When we discuss the finished look that the customer wants to achieve, we will refer to the following definitions. As alluded to in the “Body Work” section above, the end “finish”, or level of quality, needs to be known early on, as proper preparation is the key to a quality paint job. At RCR, we will also discuss with customers when it is appropriate to use a budget-friendly base-coat; we will always recommend a quality clear-coat…or else you are just wasting your money, in our opinion. Please be forewarned: The difference in the cost of paint & body work (not including parts & labor for the other portions of the restoration) will be MULTIPLES OF TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars between the lowest-end quality finish and the “Trailer Queen” or higher finish levels.
The highest-quality paint job that can be offered; it guarantees zero-defects and a liquid shine. It also requires upwards of 50+ hours of sandings – and is priced accordingly. Only the highest quality bases and clears will be used; multiple clear coats will be applied to allow for the several rounds of “cutting & buffing” that will be performed prior to delivery. The extra cutting & buffing is required to achieve the highest shine also diminishes the amount of clear-coat left to protect the vehicle from any elements. Vehicles finished in this manner must NEVER touch the road while moving, must NEVER be left exposed to the outside elements for any length of time, and must NEVER be garaged anywhere that is not temperature- AND humidity-controlled year-round.
A more reasonable version of super-high-quality paint job. This level of finish still requires 30+ hours of sandings; utilizes high-quality bases and clears; receives multiple clear-coats and 1-2 “cut & buffs” prior to delivery. At this level we guarantee 98% free of defects, a slick shine…and a slightly lower price than the highest level demands. Vehicles finished at this level should not be driven, but should be trailered everywhere (preferably an enclosed trailer); they must also be garaged (enclosed as well) when not being shown.
We will often refer to cars in this finish category as “Driver/Shower” or “Shower/Driver” – with a slight distinction: does the customer want a car primarily for showing, but will occasionally drive it (Shower/Driver), or does the customer want the vehicle primarily for driving but will occasionally enter into shows (Driver/Shower)? Another distinction we might ask the customer to further define for us at this level: Does the customer want to enter shows for fun…or to win? If winning consistently is important, then Trailer Queen or above may be the level of finish that they require. High-quality bases and clears will be used; multiple clear coats for those finished at higher-end of this category, along with one “cut & buff” for Shower/Drivers.
The most requested level of finish that we offer, and the most appropriate for the majority of projects. This finish is for the following: the vehicle that is going to be driven regularly and/or will be used for family outings, or to carry pets; for folks that want their vehicle to look great while driving down the road, but that will also still stand up to closer scrutiny by friends/neighbors/strangers; for folks that want to be able to bring it to a car show without feeling embarrassed – but that don’t necessarily hope to win anything (please understand – you might still win something!!!); for folks that want to preserve their precious classic for future generations, but that don’t wish to sell a bodily organ to do so; for any/all combinations of the above. Slightly less expensive base coats may be utilized upon request (we will help you make the determination whether it is advisable/acceptable to do so), but a high-quality clear coat will be applied. There will be some defects, but most will not be noticeable except upon extremely close examination. The car will be polished but will not be “cut & buffed” (we need to leave enough clear on for protection); enough clear coat will be applied to allow for future cut/buffing in order to remove scratches, rock chips, etc. that will happen as the car is driven. It is always best to house your classic car in a covered area, but the UV protectants in the clear coat (that was purposely not buffed off) will protect the vehicle while driving and sitting parked while away from home.
The most affordable option; a finish that will protect the vehicle, but the body/prep work is not performed to exclude the majority of defects (but does remove the major ones). Less expensive bases and clears will be used; no polishing or cutting/buffing will be performed.