Scooter Guy

Members
  • Content Count

    251
  • Joined

Everything posted by Scooter Guy

  1. Funny you should say that. Angie's List actually DOES have an automotive restoration division. I have not used so I can't speak to what the contents are. I do know that Angie Hicks and her husband have a nice personal collection of cars and many motorcycles (and rebuilt a 1910's era garage into a showplace for the collection -- it's nice!) so this is, perhaps (???) something of a pet project for them. As for the posting rules here, they've been discussed many times in threads like this. While I personally don't agree with the AACA's reasoning on some of their policies and feel as though the organization is absolutely over-the-top paranoid about lawsuits over forum postings...at the end of the day it's the AACA's forum and they can make whatever rules they want. We can each make the choice to tolerate the rules and use this forum or go elsewhere.
  2. There is Intellectual Property Law that would maybe protect your invention without a patent. Just remember that once you put your invention out there without real patent protection it will no longer be a secret and will be subject to the public domain. Anyone that figures it out, copies it, or improves upon it will then become your competition in the market. Assuming your invention is patentable (not everything is - an important part of the process is a patent search), if there is ANY potential for market success, you should at least consider the possibility of patent protection and using a patent attorney to guide you through the process. On the other hand, some very successful inventors (think TV infomercial type products) almost never bothered to patent their inventions. When they thought they had come up with something that had real mass marketing potential, they brought the product to market FIRST and really pushed the marketing so as to sell a ton of them before any competition knew what hit them and could react with a competing product. By the time there was a competing product, they had the money in the bank and had moved on. Years later their main selling point is that they were the original _______ (blender, juicer, grill, kitchen gizmo, etc., etc.) Thing about that strategy is that you have to be fundamentally ok with boom and bust type success and the fact that your invention will almost definitely get copied. This is probably not the best approach unless you know that whatever you've invented will have overwhelming success in the market. Then again, if it's ultra successful and it's likely nobody else will come up with something similar while you're working on yours, getting a patent could be well worth your while.
  3. Although Zymol really does make good stuff, it's a marketing thing (look up Zymol Royale - $8500 wax). It's not really any better than other quality waxes available for less (or even similar) money. Check out a site like autogeekonline.net for virtually any car detailing product you can think of and many, many different wax brands at all sorts of price points. They have a forum there, too, and some of them drop serious dollars on detailing products. Keep in mind that just as with a fine paint job itself, how good your car looks after waxing will depend mostly on the prep: how well it was washed, dried, clay bared (to remove contaminants), and "corrected" (removing swirls, holograms, scratches, etc.) --- all prior to waxing. You'll hear guy refer to wax as their LSP or last step product for this very reason. Wax won't really fix micro scratches or swirls, but will temporarily fill some of them in because that's what wax does. Just take their "restoration" claim with a grain of salt. I love auto detailing, so I'd be inclined to try it, actually. That said, I use P21s which is amongst the cheapest good stuff out there at $35/jar. Since a wax job doesn't take much wax, I've been using the same jar for 14 or 15 years though I do not wax every time I wash a car. Even if you spend the $90 on the kit, it should last a long time...10 years would really be outrageous depending on how often you plan on waxing. That's pretty inexpensive fun, I'd say. Some interesting reading here re: working with old single stage paint:Vintage Car Detailing - Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum
  4. I was originally thinking electrolysis, but I'm now having second thoughts about if it would be safe for chrome. I know that it works well, but I've never tried it on chrome. You might be better off trying something like Evaporust, though the stuff is a bit expensive for use on a large scale.
  5. Are you able to remove these parts from the car and soak / submerge them or is a requirement that they stay on the car?
  6. This is an excellent point and not something to take lightly. If the car you just must have doesn't have any paperwork, I'd highly recommend doing whatever it takes to get the car legal before you invest any other time and money in the project. If the car pops up stolen or simply cannot be made roadworthy (in the legal sense), you want to know that sooner rather than later. The best way to avoid that potential pitfall is to buy a car with a good title to begin with.
