Now you know why we all pay so much for insurance
In 1968, my grandpa died while I was in S.E. Asia. I went back to S. E. Asia in 1969 and my grandma died. Not a place I wanted to be for various reasons. In the day, grandpa was what they called a “body and fender man”. One of the very best there was in his time. He could take a rolled over ’36 Ford sedan and in two weeks, it looked like it just rolled off the assembly line. He did this with only his great skill, a few tools and some paint and sandpaper. This was long before buckets of Bondo and fiberglass patch kits. They had a process called “leading” in which they used hot lead to fill in the final cracks and voids. It took many years of experience to master this art as it was extremely demanding and finicky. Grandpa was a true artist.
A while back, my wife’s Dodge Caravan got backed into and it pushed in the passenger side lower quarter of the tailgate. It barely even marred the paint, just pushed it in. It didn’t crease it, it still opened and shut and sealed just fine. We always carry full coverage, so we go to the “body shop” and they say 10 days. Well, I figured they are pretty busy and just have to work us in, so we leave. It has now been 2 weeks and we ask for an explanation and the answer was, “The tailgate we got from the wrecking yard wasn’t quite good enough, so we had to order a new tailgate from the factory.” I say, “What?” Grandpa would have had that pulled, sanded, primed and painted it in two days, three tops. Would have taken longer for the paint to dry than him fixing the dent. Here’s my point; we don’t have “body and fender” men anymore, just parts changers with some painting experience. Now you know why we all pay so much for insurance! Man, do I miss grandpa and the old days.
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