Saturday, July 25, 2009

Before and After

There is a really awesome song by Sons of Maxwell called "United Breaks Guitars." It's about a musician's struggle to get United Airlines to pay damages incurred when they broke the neck of a very expensive Taylor guitar. It's been going through my head all day. Here's why:

Anyone who's known me very long at all knows that I have a cute little car, a 1958 Nash Metropolitan that is very special to me. I've named him Little Sweetie and he was a 20th anniversary present. It took us four years to get him to the pristine condition you see below - which is also the photo my insurance company has on file. Thank goodness.

My regular readers might recall an earlier post about Little Sweetie being packed up for shipping. In that unedited post, I expressed concern over the packing arrangements. The driver assured me he's "done this a hundred times" and I shouldn't worry about it.

It seemed a bit squeezy to me, but the addition of the blanket between the metal deck and the roof of my car were meant to reassure me.

Fast-forward to July 24. The long-awaited day finally arrives and I can get my car back. Oh yeah, and our other stuff. But the happy reunion was as marred as my car... Jim took this pic with the car in place in the trailer, showing the crease the decking made all the way across the roof. The shippers who offloaded our goods - and I feel it is important to note here that they were NOT the same guys who loaded everything up - were also taking pictures and calling their boss. They took a picture with a tape measure to show how close the other guys had installed that deck above the roof. Three and a half inches above the roof. And I'll also note that they were measuring from the top of the roof as it is *now* which means it was closer to the roof before it was caved in.

There are huge pieces of missing paint, and you can see how deep the crease is. In a car with little headroom for the average person to begin with, you can imagine what this feels like when you're behind the wheel now.

And this... This huge scrape on the driver's side fender is all the way to bare metal. Past the NEW PAINT JOB, past the original paint, past the primer, down to bare metal. It's more than a foot long and about four inches tall. And that black dot near the end of the fender panel under the scrape? That's a puncture. What in the Sam hill punctures a metal car all the way through?

And then there's the body damage on both sides of the front, under the bumper.

The white line you see across the truck top is a scrape.

I had a complete meltdown. On my knees, in the parking lot, sobbing.

I'll have to get some estimates to have it fixed and I hope to start on that on Tuesday.

Now, I hope you notice I haven't mentioned the name of the carrier responsible for this damage, and I also haven't mentioned the name of the umbrella shipping business who contracted out the services of the person responsible for it. I'm going to wait on that to see how they handle the situation and if they make right the damages they caused. Since the car isn't the only thing they damaged - just the most dramatic thing - we're still taking photos of other broken and ruined items as we unpack.

If they don't make this right, maybe somebody can write me a song to go on YouTube. Now go listen to "United Breaks Guitars." You know you want to.


  1. So I wasn't the only one who was thinking about that song...

  2. OMG! My heart breaks for you.... and little sweetie! And all your other things too! I'm glad you have everything documented! I hope you get some satisfaction for all your damages!
    Love you lots!!!

  3. Oh My Goodness. I give you 1000% credit for not decking the guys.

    Oh,, I am so so sorry this happened. I know some damage usually occurs during shipping but this is outrageous.

    What a horrible sick to your stomach feeling,
    gentle Hugs Deanna, gentle hugs

  4. OMG! Sure hope you get all that straightened out! (Pun intended.)

  5. PS I would've been sobbing too if it had been my MINI....

  6. Hmmm....something about the suspension of the car able to move up and down, in or out of sychronization with the truck moving up and down....all the way from Dallas to AK.....I hope they have good body guys (gals?) in the 49th state.....mercy!

  7. We've found a couple places that specialize in antique car restoration, and a body shop recommended by our next-door neighbor. The estimates are coming in, with $7000 being the upper end. The body shops are going strictly from the photos I provided, because all but one of them are several hours' drive from here. I'm sure the lower estimates would be higher if they could see the car in person. We may take it to Wasilla (four hours away) to the body shop of a guy who owns a Met himself. We shall see....

  8. OH NO!!! I would have done exactly what you did. Complete hysteria! Poor car!