  7. -- How to determine if an engine turns over. Turn the crank pulley by hand with a socket. Just remember that just because it turns, doesn't mean you're out of the woods. Be careful doing this, too. You can bend vales and do all kinds of terrible things to a locked up motor when you try to force things. -- How to test electrical if there are missing headlights or instruments. Electrical is almost always shot, especially is field cars, barn finds, and real "project" cars. Not worth testing unless the rest of the car is pretty much in "driver" condition or better. On almost anything else you're going to have to replace it all anyway. -- Testing if it rolls. Get some friends and get pushing. You'll quickly determine if the car is stuck in gear or if the brakes are locked up, etc. -- Checking the Transmission. There's only so much checking you can do unless you've got a running, driving car. It's almost always safe to assume that the transmission will need some attention. -- Determining if the rust is surface or structure. Finding a non-destructive way to check for this is hard. Car owners typically don't want you to poke and scratch at their cars, so you kind of just have to know what you're looking at to know the difference between very minor surface rust and something more serious. Keep in mind that there is almost always more rust than you think and it's almost always worse than you think. -- Determining if body puddy was used in repair. You don't really ever know what's under the paint until it's been stripped clean. Once stripped you'll be able to see how "honest" the car really is and what sort of condition it is really in. Collision damage is almost impossible to hide completely, so if it's there, you'll probably find it. Check for filler especially on all 4 corners, door sills, rocker panels and other areas that typically rust. Don't be surprised if you find it...it's pretty common. You can do some checking with a magnet (on a steel car) to see if it sticks. Magnets will not, obviously, stick to significantly thick areas of filler. Unless the paint job and repair is truly superb, you can often tell what has been repaired just by looking at it. My advice to you is this: The #1 thing is to TAKE YOUR TIME and DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you buy anything. Shop around, look at a lot of cars before you buy and think carefully about parts availability and/or your ability to service the vehicle (or get someone else to). Consider how patient you are and what sort of financial constraints you might have. Are you willing to run want ads or attend swap meets and auctions for years in hopes of locating the one piece of "unobtanium" you need for your car or will you lose interest if you cannot drive it right away? Do you have shop space or storage space? I also encourage you to buy what you like and buy the very best example of what ever that may be that you can find and afford UNLESS you really want to go through the restoration process with something rough (however, I'd still tell you to buy the best project you can locate). As others have hinted at, it can be extremely time consuming and expensive to do so and almost always results in a vehicle you've invested more $$$$ into than you could ever expect to see if and when you sell it. It should also be said that there is rough and there is rough. If you don't have the time, tools, equipment AND copious amounts of $$$$ on hand, the rough cars are probably best left to someone else. Good luck and keep us posted on whatever you decide to do.
  8. Any report from the event? I know that the scooters exhibit was scheduled to open there this past weekend, too. Details on that have been hard to come by so far, but if you saw it, I'd love to hear about it. Otherwise I'll just have to wait until mid July when I'll be able to see for myself.
  9. Funny how there is always talk of the future of "the club" (be it AACA or otherwise) along with getting young people involved in the hobby only for them to have experiences like this when they take the first step: attending an event. AACA or not, this isn't good. And, sadly, as a "young person" myself (30), I can say that my own experience has proven that this is common. Just something to think about the next time you see "us" at an event.
  10. For me it's the '41 Chrysler followed by the '78 Corvette. Opposite ends of the spectrum, but I like 'em!
  11. Want to buy: Burgess 2F4 battery. Being functional is not an issue, but it needs to be in good to excellent cosmetic condition. Not interested in any other models. FYI- this particular battery was used to power accessory lighting kits on motor scooters in the 40s. It is not a full size car battery.
