If you’re seeking to restore a classic car, one of your primary concerns may likely relate to the cost of the project. The costs of preparation and labor alone may seem overwhelming, so estimating your budget is key. Additionally, the total expenses associated with a classic car restoration often vary by make and model.
According to The NPD Group’s 2015 Consumer Outlook Survey, older automobile owners are twice as likely (20% vs. 10%) to expect to spend more than $1,000 on maintenance and repair work. The poll compared respondents who had owned a car for three years or less and individuals who owned a vehicle for 11 years or more. Given statistics such as these, let’s take a close look at the total cost of classic car restoration projects.
These are the main factors that typically determine the cost of restoring a classic car (often defined as a vehicle that is at least 20 years old):
- The body and frame’s overall condition
- The rarity of the vehicle and how easily replacement parts can be found
- The number of parts needed
- Unique upholstery and convertible top selections
- Elegant powertrain and chassis upgrades
- Non-salvageable powertrain parts (if there are any)
- Quality of restoration (e.g. 100-point show car)
Condition of the Body & Frame
A car’s frame should always be adequately aligned and straightened so that you can drive without any issues. It’s also crucial to ensure your car’s metal components do not accumulate excessive rust. Contact your local custom repairs and restoration shop to receive an estimate for this service. At Impact Auto Body in Mesa, Arizona, for example, the average cost of frame straightening is $800 (about $100 per hour), a figure that varies depending on the amount of damage sustained.
If you’re planning on completing a full, ground-up restoration, a significant proportion of your total costs will relate to parts. Should you be seeking to enter your car into shows after restoring it, the total cost of parts could amount to at least $10,000 for a Mustang or Camaro, for example, per CarsDirect. You will also likely be charged a 25% markup (at minimum) for any parts you can’t supply. If parts are shipped from another state or country (because they are rare in your region), additional fees may apply.
Cars that are more than 30 years old can often have many hidden problems. These vehicles can contain moisture exposure, dirt, debris, or rusted bolts and screws. Some of the lower parts of a car’s body may also be painted unevenly due to overspray. In order to identify all of these less-evident issues, you may need to inspect every part of your car and possibly remove certain things, like mats.
All auto body shops charge for labor costs (typically per hour). If a subcontractor is used for metalwork, additional fees often apply. Many locations will likely charge at least $75/hour for labor, which involves washing, cleaning, and replacing parts, including chrome components.
Some car experts also recommend preparing your vehicle for restoration by having the body and frame blasted and re-plated. Nuts and bolts can also be cleaned in an acid bath. Overall, a car restoration could ultimately cost you up to $60,000 (financing options are often available). Therefore, make sure you save enough money for such an endeavor.
Contact the Car Restoration Experts
Speak to the professionals at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia to learn more about the process and costs of classic car restoration. We have experience working with antique and muscle cars as well. We will begin by straightening and aligning your vehicle’s frame so that it can circulate with ease, and we will take care of any rust that your car may have built up over time. Robs’ experts will also repair any damage or wear and tear your vehicle’s interior may have suffered, and they can replace any parts with higher-quality alternatives so that your car is looking more new than you could possibly imagine.
Robs’ experts will always strive to address you and your car’s unique needs and concerns. Whether you hope to take it to an auto show or simply want to have some improvements made that haven’t been taken care of in a long time, we are here to help. Call Rob’s today at (703) 552-5001 or contact us online for more information about our work or for a free estimate. You’ll hardly find a more reliable car restoration business in your area!