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Original review updated by user Apr 21, 2022

Very poor workmanship and business ethic. Buyer beware!

Nearly $22,000 dollars and a great deal of frustration later, I have a painted 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge.

I am very UNHAPPY with my experience with Sterling Hot Rods of Sterling Virginia and HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for any type of restoration service to look elsewhere.

Overview: Before and during Judge drop-off, I informed them that the frame was bent and would need straightening. They did not have the tools to straighten frames but said they could get the work done. Tom Sweeten (owner) reported back later that they measured the frame dimensions and it "checked out". Days later I made an unannounced visit and, to my surprise, found a new fender force mounted to the radiator support bracket attached to the bent frame.

The fender was being twisted and was buckling outward and gaps from their inability to properly straighten and align were filled with up to 3/4 of an inch in Bondo, to include on the hood where the tip of the hood meets the Endura nose. I ordered all work to cease and began coordinating with a couple of other shops that will do restoration projects. I was fully prepared to pay off and get the Judge out of their hands immediately. At the same time, I took time off of work to measure the frame myself using multiple methods, including the method Billy said he used, in order to see what they were seeing.

In each case, I could show them that the frame was indeed bent but instead of moving forward, I simply received denials and arguments to the contrary from Billy which were backed up by Tom, the non-engaged/non-concerned owner. Tom eventually stopped blowing me off, forcing me to deal solely with his scape-goat/stooge Billy, and we agreed to have a nearby location work the frame issue (the place was literally across the street). After successfully straightening the frame enough that the components would fit and align, (over 2 inches to the passenger side and around 2 inches up for both front frame rail tips) I again took time off from work to assist in aligning the front components. The only reason I stayed with Sterling was Tom's agreement to finally cap what I saw as "cost-creep".

They had already wasted so many hours, chargeable to me, by attempting body work on a car with a bent frame with full intent to charge me to redo anything that required re-work (as explained by Billy). They even prematurely had all of the jams painted before they had the car straight, which of course they never touched up, so with a quick check of my door jams you can find HUGE scratches where tools pried or slipped while trying to align.

In the end I can patch or cover up much of what is still frustratingly poor workmanship, but I am shocked at the exceedingly poor quality of Sterling Hot Rods workmanship, especially at such great costs.

Absolutely NOT RESTORATION FRIENDLY. I will never return and do not recommend their services.

User's recommendation: I will never return and do not recommend their services.

Monetary Loss: $22000.

Sterling Hot Rods Cons: Estimates are half, Horrible workmanship, Unreasonably high cost and practice of cost-creep, Terrible customer service after you are committed.

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