  12. As mentioned, there is no general process. From what I've heard from my friends and read on various forums, Illinois is a mixed bag and your success depends completely upon where you go and who you talk to. Some owners have indicated massive problems, while others have sailed through the process with no questions asked. Similarly, I've heard that Florida is seriously tightening up their title process and giving owners the run around. My suggestion would be to seriously consider taking advantage of vehicle registration laws in Vermont. They don't title anything older than 15 years and the only requirement in your case would be to have a bill of sale that identifies the vehicle, price paid, and who the buyer and seller are. See all of the details here: Driver's Forms | Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles . Search for the registration/tax/title application and accompanying instructions. Once you have a Vermont registration (that is all the issue, not a title), you can take it to your home state and have a title created AFTER you can demonstrate to them that it came from a "no title" state. I have done this successfully with motor scooters and am getting ready to do two more soon...it works and it's legal provided you fill out the paperwork honestly. Vermont doesn't care if you're out of state so long as you pay the taxes and fees. Use caution with the title mill companies. Lots of states are starting to flag titles that come up as having been run through title companies via states like Alabama. It got too easy for dishonest folks to take a stolen car from, say California, and "launder" the title through a title company (claiming the car had no title). So, Alabama has begun cracking down along with the other states that were used. Many have begun to combat title mills by requiring VIN inspections. the title companies are shifting to other states (like Vermont). A title company could charge you $1000 or more to get your car legal through Vermont...that's silly when you can quickly, cheaply, and legally do all of that yourself. Vermont is one of the last states like this...take advantage of it while you can. I doubt the "loop hole" is going to last forever!
  13. Ok, I should have been a bit more specific. Lowering vehicles unavoidably effects the toe, camber, and caster (all the stuff that makes up "alignment") which can sometimes not be adjusted out, thus the tire wear on the front, typically on the inside as I mentioned. In my case having alignments done to address issues with toe, camber and caster accomplished little and I was left dealing with excessive wear on the inside front tires as a consequence of the suspension modifications, so it absolutely CAN be true...it all depends on the individual situation. Sometimes you just can't get back to factory specs after lowering, but I shouldn't have thrown out that remark without some qualifiers. There are aftermarket camber kits (though I'm not sure if they have them for '55 Fords or not - never looked) that can help correct the problem. What can be adjusted out depends a lot on what changes are made in terms of parts installed and what the application is. As you indicated, I should have never said "especially" when mentioning the front tires as it implies problems on the rear, too. I experienced no issues with rear tires and don't think there would probably be issues in this case either. Really I think that we're agreeing here, I just wasn't specific enough initially and used "will" where I perhaps should have said "can" or "may." Seems like the car owner in this case isn't going to pursue this anyway, so it probably matters not. Let's motor on! :cool:
  14. I encourage you to seriously investigate and consider the consequences of altering the suspension geometry. I had a late model vehicle for several years (daily driver for 100k miles) that I modified with Hotchkis Suspension all-around along with new wheels and tires. Hotchkis makes extremely high quality, well engineered race-grade suspension components, the sort of stuff road racers and autocrossers use. The vehicle cornered like it was on rails, but the ride quality was harsh (at best). I didn't realize just how bad it really rode until I sold it and moved on to something different. Lowering a vehicle (and inevitably stiffening up the suspension) will never improve the ride quality, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The vehicle I had (I thought) looked great and handled excellent, but then the real problems began... As others have mentioned, you will chew up tires (especially fronts). There is virtually nothing that can be done about this because you've altered the factory geometry of the vehicle. The thing you've really got to watch is that you will most likely wear the inside edge of the tire first. You can wear the inside down to the cords and have the outside looking brand new, so frequent tire inspection is an absolute necessity if you pursue this. And no, tire shops and alignments can't fix this stuff...it's because of the suspension geometry. You either accept the risks associated with this and the cost of buying tires frequently or you shouldn't do this. I also experienced premature wear of other driveline and suspension components all because the factory geometry was altered: bearings, bushings, etc. I learned my lesson the hard way that no modification is ever mutually exclusive, and that is especially true for suspension modifications. Having things off of their factory engineered positions by inches or even fractions of a inch can make a huge difference. On an old car it may make even more of a difference. Be very, very careful about who does the work and exactly how it's done, too, as with a daily driver your life can depend on it. Perhaps your local tire shop is unusual, but I would NEVER have a tire shop sell me on something like suspension modification and then let them do the work. Also remember that suspension modifications can lead to overdriving the car and exceeding the capabilities of the steering system, transmission, and the brakes. I would recommend avoiding this especially if the car is going to be a daily driver.
