Salty & Sweet? Or Salty And Corrosive? Part II

snow storm salt

As a PDR technician, you will want to make sure that the work you do on a vehicle is going to withstand the harshest of weather conditions. This means that there is not one single job you can do that can be less than perfect or you will be the recipient of the worse kind of customer, the one that comes back to you wanting you to redo the job you have already done. Not only is this a huge waste of time, since you will not get paid for the redo, but it is also the worse conditions possible to deal with an angry or disgruntled customer.

Putting together a simple quality control program can alleviate or even prevent any work from leaving that may cause a warranty issue later on. From the start, your main goal should be to eliminate any possibilities and this is why a simple checklist would go a long way for repeat business, not redo business which has no monetary value.

In today’s market, with metals changing and steel becoming thinner in an effort to create a more efficient vehicle, it’s difficult to tell how long before corrosion takes hold of the metal and causes permanent damage. While the metals of today are stronger, if corrosion takes control the vehicle will be compromised and your reputation as a top PDR technician can take a hit.

Unless you use some sort of quality control procedures through your whole repair, you can and will find yourself later taking more time because of an overlooked step. While in your classes with East Coast Paintless Dent Repair Training, you will need to pay particular attention to the instruction on how to apply corrosion protection and the tricks to look between panels for any corrosion. There is not one single thing covered in class that you can afford to miss. Take your courses seriously and you may find later that you will be spared angry customers, warranty breaches, and your business overall.

PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part VII

Pontiac Grand Prix-1962

The Pontiac Grand Prix from 1962 is considered a full-size muscle car. Out of all of the Pontiac’s from days of old, this is the favored. The popularity never seems to wane. These are easily half the price of a GTO and is also powered by a 389 cu. in. V8. You can buy all of the mechanical and electrical parts readily, even performance enhancement parts. All parts for the interior, door panels, and trim have been reproduced as well. These sixties-era cars were the most favored when looking for something new and different. They have a very handsome styling and racing heritage that make these the first-year Grand Prix best. There were 30,000 made so their availability is there which means that they will not be hard to find.

Pontiac Grand Prix 1962


Oh how the Cadillac made a splash back in the day. They were the Big, Bold, and Beautiful cars of their time and were called land yachts. These offer the best bang for the buck of any sixties-era collector. You can quite literally find every single mechanical part and all at reasonable prices. Some of the trim parts are a bit hard to find and replacing body panels will have to be done with used parts, but on the positive side, when they are used they are cheaper. Of course that is one way to look at it but in truth you can’t get new panels, no matter how much you pitch a fit. The engines on these car have plenty of power and the spacious interiors can accommodate a family of six, unless of course everyone was really tiny, then I would say a family of eight. Let’s just say they didn’t get their nickname of land yachts for nothing, of course here and now we call the size a big tuna boat. These age old beautiful dinosaurs are going to be within you budget as they are far more affordable than you would think, especially since the brand Cadillac is ever growing in precision and beauty.


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part VI

Chevrolet Camaro-1967-’69

The Chevy Camaro is probably, outside of the Mustang, one of the most memorable vehicles ever made. That is of course as they pertain to muscle cars. Both are sleek and eye catching. Also, both you can easily find all parts for which includes the panels, trim, mechanical, and electrical parts. the 1969 Camaro is unanimously recognized as the go to hot rod of its day and ours. There will always be a huge demand for these cars which is the good news and the bad. If you can find one, completely rusted out and basically useless, you will not pay less than $2,500. They are just that much in demand.  But if you do find one there is a huge aftermarket for performance parts for them. You could not ask for more. This car will go down in history as one of the most sought after cars, ever. I could tell you stories for days about these cars. Oh, the good old days.


Dodge Challenger-1972-’73

The Dodge Challenger has been given second bill compared to the first choice which is the Cuda. Mopar fanatics seem to prefer the Cuda but the Challenger is actually the better car. With its detail and more upscale look, you would think that this would have won the challenge hands down. The reproduction of parts continues to grow, making even the rustiest project car salvageable. The later models have the small-block V-8’s are the most affordable to buy and the easiest to find. The E-bodies have grown in popularity and therefore the demand is outrageous. There is one thing to consider when restoring this vehicle, they must be restored to factory-original or else the value of the vehicle isn’t worth the effort.


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part IV

AMC AMX-1968-’69

These cars are pretty fast and are growing in popularity especially as it is discovered that they are pretty darn fast. To get the 390-cu. in. Go Package Models will cost you a pretty penny, or many. However, just as popular is the non-Go Package which to is a 390 cu. in.. Popularity grows even for the smaller 343 V-8 models, but the 290 V-8 less so. Reproduction parts are readily available, but what is available is not nearly as extensive as say the Mustangs. The awesome thing about this vehicle is that the mechanical parts interchange with those from the Big Three. How they are restored is pretty basic and for American Motors fans, these are considered the AMC muscle cars.


