I picked up my Maverick from Miracle Auto Paint in Pleasanton Wednesday afternoon. Actually Miracle's owner, Jeff Jacobson, picked me up and drove me down to Pleasanton to pick up the finished car.
It looks so good now I'm half afraid to take it out of the garage. My neighbor Sally took photos of me with it yesterday morning. I posted the best one with this blog. I almost never go out without a hat, so now you can see I have hair on the top of my head.
I drove my Maverick to Miracle on April 2nd from A-1 Upholstery in Dublin, where I left it on April 1st to have tears in the driver's seat repaired. Bob Betz of A-1 did a great job and the seat looks like new. Miracle is all the way on the south end of Pleasanton, so leaving from A-1 saved a little time driving it down there.
I bought the Grabber hood decal and striping kit from Phoenix Graphics, which I brought with me for Miracle to apply after painting the car. That's when the problems started. Either the hood decal was defective or it was not applied correctly. The owner, Jeff Jacobson, called to tell me the decal couldn't be used and Phoenix Graphics should replace it under the guarantee.
Phoenix Graphics offers a guarantee, but since the person who tried to install it wasn't there and threw the decal away, Christian at Phoenix Graphics couldn't conclude the problem was with their decal and not the installation.
I wanted to get the car finished for the June 1st Good-Guys show and it was already May, so I ordered another one for the discounted price of $79 and had Phoenix Graphics ship it directly to Miracle Auto Paint.
The additional $79 didn't bother me too much, but because the decal didn't go on properly the installer made the assumption that the stripes wouldn't either. These are vinyl with a 3-D effect on the car. In other words they are not painted on, but glued on.
The owner, Jeff Jacobson, thought a good way around using the "defective" black stripes was to paint the black portion an inch higher on the car and put a yellow stripe in between to give the effect of a black stripe on the yellow background. This was not good with me.
I sent Jeff an email and phoned him a day later to see what he could do to fix this, because I really wanted to keep the car as original as possible. It isn't a hot rod with flames on the fenders or stripes and decals for decoration. It is an original 1973 Maverick Grabber that I wanted to look like a new 1973 Maverick Grabber, instead of a worn out one.
Jeff said they would redo everything. Miracle's Manager, Donovan Brunk, completely redid the car and brought in a friend of his who specializes in installing decals and stripes. The second hood decal from Phoenix Graphics arrived damaged in shipping and this time Phoenix Graphics replaced it no charge, but it added another week to the job. Then Don needed another stencil it for the GRABBER graphic next to the fender on one side; so I ordered a replacement stencil from Phoenix Graphics and another week went by.
All of these orders delayed getting my car until after the Good-Guys All American Get-Together on June 1 & 2nd. So after arriving at the March Good-Guys show too late to get a good spot to exhibit my car, I missed the June show too. Still as I told Jeff, I'd rather have the car done right than fast.
Jeff offered me a $200 credit on the paint job, but I only took off $100. It probably cost them more than that to redo everything; besides Miracle shouldn't be punished for telling the truth and taking responsibility for making it right. Too many people today weasel out of their responsibilities. I credit Don Brunk and Jeff Jacobson at Miracle and Christian at Phoenix Graphics for making everything right even at their expense.
The car was ready on Friday, June 21st. I had an appointment at the DMV in Pleasanton at 2 pm and planned to drive down to Miracle after my appointment. I arrived at the DMV at about 1:50 pm. There was a moderate line, which I thought was for people without appointments, but it turned out to be for those of us with appointments.
Other people without appointments just walked up to the woman at the desk and checked in. In the meantime those of use with appointments continued to wait. I questioned why we were waiting when others were going in.
A young man at the other check-in desk said that appointments started at 2 pm and it wasn't 2 pm yet. So we all had to wait until 2 pm just to go in and get a seat. The electronic sign over the desk said that appointments had a 0 wait time, but between waiting 15 minutes on the line and another 10 when I finally got in, I waited longer than people without an appointment thanks to the Pleasanton DMV's appointment process!
I went to the DMV to find out the status of my Pet Lover's License Plate. I preordered a Pet Lover's License Plate in 2011 to help them reach the 7500 they needed to be accepted by the DMV. They reached that number at the end of last year; so I thought the plates would be available by now.
They are shown on the list of available plates, but the man at Window 5 said they are not available yet. I also asked about the new vintage plates for 1970's cars. The man at the window said he couldn't get them for me and told me to follow the instructions on the website. So my trip to the DMV was a complete waste of time.
At least I could drive down to Miracle and see how my car turned out. I drove down Hopyard to Valley and took Valley to Bernal. Miracle Auto Paint is on California Avenue which I recalled was just off Bernal, but I couldn't find it. I drove up and down Bernal three times looking for California Avenue and finally gave up.
When I got home I looked it up on the map. California Avenue is off of Stanley, which is off Valley or Bernal. I had driven there three or four times, so I was sure I could find it again and didn't bring a map with me. That's why I should always bring maps with me.
Some of you might suggest a GPS, but I tried that in Maine and found it more distracting than helpful. Printed maps are fine if I read them before I leave and can stop and look at them along the way.
I phoned Miracle and told them I would pick up the car on Monday. My neighbor Sally offered to drive me down there Monday afternoon, but it rained on Monday and I didn't want my freshly painted car to get rain spotted on the way home.
Sally came over on Tuesday, but it was still drizzling. Sally couldn't take me on Wednesday so Jeff, the owner, drove up from Pleasanton and drove me down. At least this time I didn't get lost.