  15. This is neat. There is a small farming/rural life museum not far from me that has offered open-to-the-public classes on how to operate a Model T, which I thought was a really great idea (sort of the "living history" approach). For $10 and your signature on some liability waivers, you get 3 hours of history, instruction, and a chance to drive the car yourself. Unfortunately due to a schedule conflict I was not able to participate...I sure would have liked to! This same museum is currently offering a similar program for antique tractors, but I keep watching for the Model T "class" to be offered again. I'm going to make it a point not to miss it next time. I think that sort of immersion experience is a great way to attract younger members (or even not-so-young new members). I'd like to see more events offer that type of opportunity to the general public.
  16. Of course you are correct. No, I wouldn't take a hot rod to an AACA show because I know that it doesn't qualify for judging and isn't what that particular club is geared towards. And that's all fine. The AACA's stance on hot rods as an organization (which I have no issue with) and what has happened to some local chapters is a whole different can of worms and isn't something I got into at all. Don't get me wrong...I'm not advocating that the AACA is the place for rods and customs, just pointing offering up my opinion and my experiences and suggesting that perhaps some of us don't need to get so fired up and angry about rods and customs. If you had a bad experience with them, I'm sorry to hear that. My experience has been largely positive. They're car guys too, and the vast majority of them admire and appreciate our cars and our passion despite us treating them like the bad guys. Good for them. I do absolutely understand how you feel as well as many of the others here, I just read these threads and think "gee...they're car guys too, can't we all just get along and not bad mouth one another?" They have their clubs and events and we have ours. We should be able to peacefully and harmoniously co-exist.
  17. I've watched a fair number of these kinds of threads come and go over the years on this forum. I have to say, quite honestly, that the AACA forum is the only place where the issue is treated as an "us" versus "them" sort of thing to the point that people get angry about it. I have never encountered so much negativity in the hobby anywhere discussing nearly anything as I have when rodding gets brought up on this forum. Apparently it's easy to sit more-or-less anonymously behind a computer and rant away about the evils of rodding, but I have NEVER experienced the same sort of attitude in the "real world" that I find here on the subject. I've been to concours shows and to hot rod shows. Good Guys Gatherings to Gooding Auctions. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to do what they want to their property. That's the bottom line folks. You don't have to like it, look at it, condone it, or even THINK about it, but when it comes up I think there should be some respect shown. Sure, this is the AACA forum and we've all got some level of interest in original cars be it restored cars or preserved cars, but to demonize rodders is ridiculous. Let me say this: I am a car guy. I like cars: old cars, new cars, fast cars, slow cars;restored cars, original cars, rusted cars, and rodded cars. I like racing and I like restoration; cruse ins and I like concours shows. I like everything from Stanley Steamers to Spykers. I like two wheelers and eighteen wheelers. I like Pebble Beach and I like the Pomona Roadster Show. I am a car guy. We all need to lighten up and remember we're all car guys! Even the rodders :cool:
  18. I did not know Mr. Cammack or the extent of his collection, but am sorry to hear of his passing. He seemed to be a passionate collector and was willing to share his collection and his knowledge freely with others, certainly something to be admired. I have to say that I'm absolutely floored by the contents of his collection. The blueprint collection alone...WOW! (not to mention the cars, engines, and other memorabilia)! It must have taken a lifetime to hunt down all of that history.
  19. Each time that I see one of these I think to myself "if Buck Rogers rode a scooter, it would have been a Salsbury 85."
