Make sure your photos show...
Make sure your photos show that the panels are flat and aligned, and that the seams don't show.
Vehicles being repaired in the shop included a Corvette, a Ferrari, a Rolls Royce, an Acura NSX, and a number of Porches and BMWs-cars whose owners tend to be very picky about the quality of the work performed. And indeed, the bodywork and finishes on these cars looked excellent. Perhaps the best way to judge a shop is to examine several cars that had similar repairs performed there several years ago, but in reality this is rarely easy to do.
After selecting the shop, get a copy of its repair/refinish warranty. Many reputable shops will guarantee their work for the life of the car. I also recommend asking whether someone from the shop will do a walk-around when the car arrives, and sign a sheet detailing its condition. Prepare this sheet with a description of the condition of the paint and body, interior, glass, trim, and top. Also be sure to note the presence of any overspray (or lack thereof). The purpose of this step is to make sure the shop uses extra care to prevent overspray or other incidental damage during the repair.
When appropriate, make a list of detail items a body shop might not know, such as the importance of reusing original bolts and not painting plated fasteners, or the correct location for different-size screws. Photograph the exterior, the interior, and important assembly details. If possible, consider copying relevant pages from Corvette factory assembly manuals and leaving them in the car. It may be weeks after disassembly before the car is put back together, and the technician is not likely to remember where every fastener went.
Photograph the interior of...
Photograph the interior of the car as well. On earlier Corvettes, major bodywork entails a lot of grinding that creates clouds of dust. If the gauges aren't masked thoroughly, dust can get behind the lenses, creating more work.
Ask how long the repairs will take. While anyone who has worked on an older car will appreciate it almost always takes longer than estimated, you don't want your repair job to drop in priority as a result. If GM or N.O.S. (new old stock) parts aren't available, take an active part in choosing what replacement parts are used. Sermersheim's Corvette in Evansville, Indiana, sells good-quality, press-molded fiberglass panels, which are a good choice if you don't want to use non-original hand-laid panels.
Be aware that a heavy collision often results in hidden damage that will not be apparent until disassembly. The chance of such damage existing makes it even more important to select a good repairer initially, since moving the car to another shop after disassembly tends to be difficult and expensive. If additional damage is found, make sure the adjuster approves the work before the shop performs it. Otherwise, you will likely be responsible for the additional charges.
Think about what other repairs, parts replacements, or improvements could be done less expensively at this time. The labor for replacing a wiring harness, certain A/C parts, or other hard-to-reach components may cost considerably less when the car is apart. Should something additional be painted at the same time? Have you wanted to replace a stock part with something custom? Saving some money this way can take some of the sting out of paying your deductible.\
And finally, keep cool throughout the process. Be polite, especially when you're frustrated. The people you'll deal with at insurance companies are generally good folks who are trying to do their job according to their employers' policies. Take detailed notes of each conversation. These may help if you wind up with a serious dispute. And remember that what you say is probably going into their claim folder, too. If you're a member of a Corvette club or have other Corvette experience, tell the adjuster and claims people so they'll know your statements about parts and repairs are based on prior knowledge.