Took the ugly duckling to a different shop this morning.
And it went extremely well! I had never seen such care from a paint and body shop like this before. Soon the whole shop staff was outside assessing the bodywork needed to be done and asking me questions about what I wanted. As soon as I told them exactly what I was wanting they got extremely excited and began passing around the binder full of reference pictures I had put together. When it came down to the pricing, the owner told me he realized he had given me a quote of 3K without really looking a the bodywork and told me he still wanted to keep it around that margin for my sake, so he only bumped it to $3,700. I can’t complain, considering every other shop was wanting 8k or more for both body work and paint. Not only was the price extremely fair, he asked me if I’d be willing to stop by the shop frequently to make sure everything was being done the way I wanted, and even put down a 5 year warranty on the paint job if any chips or scratches occurred after completion.
Honestly, after the last painter took me for that ride through hell, I kind of lost my enthusiasm towards this project.
But after today, my excitement to keep going was re-kindled.