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Old February 5th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #1
hloo10
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Finally Got My Hardtop Painted (long)

I finally got my hardtop painted. It started out Ocean Blue which looked ok in low lighting on Zenith Blue but there was no way I could live with it. After asking here for recommendations, I called several in the recommended list here but ultimately settled on Chows Automotive in SF on 7th and Harrison. I will add them to the recommended list here. Even though it was a bit out of my way, Kevin and Larry the owners of Chows, made me feel comfortable they knew how to do the job right.

I stopped by Chows after one of my meetings in the City to have a look at the shop and meet Kevin and Larry. Immediately you felt right at home. It was like talking to two good buddies. Its a small shop and it appears they can only work on 2 or 3 cars at a time. Kevin and Larry do all the work themselves. Before I could ask all the questions about painting the hardtop, Kevin explained to me how it had to be disassembled to be painted properly. He then showed me the Porsche PET diagram on his computer explaining the parts which needed to be removed to do the job. They also had just recently painted a top for a BMW, a Lotus, and a 996. I was convinced they could do the job right. I was quoted $500 which included fixing some minor dings in the top I didnt even notice until Kevin pointed them out. I asked how long it would take and Kevin mentioned they take their time so he quoted about 2 days but said it would probably be sooner. I asked if they needed the car or just the top. Kevin said you can just leave the top but hed rather have the car too for an exact match. He mentioned the computer can get it close, but there was no substitute for the human eye. I then made an appointment to drop the car off the following Monday about 4:30PM.

Monday I drop the car off. Conveniently, theres an Enterprise Rent-A-Car 2 blocks away. I asked Kevin to put the soft top up after he removes the hardtop to keep the interior clean. Kevin said they were planning to cover the whole car so there was no need. He also mentioned the car will stay inside the shop, never going outside. I left feeling confident they would do the job right and take care of the car.

Wednesday morning I get a call telling me to pick up the car. I was actually a bit surprised fully expecting to drive the POS rental for another day. The hardtop turned out perfect. The color is an exact match and the finish is as good as factory or better. The only thing that needs to be done is to replace the plastic clips (Part #986 563 721 00) which hold down the two small pieces which run along the windows. These trim pieces are on pretty good but I can pull them off. Since the 8 clips are only $1.40 apiece, Im replacing them myself. For anyone looking to paint a hardtop, Id recommend ordering these clips ahead of time and dropping them off at the shop when you get it painted. Ive included a few photos. Thanks to everyone here for their recommendations and advice.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #2
oldskuracer
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Looks great!

Your top looks great!

Yeah Kevin and Larry are cool guys!
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Old February 6th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #3
Manila Jay
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Hey hanson!

nice! good to see another ZB.. its been a while.. actually its been a while since i've seen mine! any drives around end march?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #4
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Jay! We've got Car Care day scheduled for the 25th. You going to be in town?
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #5
hloo10
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Hi Jay. It has been a while. Good to hear from you. You're still in the PI I take it. Definitely try to make car care day as Tom suggested. If that doesn't work, we can maybe organize a quick Babblers lunch or something.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #6
hloo10
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Thanks for the recommendation.
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