Trevor here, a long time lurker to the forum. I finished building a replica Speedster and a 2276cc Type-1 a couple of months ago. I started the project in 2011, the 2276 took about 1.5 years to build, and the rest of the car about 2.5 years. I bought the body from Kirk at Vintage Speedsters in Hawaiian Gardens. The car is just about sorted, but I'm still working on jetting the dual Webers and tweaking the 911 fan shroud for even cooling.
Mid-April I drove the car to work to show it off to a few colleagues. I drove to a local deli for lunch, purposely avoided the parking lot, and parked directly across the street from the outside tables. I parallel parked, there was about 6' of space in front, and 8' behind me. Ordered lunch, sat down, and BAM! An old guy in a big F-150 backed straight into the Speedster. His tow hitch missed my bumper and center-punched the nose. Cracked the front end, cracked the battery compartment, shattered the paint. So, long story shortened, I was looking for a shop to repair the fiberglass and repaint.
I got quotes from two local San Diego Corvette shops, Vintage Speedsters up in LA, and Rock West Racing in El Cajon. The Corvette shops didn't seem to care about my replica Speedster. Overall, they were pretty rude once they found out I would be using insurance to pay for the repair. Vintage Speedsters sent me a decent quote for the repair and paint, however they would not paint the whole car, they would only blend the front, which I didn't want. I visited Rock West Racing and spoke with the GM, Christopher Kingery, their paint and body guy Wes (sorry don't remember his last name), and toured their facility. We discussed the history of the shop, their team, and Chris showed me several of their cars in various stages of completion. After a very positive visit experience and receiving a reasonable quote, I decided to have the work done at RWR.
To save some $$ I decided to disassemble all exterior components on the car myself. It made sense to me to keep all the parts at home, along with all the fasteners and hardware to eliminate any risk of loss or damage. More importantly, as many of you know, no part on these cars fits easily when new. Every single part on the car needs to be tweaked, bent, cut, trimmed, re-painted, fabricated, or massaged into place. Bolts and screws all have their exact locations, often defined by size and clearance issues, and sequences for assembly disassembly, etc. I have no doubt Rock West Racing could have handled the job of disassembly and reassembly fine, however call me anal, but I just felt more comfortable doing it myself.
I dropped the car off, stripped. A week or so later I received a couple of pictures via email and text from Chris showing the progress on the repair. Another week or so and I received a few more pictures of the car getting painted in their booth. A couple of days later a couple pictures of the Speedster shining under the shop lights, and glistening in the sun after being buffed. After 3 weeks, I came back to pick up the car and inspect their handy work.
The fiberglass repair and paint came out perfect. No sign of any sort of damage or repair work. Perfect shaped nose and front end. Even the undercoating matches the rest of the car as it was. You would never know there was any sort of repair. All in all, I would say 9.8 on a scale of 10.
A big thanks to Rock West Racing. This is one very happy customer.
Below are some pics of the damage, repair, and after completion: