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Shop restoration/labor costs vs self restoration


rapidride2

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kiwi56r, I understand your concerns about overseas restorations. We are in weekly and sometimes daily contact with our restorer in Thailand via e-mail, photos and skype. In addition, we make periodic trips over to work directly with the restorer. We have about 1,000 photos of each car in process sent during the restoration.

I don't want to hijack this thread, because it's going in a very good direction and would like it to continue on the shop vs self restoration cost. If you or anyone else would like to make additional comment on this, I'd be glad to start a new post in the General Topics section.

Thanks!

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I agree with most of the comments throughout this thread. In my case lack of availability of personal time, lack of knowledge of the 32 Buick series and the available resources for parts, correctness etc. led me to let the restorer in Connecticut completely restore the car. I too had 15-20 photos, a descripton of the work accomplished during the week and an invoice each Sunday night for 3.5 years and yes we blew the estimate many times over for valid reasons.

I call the car my "Rolling 401K" and I will NEVER get back what I have in the car but we did not go into it with the thought that we needed to spend only what it was worth. The restoration is stunning, we have had it Meadowbrook Concours and it has won national AACA awards as well as BCA Senior Gold plus the Spirit of Buick Award from Nicola Bulgari all since March 2009.

Now having said that we never expected to be in the position to have a car that nice when we started. I will say we have had a ton of fun showing the car and meeting new friends in both BCA and AACA around the country and we continue to make plans to show it in 2012 at Shelbyville, TN for hopefully its Senior Grand National award and then on to BCA in Concord, NC for another week with BCA friends.

I have other cars that are originals, drivers, and restored and they are all fun and have their own story. Life is good and we are blessed to have such a fun hobby and great people who are a part of it.

Chuck Nixon

1929 Model A Ford Huckster (complete frame off rebuild 1969 - 1972 while in the Air Force)

1932 Buick Model 67

1965 Corvette Coupe 327/365 hp 4 spd with A/C

1969 Chevelle SS Convertible 396/325 hp, 4 spd with A/C - frame on restored

1973 Buick Rivieras - have two drivers in nice shape

2006 SSR Chevy truck

2007 Corvette Indy Pace Car replica - 1 of 500 (won it with a $100 raffle ticket at National Corvette Museum in July 2007)

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just finished my 53 Special after 1.5 yrs.. Did all the dirty work and payed the local extortionist about 5K with about 2K in material and 5 K in chrome and polishing ( California EPA crap )About eight years ago I inquired about what it would cost and they wanted about 12K and didn't even want to do it..just add new economy money and it would probably be about 14-15K ..and yes old cars have usually had at least one accident..The deal is unless you pay a entire suitcase of cash NOBODY !! will take the time to do a decent job like you would do it yourself--car restoration has turned into a rich mans sport--too bad !!

regards,

Gil

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I would advise being within driving distance of any shop restoring your car. Sending it half way across the US to restore would be a bad idea, never mind across the globe. I'm sure the boys in Bangkok are going to easily be able to handle the the various situations that come up with restoring a car :rolleyes:

Ultimately you get what you pay for. If you happened to be a retired machinist or mechanic with the time, tools and inclination then restoring your own car might make a lot of sense. If you are a white collar dude that can't change your own flat then maybe not such a great idea. There are no free lunches anywhere in life AND especially restoring cars.

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The deal is unless you pay a entire suitcase of cash NOBODY !! will take the time to do a decent job like you would do it yourself--car restoration has turned into a rich mans sport--too bad !!

regards,

Gil

This statement is far from the truth. There are some good restoration shops around that do fine work. Why would anyone think they can have a car restored for nothing?? Isn't that knowledge and labor worth paying for?? What is the difference having somebody come to your home to do a kitchen re-modeling?? Cars are no different.

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