How Much Does a Restoration Cost

muscle car restoration shop
muscle car restoration shop

Costs associated with restoring a classic car will be far higher than those associated with upgrading and repainting a modern vehicle.

Costs of Purchasing a Vehicle for Restoration

Purchase of a vehicle might be as low as $0 or as high as $20,000 or more, depending on the vehicle’s condition. The expense of restoring classic Camaros and Mustangs that are still in working order can run up to $5,000. Depending on the model, you may expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a bare chassis to $2,500 for a partially operable full car if you buy your project from a junkyard. Finally, you may buy a well-maintained car for roughly $15,000 from a private seller or a dealer. If you intend to use the car on public roads, you must register it. The cost of overall lights, brake, and safety check if you got the automobile from a junkyard with a salvage title to keep in mind in other cases, can cost as much as $100 or even more.

Restoration Prep Costs

If you want to build a show car, you must completely remove everything that can be taken from the chassis and frame. Afterward, the body and frame must be media blasted and re-plated. You also have to have every nut and bolt cleaned in an acid bath and then re-plated. The rusted chrome on the parts must be removed and new chrome added. Up to $15,000 can be spent on this procedure.

Restoration Parts Prices

The majority of your car restoration costs will be spent on parts, especially if you’re conducting a show-quality or factory showroom restoration. The entire cost is determined by the extent of the restoration. Many pieces that are still in excellent shape but weren’t part of the original equipment when the automobile was new may need to be replaced if you wish to restore them to their original condition. For a Camaro or Mustang, parts costs might reach $10,000 if you plan on entering the car in shows once the restoration process is complete.

You will be charged at least a 25 percent markup for any parts that you do not furnish. If the shop procures all of your parts, they’ll cost a fortune. Anything that must travel long distances will cost you extra money in shipping costs and expediting fees. Because most parts are offered “as is” and then cleaned before installation, it costs more to have them cleaned and treated a second time.

Restoration Cost of Employees

All shops charge for labor, and the majority of them charge upwards of $75.00 an hour. Specialty businesses, such as those that perform bespoke painting or upholstery work, may charge a premium or impose a flat fee. Oftentimes, things are marked up even more than that. Likewise, if the business outsources metal work or any other service, that will be billed at the cost-plus method. To clean and wash the parts, you’ll have to spend at least $25 an hour, and to restore the chrome or electroplate, you’ll have to pay $35 to $45 an hour. At any time, these prices could change. Inflation can cause labor rates to fluctuate, even if they have been stable for some time.

Restoration Costs for Refinishing

The expense of painting and any necessary body repairs can go into the tens of thousands of dollars. Body fillers can drastically reduce the cost of body repairs if you don’t intend to enter the car in any exhibitions. Replacement panels must be cut, shaped, and welded in if the rust on the vehicle is too severe to be fixed. Repairing a vehicle’s body might cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Painting can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the quality, kind, and number of coats done.

The Total Restoration Cost

$40,000 to $60,000 is the price range for a complete restoration done by one shop. In most cases, you and management will work out a payment plan that works for everyone. Some will pay a percentage of the whole cost, while others prefer to pay in full upfront. Installment is then paid for separately when the pieces have been purchased. There is a lot of money to be saved by doing part of the work yourself before taking it in to be restored. You can either become engaged in the restoration, or you can just enjoy the finished product.