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Reasonable quote? (and other happenings)

Greetings from balmy NY ( It was 60F today, Really!)

Yesterday I spoke with the proprietor of a local auto repair facility which
seemed Fiat friendly about bodywork and paint on my old X1/9.  This was the
same place I'd mentioned a few days ago which had lots of Spiders and other
oddballs laying about.  The shop seemed well equipped and clean and the
owner seemed knowledgeable.  He actually autocrosses his own X locally and
had photos to support.  Hell, he even quoted Dwight's rule without
prompting.  OK, fine.

The guy quoted me $1100 to clean up the minor rust on the car (mostly in
places only I know about), fix some ripples, and respray the car using "PPG
two stage" (sounded neat - is it good?)  About all I know is that PPG is a
company that makes LOTS of paint.  

This seemed more or less reasonable to me, but what do I know.  Should I
expect decent quality for this kind of $, or an Earl Scheib slopfest ?  I
don't need an amazing car, but the dimples on the hood are getting to me
(I've got a straight one, but it's blue) and I'd rather redo the car before
it gets too ragged.

Several of you have seen the vehicle in question, but for those that
haven't, it's an 81 that's roughly presentable.  No major rot, some shiny
paint, and no major dents, though a fair # of dings.  It's basically an
original 17 year old car which has had patchwork done before, but it was
done reasonably well as far as I can tell.

I'm not in any rush to spray the car.  I'm just beginning to do homework,
but I suppose I'd like it to look better for NC next summer, if possible.  

Other automotive tidbits:

An amusing placard seen on the dashboard of a '57 Facel Vega (!!?) parked
at the local Citgo station:  "Caution:  Keep windows closed at speeds in
excess of 120 mph."  The car was tired looking, but had plates and a
current inspection.  No real rust, either.  Why would anyone put Nitto
tires on such a car?

While filling up at the aforementioned station, a middle aged woman came up
to me and mentioned that she had once owned two X1/9's and still had some
spares for the car.  She offered them to me gratis (and I offered to pay,
too!).  Mostly small, common stuff (fine by me...).  Fiat folks are

An hour later, I received a summons for an expired inspection sticker.  I
figure the free parts just about cover the fine and I should get my ass in
gear and get the car inspected.  At least my insurance bill won't go up.

 I swear I'm not making this stuff up.  I should carry a camera.

All the best!

Christopher Judd  
e-mail: juddman@domain.elided

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