  20. I do not know for certain what the situation is presently, but strongly suspect that the "experts" do receive some sort of compensation and/or an appearance fee for being on the show.
  21. I don't really disagree with you at all. It's certainly not always about the money, though sometimes one's commitment to not having it be about the money can have real financial implications, just as you pointed out: taking $1000 hit selling a car to your preferred buyer, for example. Some people will eat that $1000 and feel good about what they did, but not everyone can do that. Yes, in that context I meant "better" to mean more money, as the original post indicated that finances dictated he could not finish the car for the foreseeable future and that the offer received was fair. I would not have mentioned money at all except that the original post introduced it as a factor in the situation. Whether it is or isn't...really none of my business. And how long do you hold out? It could take years to find that perfect buyer, I suppose. Selling stuff causes anxiety for me. I tend to drag my feet selling anything. Part of the reason is I don't want to see one of my vintage treasures "abused." I have a really nice, original Vespa scooter that is a rare model, a really, really rare color and configuration. Even though it doesn't completely fit in with the main scope of my collection, I won't sell it to some of the local folks that really want it because of what their intentions are. I don't want to see this bike with a late model engine, newer suspension, disc brakes, or a repaint, so I've kept it. Even though I've been offered fair money for it. So I understand exactly what we're getting at here...it's not all about the money.
  22. I understand the desire to find the best home you can for your car, but you can't have it both ways. If you sell it, it's not your car anymore and what the next owner does with it is their business. You've decided you'd rather have the $$$$ than the car, and that's ok...folks do that all the time. There is no way to ensure that the next owner isn't going to use it as a demolition derby car, for instance. Perhaps that's a bit of a stretch, but I suppose it could happen. And even if you find the "right" buyer, what's to say that person isn't going to flip the car and have to go to a customizer? Seems to me that if money is tight, an offer in hand for the car isn't something to sneeze at. How long would it take for you to get a better offer?
  23. There is Antique Archaeology (the store/business) and there is American Pickers (the TV show). I'll be the first to say that the SHOW really blurs the line, but they are two distinctly different things. Antique Archaeology existed before the show came to be. I stopped in there a few times before anyone had heard of these guys and before American Pickers existed and before they opened a Nashville shop. LeClaire, Iowa was great, but the town was dead...nobody really had any reason to stop there and most kept zooming past on I-80. They specialized in motorcycle and transportation items (ie right up my alley) and the motorcycles, bicycles, and transportation memorabilia they had in the place was unbelievable. You just don't see that stuff very often. The retail store sold their "picks" to collectors and decorators. Then there is American Pickers. I'll be up front and say right off the bat that I like the show. I've seen every episode and will keep watching it until they quit airing it. However, one should not forget it is a TV program and what is shown on TV is, at times, not even close to what's actually going on: -With the popularity of the show, they have leads coming to them all the time. People want to show off their stuff, be on TV and maybe make a few bucks. This cuts down tremendously on the nobody-wants-to-see-on-TV element: sitting around at home doing the homework and getting a route together. Danielle definitely isn't coming up with the leads. She might place a token phone call to the location, but she isn't working over the property owners. -They have MANY producers and location scouts. The producers and location scouts go out to the filming sites to scope things out WAY before Mike & Frank get involved. They need to make sure the location in conducive to filming and get all of the legal paperwork and such in order. It isn't all fake though, and they do want to make sure there