Lincoln Continental-1961-’66

The early sixties Continentals are an all time favorite of collectors. They have an upscale and classy shape which is loved by all meaning there will always be a strong demand for these models. You will have a limited amount of body and trim parts available but on the other hand, you will have unlimited access to mechanical parts. You may not choose this car as one of your first to restore because these were pretty much hand assembled vehicles. In fact, you may find that you have to hire a specialist to piece the car back together correctly. In spite of some of the difficulties that come with restoring these cars, the effort is well worth it as these remain the most sought after four-door luxury cars which can both be easily located and quickly sold. You may want to take if for a cruise before you let it go though. Get your buddies together and take it for a ride, you may not be able to let it go afterwards, so be warned.

lincoln continental


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part III

Moving on, we do have 32 to get through after all.

Chevrolet Bel Air-1953-’54

The fifties era Chevy’s have long been cars of the past that conjure up amazing memories for the Baby Boomers. The reproduction parts continue to increase in selection, and the prices are pretty good too. If you have a need for mechanical and electrical parts, these too are easily bought. Not only are these parts available but you can also easily find disc brakes and other high-performance upgrades, all for a very reasonable price.


Pontiac GTO — 1971-’72

The GTO is one of the most favored vehicle’s to own and restore. They are only truly affordable in the 1971-1972 models. The GTO’s before that, say 1968, are almost untouchable when it comes to affordability. The good news is that there are tons of body and trim parts that have been reproduced and a lot of go fast goodies too. However, values will continue to rise but only for the factory correct cars, and only those that have been restored well. So as tempted as you may be to make a hot-rod out of the GTO, if your purpose is for resell value, then you will need to keep it close to the cuff.


Ford Mustang — 1964-’68

The Ford Mustangs are the most common reconditioned vehicle there is. It’s popularity is insurmountable. Every single part on a Mustang has been reproduced and available in dozens of catalogs, shops and online. If you find a Mustang in its earliest years, you will find that you will get nibbles on your add almost as soon as you hit the enter key. Getting a 64-68 will not cost you an arm and a leg and yet will make you money hand over fist when you have completed the restoration. Again, it must be noted that restoring it to its factory perfection will yield you more money than to try and figure out what is popular and making it a muscle car. Stick with the basics when restoring any vehicle.



PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part II


Deciding on which car you want to work with is widely shaped by what you have always loved. If you can afford this luxury then good for you. If, for example, you would like a car that is easy to restore and pretty cheap in comparison to more difficult cars, then these are the cars for you. If you intend to turn a quick profit then these cars will serve you well and become your lifesaver. 

Be warned that these cars will not make you stand out in a crowd nor will you go cruising down the boulevard with these. What you will do is make a quick buck and eventually be able to get the car of your dreams for restoration, if that is your goal. When shopping for the vehicle that you will restore, you need to be prepared to pay up to $5,000 for them. Even though you and the entire world can see what buckets they are, you will be able to make four and sometimes more times than what you paid for them. They are quick, easy and relatively cheap, and with an extensive line of reproduction parts, especially new body panels and exterior trim, makes restoring these cars wonderfully straight forward. So sink your teeth in and let’s get going. These are not listed in any particular order.

Buick Riviera-1963-1965

This is a stunning American made car of the post-war era. The fine lines and styling that went into this type of car are attracting more people daily to start restoring them. You will pay a premium for them, especially the 1964-1965 versions as they have the dual-quad carb setup. You will find that there are several companies that are offering reproduction parts, which of course will make any future restorations less difficult that they have been. You will be able to find replacement panels and trim as well as reproduction seat covers and door panels. An early sixties Riviera will only grow in popularity and remain on the most wanted list.

PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part I


In the PDR profession you should be visiting car shows and speaking with car enthusiast’s from all over. Your expertise fits perfectly with these Classic fans and you want to be sure that you are giving them as much contact with your business as possible. The only way you’re going to succeed with this plan is to be where they go and know what you are talking about. Knowing what you are talking about may be the hardest part of this equation, but I am here to give you 32 quick lessons on what cars are the best to restore. This will be important when going to work with a fan of classics. If you know your limitations from the beginning, then you will know how effective you will be when supporting the Classic enthusiast. It’s not always the concern of the Classic Car Enthusiast with regards to how much it cost’s to recondition a vehicle. Many of the wealthy have no concern for the cost and delve into an unlimited bucket of funds. But, for the rest of us, restoring a Classic is a long and hard struggle, as the funds are not so easily available. Imagine that you are reconditioning a vehicle and discover that parts for the vehicle of choice are not readily available and if you can find them, the cost of said parts is prohibitive. The only solution to such a problem is to have knowledge of which classic vehicle’s have the exact opposite affect on yours or your potential client’s wallet.  Being in the know is impressive and could very well launch your career as the ‘go to’ for all things Classic. Let’s get started on making economic sense:

The obvious allure of restoring a classic car is to see its transformation from an abandoned rusty bucket to a dazzling vision of beauty. You can’t help but fall in love with the process and the car. It becomes your baby and you are bound by its every need.

