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md murray

restoration costs in different parts of the country

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B and L Enterprise in western PA is an excellent shop, small and knowledgeable, and has turned out many prize winning restorations. They also do maintenance and partial restorations.

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I have been around cars since my pre-teens and one thought stands out above all thinking about this. Before agreeing to the start of work have the health of the shop owner's wife checked! Over So many, countless times, I have heard the old story "I couldn't do anything on your car because my wife has been sick". I think it is the most common automotive failure to work excuse out there. I'm seeing the images of four guys within 10 miles of me right now. So many times I have heard that.

 

Doing things myself and buying tools is my style. If I did contract out a long term job I would state specific expectations and schedule billing and payments either weekly or monthly. No hours billed and no progress during a work period, maybe another chance, but no progress and the car comes home. Way too many cars have set in shops for way too many years. Or outside where more damage occurs from exposure. I know of an instance where a car sat so long the shop owner got senile and thought a customer's car was his, quite a fight on that one. How about a car I helped finish that had been in a shop for 27 years! Don't let time slip way without incremental payments and visits. It happens more than you'd think.

 

I had a customer's Lincoln in another shop once and the tax guys with the padlocks and chains were very nice about letting me scurry over there and liberate it, nice men.

 

Just don't lose control.

Bernie

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7 hours ago, mercer09 said:

Have heard that for several years now Greg. Not sure why this thread is poo pooing the idea..............

 

makes sense to me.

 

Sherry's Custom auto's in Ontario did the body, paint and upholstery on a good friends fathers Model J.  The car looked great . As well a couple of shops in the

lower mainland { Vancouver B.C. } area have produced very high quality , Pebble Beach quality work. There is also a guy on Vancouver island that is very well

known in MB 300 SL circles but I don't think he works on anything else.

 

Greg in Canada

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I have a friend in Spokane WA that has all his chrome done over the border and it costs him less than half of what it costs him in the US. 

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I have friends in California send me stuff as I can deal with it in Cincinnati for significantly less (especially things that take serious brainpower and specialized skills), more quickly, and ... 

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MD Murry,

I have been involved with restorations for many years now. I will tell you that the key is the amount of resources that a shop is willing to dedicate to your project. Do they have a  staff of competent experienced technician? Do they have an office staff that will support the needs of the technicians. For example, is there a parts guy that dedicates his day to finding the parts and technical needs for your technician or some other person that accomplishes those tasks. You don't want the technician stopping his work to look for a part or a wiring diagram etc. Do they have a process in place to get your car done on-time and on budget? Do they build an estimate or pre-plan that outlines exactly what they plan on doing to make progress on the build to the very end? How detailed is that plan? Do they inspect the car before the build and give you an estimate or a realistic price and labor hours to finish the car? I have seen estimates from shops that did not even see the car. Every car is different (condition, parts required, owner expectations etc.). The car needs to be inspected first. What is the shop's waiting list? Most good shops have one. Be wary of a shop that says they can start right away. They may start right away to get your business and then the car sits while they work on the other cars. If they inspected the car and build a detailed plan they will know the scope of the job and be able to give you an approximate timeline to complete the project.

Good shops get cars shipped to them from everywhere. The cost of shipping to a good shop will out way the frustration and the heartache of going to a sub-par local shop.

 

If the price seems to good to be true....It is probably not a realistic estimate.

There are great small and big shops around the country. Each can serve you well. 

 

 

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