are some things there that will indeed be for sale. -Picks don't just take 20-30 minutes. They are sometimes on site for days and days. They look at EVERYTHING. The show is (obviously) edited down so that they can fit 3-4 picks into a one hour show. -They buy WAY more than you see on TV. There are multiple support vehicles that are never shown. They put a few token items in the van for TV, but most gets packed and trucked around by the production crew. Ever notice how nothing is every really packed and that they just lay things down in the back of the van? That's because they don't really transport it that way. Also notice how on the early episodes the in-car camera would show the cargo area of the van...well, now they have a drape up behind the driver's seat so that you can't see anything. -Most of the items they buy are essentially pre-sold to clients they are shopping for. Not much of their stuff ends up back in the shops. Episodes air 4-6 months after filming, so if you call when you see something you like, it's probably long since been sold. -It's a TV production...a big one. All of those shots of the van driving through the backroads...it's all done by helicopter. It's not just two guys driving the van around with a video camera. Lots of money is pumped into this show. -Do they fly the stars out to the locations. I don't know, but would say "probably." These guys have grown past the days of driving cross-country and sleeping in the back of the van. -Mike, Frank & Danielle aren't the only people that work for Antique Archaeology. There is a whole staff of people that work there that are never shown on TV. The store is closed for TV filming and the bring in Mike, Frank & Danielle for those dates only. -Frank actually has his own business (Frank Fritz Finds). What he buys on the show is his stuff; only sometimes does he go in with Mike on a deal. -The store in LeClaire is very small (one car service bay and attached small office) and functions mostly as a souvenir shop. They sell tons of t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc. You don't see that on TV. -The stuff in the store is "officially" not for sale. It's a TV set, afterall. They need that stuff to create the right "look" for the show. The things that are for sale are so expensive that most people pass unless they are hardcore collectors. -The experts they bring in on the show usually really know their stuff. Their motorcycle expert runs the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, IA, for example. All of that said, I did buy a scooter from them last July, or what was left of it. It was picked out of the scrapyard in Lewiston, Idaho (not shown in the episode). I was able to deal directly with Mike on it (turns out they call him when you keep bugging them about buying something other than a t-shirt) and he was realistic with the price, so we did the deal. It's a neat place to go visit, but gets VERY crowded and there isn't much to actually buy. It was the first time I'd been back through LeClaire since the show aired and the place was BOOMING. New shops and restaurants everywhere and there were lines at the gas pumps, etc. If nothing else, the show had had a tremendous economic impact on the small Iowa town. Personally, I don't think these guys are vultures or that they're taking advantage of people. They're pickers. The whole point is they buy low and sell high. If the sellers all expect to get top dollar for their stuff (in many cases they don't even know they have), they really should sell it on their own and not to a picker. If prices paid actually are the prices shown on TV, I'd say the guys are paying pretty fair prices for their stuff. In some cases I'd even say they pay too much. And I wouldn't call the show "fake." It is "produced," and the task at hand is to make a TV show. Things are sometimes done for TV that aren't how things really would have happened, but that doesn't mean it's fake. They really are buying stuff. I like to see the sorts of things they encounter and the places they get to pick through. I don't really care if they leave without buying anything. The only honest to goodness fallout from the show has been that it's driven prices up on some pretty rough stuff, especially in the motorcycle/scooter realm. Many people seem to think they're sitting on a gold mine and that condition is irrelevant...certainly not the case in my book.
