Hi Nate, that really irks me when this stuff happens, takes longer and not always 100%, but I always do my own paint and panel.
Depending on your budget, there is a guy in Mount Gambier that does good work, core business is classics and Hot Rods. His name is Mark Fry. If you like I can get his number and you can have a chat. Not sure what his rates are like, but I am sure he can work to a budget. Bearing in mind there is some work to get your 63 in shape.
Nate, When I did my Bel Air I had very little experience with bodywork and paint. I had done a lot of painting and varnishing on boats and was familiar with the process. I had done some metal fabrication and I am very handy. I never planned on a complete restoration but that is what I ended up with. My budget was very limited and I decided that if it was going to get it done I was going to have to settle for the best of my ability. Guess what? It turned out very nice. I have seen the work you have already preformed on this project. You can do it. Its time to role up the sleeves and get to work. Then the only panel beater you can bitch at is yourself.... JM2Cents....Dan
Hey Nate, just as the guys above have said. Give it a go yourself. If there are areas that seem to hard etc just work on what you see as the easy parts until you get more confidence in your own ability. On my 56 Belair i got 2 different tradesmen panelbeaters to do work on it that when i did a rebuild i ripped out and re-did it myself.
On my 37 ford i took a whole day to make one little bracket that when the car was finished you could not even see it (actually made three and threw the first two in the bin)
Just saying it can be done, the 4 months this time that you have waited not counting the time before would have been a lot of experience under your belt and there are a lot of guys on here that with a photo can tell you the best way to go about it.
Hi Nate, as Steve and Dan have said.
I do my own body and paint. Really not difficult, sure there are tricks you learn along the way if it stuffs up just start again, the big issues are time, patience and space. Cost really is nothing, last car I painted (still not finished) is my 38 Ford Coupe, total material cost $ 1200.00, to get someone else to do it and then pick it pieces $ 10,000. If you were a little closer I would give you a hand.
Irrespective I will be in Newstead for the Chopped event at the end of the month, if you go give me a call when you get there and maybe we can sort a bodyman and painter that is close to you.
Hey Nate, Really hear what you are saying and how you feel. When I built up my 55, I was the greenest of green when it come to panel work. my total build up time was well over 10 years. Many a time after walking out to the garage to feed the dogs and constantly seeing the chev sitting there with no progress happening I drew up numerous adds to put in the paper to sell cause I was just feed up to the back teeth and it drove me crazy.
A couple of really good mates always convinced me to keep chipping away and whilst I didn't learn a lot of panel work for myself I did learn how I could do trade off's for things that I was good at (importing parts in to the country) in exchange for panel beating by people looking for extra work (always carefully screened)
The chev now has been in the family for 25 years, on the road for 13 years, gained some great friends, lost a lot of hair and learnt to be really patient (all be it frustrated at the same time).
I'm still not a panel man and still do trade offs, but as Steve and the boys have said maybe give it a go yourself otherwise look at other ways to try and do trade off's. If you're really in to your project then you'll find a way to get it done even if it takes a few extra years. The wait will be well worth it, totally talking from real hard experience.
Start networking at local shows and events. I've always said that, Ms Bela would not be done, if not for some great people I met at work, shows and events. Like you I had almost no skills in body work, but the right people came along in Ms Bela's life, at just the right time, to help me get her running and completed. When I started dissassembly and found all the rust, I thought she was a loss. Then along came Ted; he knew what needed to be done and more importantly how to do it. In a couple of weekend of hard work, the rust was GONE and the car looked like it was well on the way to being what she is today.
Don't give up hope... Shoot three hours is nothing, I was stationed in Texas and the car was in Idaho, I just worked on it when I was home !! Well it did take up Mamma's side of the garage for three years !!!!