KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Around the country, classic cars in good to excellent condition are considered an investment, and the condition of the paint on these cars adds to the value.

A car collector in Sevier County is disappointed with the quality of the paint recently applied to his 62-year-old Cadillac. In its day, Chuck Finazzo’s fully equipped 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood was top of the line. Even to this day, it gets a lot of attention. However, he is disappointed in the condition of the new paint on his classic car. It has been repainted twice in two years, but blisters, or bubbles, continue to pop up on the finish.

Paint restoration can bring a car back to its original glory. A functional older car can be transformed with a coat of fresh paint, But Finazzo does not view the new paint on his classic caddy as a valuable investment.

In March 2020, Finazzo took his Caddy to MAACO on Western Avenue in Knoxville, which was then under different management and ownership. In the shop, the old paint was stripped and primed. During the process, old bodywork was repaired, and dings and dents were removed. The bill was $3500 and the warranty on the work was for five years. In May 2020, he got the car back.

“That’s when I paid them, their best paint job, $3500, to do the bodywork and the paint. They did that, but it started bubbling. So I took it back and they redid it again,” said Finazzo.

Details in the contract state “paint and base coat have a five-year prorated warranty.” But after being painted a second time, within weeks paint blisters, or bubbles, popped up again in several areas of the car’s body.

“This is a large paint bubble right here that has air in it, where the paint went on there and left air behind it,” said Finazzo. He explained that it will peel eventually “if it gets any kind of a crack or a pinhole, it will peel and it will start spreading.”

He pointed out several more little bubbles on the car.

“As soon as that gets a crack in it, all this is going to peel. This whole area will just start peeling everywhere,” said Finazzo.

Dissatisfied, Finazzo returned to the paint shop. However, in March of 2021, the owners of the MAACO garage were out of business. Finazzo said he was told by the corporate office, that the Knoxville shop would reopen under new management.

So in July 2021, that second paint job was examined — close attention was given to the bubbles and other imperfections. He was informed, that it would not be repainted a third time.

“When I called corporate, they said they weren’t going to fix it. They said is it cracking or peeling? I said, not yet, it is bubbled. But if those bubbles break open it is going to peel. They said they were not going to warranty it,” said Finazzo.

Finazzo was told the warranty covered only cracks and peeling, not bubbles or blisters. 6 On Your Side wrote to MAACO’s corporate office twice asking why the warranty wasn’t being honored as it had been the first time. We didn’t hear from them, but Finnazo did.

About ten days ago, additional pictures were taken of the imperfections, but the answer had not changed.

“They fixed it the second time, now they won’t fix it again. And it is doing the same thing in the same spot again,” said Finazzo.

He hasn’t figured out yet what he’s going to do next about the paint.

The current local MAACO franchise operator and owner did not paint the car initially or repaint it, that was done by the previous operator.

So, what does it mean when paint starts to bubble? An expert explained that paint blisters or bubbles occur when the paint film lifts from the metal surface. That loss of adhesion is usually caused by heat, moisture, or a combination of both. The condition can eventually lead to peeling.

Finazzo says he has a nice-looking car, but the paint blisters don’t add to its value.