off the table as he wanted to renegotiate. I repeated the discussion regarding my plans for the car and then he proceeded to inspect my Mustang. In the end he came up with a price of $750 to paint the car, which was the same price I had gotten before. We set a date for me to deliver the car to him and I went home to patiently wait for the day to arrive.