  24. I actually would highly recommend paypal for transactions happening over the internet between strangers. The key to getting the most protection out of paypal is to pay with your credit card through paypal. This way you get someprotection from paypal as well as the protections offered through your credit card company. Paypal is a sophisticated operation, as are most credit card companies meaning that they can track and trace your transactions with incredible detail. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but I won't even send a personal check to someone I've never met or don't know. It's much easier to preserve my financial anonymity with paypal.The only people that get checks are freinds/family and major organizations with known addresses. For everyone else, it's paypal via credit card. NEVER EVER pay with Western Union or Money Gram. That is probably the #1 sign of a scam. Payments made that way are untraceable and is the equivalent to sending cash to a stranger (and I think we're all smart enough to never mail cash). Genuine postal service money orders are far safer and CAN be replaced if damaged, lost, or stolen. There is now even a number you can call into before accepting a money order to verify that it is in fact a real one. Any funny business with a postal money order = mail fraud = federal crime and can land folks in a lot of trouble. For high dollar transactions, I'd urge everyone to be careful with wire transfers, too. I highly recommend asking your bank to setup a temporary account for one time use to send or receive a wire. In the event of a scam, this prevents the scammer/hacker from having your real bank account information. Most banks are happy to help you do this once you explain to them what you have in mind and why. It always pays to carefully document your transactions regardless of how you decide to pay. And for those of you that sell stuff, it's ALWAYS worth it to get tracking and delivery confirmation on your packages in case things go bad. Personally, I've always thought it was pretty easy to figure out the legitimacy of a deal. I always ask specific questions, ask for specific photos, and keep at it until I'm satisfied. ALWAYS get a mailing address BEFORE you fire off that payment (even with paypal) and google the address to see if it makes sense. If google maps takes me to an empty lot, to a post office building, or a high rise office tower in the middle of NYC, chances are I'm not going to end up with my stuff. If it seems to good to be true or the elements of the deal just don't add up, run away. But don't blame the email addresses. I have several email addresses, including yahoo, gmail (more than one of those, too), and corporate (employer) emails. In fact, I've used a gmail address since 2004 when they were still beta testing. I use a gmail address for all of my personal business, yahoo only for ebay business, and corporate only for work related matters and don't give that one out. Gmail is by far the easiest to use and offers the most features such as web access (meaning look at it from anywhere with an internet connection), virtually unlimited storage, and near universal/widespread usage. A scammer could just as easily be using a comcast, sbcglobal, aol, etc. email address. There are over 400 MILLION active gmail accounts. If you refuse to correspond with someone just because of that, you're missing out on connecting with a lot of folks. Scammers are an unfortunate part of any hobby. We've just all got to keep our eyes open and actively take steps to not be victimized.
  25. This is absolutely right. I would all that a lot of it depends on what you are starting with and what you want to end up with. Generally speaking... The vehicle of choice is essentially irrelevant, at least in principle. With extremely rare exceptions (and yes, I do mean extremely rare) folks will always end up upside down on a restoration; meaning that the vehicle will never be worth what was invested in it to restore it if all costs were truly accounted for: cash outlay for car/parts, outside services (ie shops), and even your own time. Coming up with a value for your own time is where cost starts to get a bit more subjective...do you value your time at $0.00 or something else? It's all part of the true cost of a restoration. If you are paying someone else to do the work, restoration can get very expensive very quickly. I'd say paying for labor is probably the #1 reason why restoration is expensive and why it's so easy to get underwater on a vehicle. It just depends if you care about being underwater or not. As to being underwater on a vehicle, some people just don't really care...it's a hobby and a labor of love and the cash outlay just doesn't really matter. Perhaps that's the situation here? That certainly applies to me. I am absolutely positive that I've got more money, time, and effort invested in my little motor scooters than most people would think is sane and certainly more than the open market would currently bear if I were to attempt to sell them. Oh well. But that doesn't matter to me at all. It's my passion/hobby and the value/worth of them to someone else when they're finished just isn't considered. I could have bought finished examples of some of my scooters and come out way ahead, but that's not the point for me. I like the thrill of the hunt, the acquisition, and the restoration...and I pay more for the experience. So be it. I know that the only people making money on my stuff are the people I've paid to do some of the work. Again, oh well. As to the $100k figure that's been tossed around here, my opinion is that it isn't that out-there. When you do farm out the work, just as others have said, you get what you pay for and it's very easy for one thing to lead to another which leads to another and so on. Before you know it you spend tens of thousands of dollars and your truck still needs the last 1%. High level restorations easily take 1000 hours or more (and that's just the labor)...if a shop's doing it at $60/hr., that's $60,000 right there and you haven't bought any parts. If you've got a complicated vehicle, lots of rust or lots of missing parts, or you REALLY want it "perfect," expect to spend even more. There's the $100k. If we were all worried about what our cars were worth after restoration, none of us would restore anything, even if we did all the work ourselves. Almost anything can be restored with enough time and money. Me...looking in the mirror, I'm sure not going to say it's foolish to restore what you've got. Just make sure you're making an educated decision. And remember it will ALWAYS cost more than you think!