Follow me to Part II as we continue our journey.

How To Identify A Flood Damaged Vehicle From Hurricane Sandy Part IV

cars under waterSo we are indeed at the end of this series. There is still two more thoughts that I would like to leave you with and a link that can help you by providing a checklist that you can print and use when checking vehicles for purchase.

  • Checking for hidden signs of problems-Take the time to make a careful inspection of the vehicle. Look for dirt, water stains or mold and mildew that crooks may have missed. Look in obscure places such as the roof where the fabric meets the cars body, check under the seats where the floors fabric connects to the dashboard. What you are looking for are pockets of water, dried mud, and dirt residue. You can get an “Auto Salvage Fraud Checklist” from NICB’s site to help.
  • Check all screws for rust-This is a pretty quick and easy step to do. You can do it and never be suspected of it by the seller. However, you really shouldn’t have to hide what you are doing. As a matter of fact, I would make it a point to let the seller know you are checking for signs of flood damage. Again, you may discover quickly that this person is a crook. Never take their word for anything. Their word can’t hold water in court. Get it? Hold water? Ha.

So now you have a better idea of what to look for, the list will help you with what I have not covered. My suggestion is to create a brochure or form that you can give to your clients. Being a helpful PDR Technician will go a long way in the mind of a client. You’re not taking away from your business, you’re helping it. They may still need your help on the car they do purchase that may have flaws that you are trained to work on. Good luck.

How To Identify A Flood Damaged Vehicle From Hurricane Sandy Part II

cars under water

Now that you have seen how buyers are getting duped by dishonest sellers; let’s think about some immediate solutions. The only way that you will have immediate solutions is to is to completely understand the problem and how you can help to make a difference in the solution. Following are some tips on how to avoid buying one of these horribly damaged vehicles: 

  • Be diligent by only buying vehicles from reputable dealers-Up until this point I have really come down on car dealerships as being a part of the problem. I still believe that, but the dealerships that I am talking about would not be the reputable ones. If you are going to buy a used vehicle, choose dealerships that have Certified Used Cars. These are approved by the manufacturer which requires a very stringent thorough investigation of each car coming to the lot. You can be sure that you are safe within these dealership walls.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is-This should go without saying, but this saying is as old as the wind and you may not have had to reference this before. If you find yourself buying a Mercedes for half of what it’s worth, your red flags should be flying high. Where is the logic that makes it okay to sell a two year old Mercedes for half of what it’s worth? It’s not okay, so don’t do it. You are asking for trouble and should be asking the seller, Why?

This isn’t Rocket Science, but this is common sense and some people lack this. You must be hyper-diligent when shopping for a vehicle, no matter where you are shopping. However, that being said, buying a vehicle off of Craigslist or other such sites, you will really need to pay attention on many different levels. There are scams everywhere and muggers as well. So ‘buyer beware’.

Questions? East Coast Paintless Dent Repair Training. More tips in the following post.

East Coast Hurricane Sandy’s Devastating Damage To Vehicles Part IV

Superstorm Sandy

The shortcomings of our system have provoked certain groups to warn people about these unsafe vehicle’s that are hitting the market in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents car dealers nationwide and companies that sell reports on vehicle histories, like CarFax. There are watchdog groups that say insurance companies sometimes contribute to the problem by underplaying at auction the damage to a car. As a result, in 2005, the State Farm Insurance company reached an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia for failing to properly title cars. From this juncture, State Farm had to reimburse over 30,000 affected customers. State Farm says they are complying with the laws in each state affected by Hurricane Sandy.

All of this will work for the dealerships but it still leaves vehicles being sold over the internet and person to person that bypass official channels. Until the titles themselves are branded with some sort of permanent stamp or mark, there will always be the chance of buying one of these totaled vehicles. As a PDR Technician you may come across vehicles like this quite often, which is very unfortunate. A lot of PDR Technicians will buy a vehicle in auction for their own practice and possible serious restoration. Having the tools and knowledge to start your own business means that you have nothing but options available to you. Hopefully, you to the Total Recon package so that you can really do so much more with a vehicle. If you have the room, I would suggest getting a car from auction to restore. I think I would even go as far as to get a cheap vehicle that in fact has been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. If you can identify and then attempt to fix these vehicles, you will know better than the next guy what can be fixed and what is just a total write off.

In a post coming up soon, we are going to talk about which classic vehicles are the best vehicles for restoration. In addition, my next post will go into detail on how you can tell if a vehicle has suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. You will learn the tell tale signs and be better equipped to quote your customers and understand your limitations.