Boo, Boos

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In quiet anticipation, I awaited the newly wood grained pieces and the running board trim moldings. Late last week Crin Dima contacted me that all the parts were done and were ready to ship. 

Early afternoon, Friday, 7/20 the UPS driver arrived. Being in my office, I heard and saw him pull up in front of the house. Jumping up I opened the front door and had him carry the two packages right into my foyer. I carted them into the kitchen and first opened the tube containing the running board moldings. 

(This felt like being a kid opening much anticipated  gifts, boy, oh boy!) That tube, with molding trims inside, was securely taped (I think it was some sort of iron duct tape), but, with much effort, I cut one taped end and slid out the pieces. First I unwrapped the original molding that Crin used for a template, then the two newly made parts. OMG! Superb! Highly polished, perfect to the original, and the attachment clips fit in them nicely too. A few photos for documentation, and back to the kitchen to open the BIG package. 

The large box's packaging tape had partially split open, lengthwise, right along the flaps, but the contents were still held in place. A couple of  layers of packing paper and there were the parts, all nicely wrapped in brown wrapping paper. First out was the rear window garnish piece and my inspection revealed nothing but an excellent restoration. 

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Then the dashboard, and again, WOW, excellent work! 


Lots of wrapping on all the parts, but I next went for the glove box door which was under the other window garnish pieces at the bottom of the pile. I carefully unwrapped it and beheld a most beautifully wood grained part - except it looked like tape residue on places. Closer examination and touch did not indicate stickiness. What is that? This all seemed odd because a week earlier Crin had sent photos of the finished work and no markings were obvious in those photos. OK, so maybe some residue that can be cleaned off. Wetting a cloth, I tried to wipe it away. No, that didn't work. Next I tried some mastic remover, nothing, just some smudging for my efforts. No use making anything worse, so I quit, but with a now uneasy feeling, not mad but more of a mild panic. Reaching for the phone I began to call Crin in Illinois, but first decided to look at the gauge cluster panel which was on one narrow end of the box. Upon unwrapping this piece, again, more marred areas were revealed. Yes, now time to call Crin. 

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Crin answered right away, and I told him I was happy to report the packages arrived and first that the running board moldings were outstanding. I couldn't be happier with them. HOWEVER…I then reported what I found with the marred surfaces on two of the parts. Crin assured me they did not have any marring when they left his shop, which I totally believe because of the photos he had sent. I told him what I had tried to wipe away the marks, but he told me to pack them up and he would re-do them. As I spoke with him I then looked at the gauge cluster more closely, and first saw part of the paper wrapping was sticking to the surface. Ahh haa!, it would seem the surface of the parts were not totally dry before he wrapped them. This was all happening as I talked with him on the phone. I believe, Crin being from Illinois, and even though he had let them cure for a time, that the humidity is the culprit. Crin says he may need to let them dry even longer on the next attempt.

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OH, OH, then I saw something else - a crease in the metal. Another little sinking feeling and the joy of anticipation and surprise were as marred as the parts I was examining. As we talked I looked at the box and where this panel had lain. Remembering how the UPS driver brought the package to the house, he carried it upright, not flat (the box was about 4 feet long, a foot deep and 2 feet wide - think "coffin" -yeah morbid comparison, but you get the image). It would seem, then, that during transport, the package probably was set on the end and the weight of the other window moldings had been jostled and pressed down and creased this one vulnerable piece. Crin assured me he would redo them, and would file a claim with UPS, whereupon, I decided to forego unwrapping the rest of the pieces so that UPS could see exactly what the box looked like when it was delivered.

Later in the day, UPS sent an email that they would contact me for an inspection, which I hope will be tomorrow, Monday, or soon thereafter. Also I took pictures of the damaged pieces and sent them to Crin. He responded quickly saying they looked horrible and, again, to send them to him to be repaired. 

So, the majority of the pieces are still intact, in the box, wrapped up and still needing my inspection. When the UPS inspection is completed, I'll then unwrap and inspect them and, hopefully, no other damages will be revealed. 

While this, in the first moments, felt like a slap on the cheek (which cheek is up to you…), Crin's reassurances and professionalism has made this feel, now, more like just another bump in the road - heaven knows I've hit a few with Phiona's (and my) trips down life's highways. I'm leaving this in Crin's hands, trusting his abilities and integrity.

Finally, to report on Phiona, herself, the shop has made some progress this week, with fenders off the car again and very close to final primer. I also saw that more sanding and smoothing was completed on the body. Looks like things are still moving forward - slowly, but forward.