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Need some guidance
#1
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CartRich
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I am looking for some guidance (and a shoulder to cry on) with body repairs on my 1941 180. On the way to our Florida Packard Club Meet, as my light turned green and I started forward, a Dodge Ram ran her red light and clipped my front driver fender and bumper. My uninformed eye says there appears to be some bending or misalignment with the bottom of the grill, bumpers, possibly bumper supports, and that banged fender. The hood seems to be unaffected for alignment. I am thankful that no one was hurt and also that she hadn't Tboned me. This being Florida, after the horror subsided and the sheriff finished up with us, the most startling thing was to find out that she did in fact have insurance (Floridians will understand). I had the car towed back to my garage, and in the process of unloading, they managed to also damage the rear driver's fender and spacer between the body and the bumper.

I have contacted my insurance company and that whole process has started. Now that the mania in my head has subsided some and rational thought slowly returns, the guidance I am looking for is how to go about getting my Packard repaired. Body shops all want to do collision insurance work on new cars. Should I be beating the bushes for some hidden gem of an under the radar body man? Should I be thinking about sending it to a restoration shop that will incur additional shipping and tremendous labor charges?

I am sure others have had this horror to deal with, so any input is much appreciated. I am in Sarasota, Florida if that helps with any recommendations.

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Posted on: 11/21 8:27
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Re: Need some guidance
#2
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humanpotatohybrid
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Yikes! I'm sorry to see that happen but thankfully it was not any worse.

The good thing is that the other driver had insurance, so their insurance company should work with you. IDK about Florida, but in many states the insurance company is required to let you choose what shop you want your car repaired at, assuming the quote is reasonable.

With that in mind, I would call some classic car shops and ask if they do bodywork. I would also see how much it would be for a trusted, if far away, shop to work on it, including shipping costs. You may want to have the shop write the shipping costs directly into the estimate.

I'm in PA but coincidentally just a few weeks ago a guy backed into the front passenger quarter panel on my daily driver so I'm a bit familiar with this process.

To me, it looks that HER liability insurance should be paying for the collision damage, and the towing company should be paying for the towing damage. As far as I can see, your insurance shouldn't actually need to pay for anything.

Posted on: 11/21 8:51
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Need some guidance
#3
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Ernie Vitucci
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Good Morning...You might have luck if you look at shops that specialize in high end modern car repair...they might well have the folks who do more than just remove and replace...restoration shops would also be good for quotes...as well as small shops in the smaller towns around where you live...the little town shops often have very good people and not as much business...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 11/21 9:21
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: Need some guidance
#4
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Tim Cole
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A long time ago I was in Paul Lamb's 34 Su8. It was a dark street at night, and I was pulling out of a gas station to turn right. I habitually stopped even though the street appeared empty. Whoosh! A black/dark blue Caddy Eldorado sped by at over 60 mph with his lights off.

I was in Billy Hirsch's Packard and somebody ran a stop sign in front of me. I've stopped within intersections when I've seen cars coming through red lights.

Now that I'm retired I only drive once a week with a to do list. The rest of the time I walk the mile or so into town. I love living in main street America.

Posted on: 11/21 9:44
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Re: Need some guidance
#5
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acolds
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I would file claim with my insurance company . That way your car will get repaired faster and your company will deal with other company taking you out of process. The companies have lawyers to deal with these matters. Most antique insurance companies strive to do good work and to satisfy customers. In related matter took a friend of mine over a year to get his early Corvette repaired after a person went threw stop sign hitting him Good Luck

Posted on: 11/21 11:16
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Re: Need some guidance
#6
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JeromeSolberg
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I might look for shops that do "hot rod" work, this kind of bodywork would be well within their capabilities. Some of them are "hacks" and some of them are not. Just doing a quick search for somewhere in Florida:

Florida Rod Shop Paint and Bodywork

Florida Rod Shop Desoto Restoration

Posted on: 11/21 12:46
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Re: Need some guidance
#7
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PackardDon
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Do you have collector car insurance on it? Even if it’s the other person’s fault, having this type of insurance will insure that the repairs are done by someone knowledgeable in vintage cars rather than by the local body shop and should even pay transportation without affecting your rates as they collect from the other person’s insurance.

Posted on: 11/21 12:50
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Re: Need some guidance
#8
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CartRich
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I have collector car insurance through JC Taylor.

Posted on: 11/21 13:42
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Re: Need some guidance
#9
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PackardDon
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Then JC Taylor would be the ones to offer you the best advice even if you don’t file a claim. Talk with them and see what they suggest as it’s also in their best interest that the car be properly repaired.

Posted on: 11/21 14:18
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Re: Need some guidance
#10
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packardsix1939
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CartRich: I can certainly sympathize with your situation. A number of years ago, I was involved in a serious accident while driving a Packard I owned at the time (a 1932 Light 8). It was a very traumatic experience. I ended up having the car shipped to an out of state restoration shop which had extensive experience working on prewar cars. I think that this is your best bet. I have a friend who is an auto body repair professional, however, he admitted to me that the about only thing people in this trade are currently trained to do is to replace panels. They are not taught any real metal working skills in the trade schools anymore. This is pretty much a lost art. He said that he would not even want to touch my Packard. It is just beyond his skill set. He did a great job on my 2007 Chevy Colorado after a collision with a deer, but basically all he did was to replace some parts and respray a section. Some of the parts looked like they could have been repaired with a little effort, but he said that it is almost always cheaper to just replace. A lot of replacement body parts now come from China, and they are dirt cheap. Hemmings and some of the other car publications have ads from auto restoration shops. People in local car clubs might also be able to recommend somebody so ask around. Get references and by all means go and visit the shop before you give them your business. Wish you the best of luck. But from what I can see in the photos, the damage to your car isn't too severe, definitely not as bad as what happened to my Light 8. And '41 parts should not be that hard to obtain if you need anything. I'm sure people on this forum would be able to help.

Posted on: 11/21 15:02
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