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Searching For A Restoration Shop. But . . .


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Searching for a restoration shop to restore the body of a 1968 Dodge Charger. I am not seeking a rotisserie restoration, simply expert metal body work, an excellent paint finish, a perfect vinyl top covering installation, and deliberate attention to detail. The engine and transmission are removed from the chassis. The interior furnishings are completely removed, except for the dashboard and steering column. The under-dash air conditioning components are removed. The chassis rolls on its original wheels with radial tires. 

 

Of primary importance is who the restoration shop perceives as the project manager. Seeking a shop that considers the car owner as the project manager. The car's body will be restored as directed by the car owner. Professional advice will be seriously considered, but the final decisions for the body work are the car owner's responsibility. 

 

The car is currently located in Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania. My residence is in Bridgeport, West Virginia. A restoration shop within a 3-hour drive from my residence is preferred; the car owner will inspect the work upon receipt of each invoice, payment of each invoice will be made in full upon verification of work completed. The approximate area of preferred consideration is bounded in the north by Clarion, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, Ohio; bounded in the east by Hagerstown, Maryland, and Winchester, Virginia; bounded in the south by Beckley and Charleston, West Virginia; bounded in the west by Columbus, Ohio; all bounds being approximate. 

 

If you know of or represent a restoration shop that will yield to a car owner's decisions, please contact me at  seyberspace9@gmail.com  and/or post your contact information here in this forum. I will visit your shop and discuss the work details as needed to assure a successful working relationship and a beautiful final product. 

 

Thank you.

 

 

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With a mere 58,300 miles, this Charger has a personally-verified solid unibody.

 

 

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The car requires a new front clip, or you may rework the hood and fenders. All chrome parts will be replaced. 

A new front grille and lower valence is already acquired, front bumper and parking lamps are needed. 

In the background, the engine and transmission are ready and waiting to be reinstalled. 

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Hi, alsancle:

 

Yes, it is hard to get into a good restoration shop. This is the second round for this car. 

The first round had shops with long waiting lists and others ready to take the car as soon as I could get it there. The few that were looking for a project insisted that the job be a total rotisserie restoration, or no job at all. One shop finally agreed to do a "body-on" restoration, but the price was the same as a 5-year rotisserie program of another shop. 

 

Your advice is well received. I do need to make the rounds at local body shops with my laptop computer and show them the pictures. It's really not a tough job; not much rust removal and metal fabrication. Thank you.

 

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25 years ago I sold my 68 HEMI Charger to a buddy who ran a shop.  I would have told you the car could be scuffed and squirted as it was.   I was wrong. He’s still going and has stupid money in to it.  It is a HEMI car and my friend wants it perfect, but I wonder if he will last long enough to see it finished.   Unless the car has sentimental value to you, sell it for what you can and buy the nicest car you can afford.

 

If you have to do it, a body shop may be more likely to turn around for you.  

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Oh, about "getting it out" being a problem . . . 

 

Isn't it customary to sign a contract with an antique car restoration company? We're talking big bucks and lots of time.

During my career, when the jobs included those two factors, the contract was written with incentives to complete the work as scheduled (for car restoration, the company sets the schedule, I figure). As long as the project was on schedule, monthly invoices were paid in full; but nothing was paid until the work was inspected and verified. If the project began to drag, a percentage of payments was retained until the project was back on schedule. If the job was done on time, great. If the work was finished early, a significant bonus was paid out as agreed in the contract. Each month the project was late, the contract's value diminished to an agreed base amount. 

 

I've heard the horror stories of cars not being done at all after many thousands of dollars were sent to the company. That's not happening.

 

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2 minutes ago, alsancle said:

25 years ago I sold my 68 HEMI Charger to a buddy who ran a shop.  I would have told you the car could be scuffed and squirted as it was.   I was wrong. He’s still going and has stupid money in to it.  It is a HEMI car and my friend wants it perfect, but I wonder if he will last long enough to see it finished.   Unless the car has sentimental value to you, sell it for what you can and buy the nicest car you can afford.

 

If you have to do it, a body shop may be more likely to turn around for you.  

alsancle:

 

Yes, this Charger has sentimental value to me. I've known the car since I was 12 years old; my brother bought it from the original owner in 1972. It was perfect, only 9,000 miles, original tires. Andrew, my brother, beat the crap out of the car until he finally wrecked it around 1990. The car was put into very poor storage and ignored for 25 years. He called me in 2015, asking me to buy it; his 3 sons all wanted the car. His sons had plans for a Confederate Flag in place of the black vinyl top. Andrew knew I would take good care of it and keep it original because my brother Tom sold me his '66 Charger survivor 12 years earlier (it's still a survivor and an AACA Original HPOF car). It was beyond my dreams to get both Chargers that I loved as a kid. They could of asked 4 other guys; my mother has 6 sons. 

 

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The Gray Ghost (1966) and The Kid (1968) reunited in the same garage after 42 years. March 2015. 

 

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14 minutes ago, OldChargerGuy said:

Oh, about "getting it out" being a problem . . . 

 

Isn't it customary to sign a contract with an antique car restoration company? We're talking big bucks and lots of time.

 

 

Typically with the better shops you will shake their hand and pay the bill no matter what.   And that paying part can become brutal.  If there is a contract,  it will be written in a way that the shop is covered for the fact that the project will take 5 times longer than you expect and 3 times the money.    I'm not downing restoration shops,  it is just the nature of restoring a car that the math never works and the time takes forever.  

 

Since it has sentimental value to you,  I won't try to talk you out of it anymore.    Just be prepared.   Without me knowing anything about that car,  if you get it painted to a "decent" level for under 30k within 2 years I'll be impressed.

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Finally, I enjoy knowing the history of antique cars. Chrysler made it easy with the CertiCard program. I found the original owners for both Chargers; we've met and talked about the days when they bought their Charger. Both guys are named Charles; one goes by Charlie, the other, Chuck. Charlie came to Hershey with his wife (original) in 2015 to see and drive his old '66. Chuck lives within 75 minutes of my home and is looking forward to seeing and driving his beloved '68. He ordered it the way he wanted it: 318cid, console shift automatic, air conditioning, 2.94 Sure-Grip rear axle, and an AM radio? Did ya fergit ta chick a box, Chuck?

 

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Charlie and Elaine reminisce about their once-upon-a-time '66 Charger.

 

 

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The awesome Chuck, original owner of the '68. The guy is as healthy and strong as a man half his age; still doesn't need any medications.

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Price is one thing, time is another to consider. I had an engine rebuilt off of a running vehicle. I was told it would take three months. It took more than three years.  Won't do that again. I would take Alsancle's advice and buy a full restored car the next time.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Typically with the better shops you will shake their hand and pay the bill no matter what.   And that paying part can become brutal.  If there is a contract,  it will be written in a way that the shop is covered for the fact that the project will take 5 times longer than you expect and 3 times the money.    I'm not downing restoration shops,  it is just the nature of restoring a car that the math never works and the time takes forever.  

 

Since it has sentimental value to you,  I won't try to talk you out of it anymore.    Just be prepared.   Without me knowing anything about that car,  if you get it painted to a "decent" level for under 30k within 2 years I'll be impressed.

 

Wow, alsancle:

 

I'll be on my guard, and I hope to remember to come to this post and keep you updated. We'll see what happens. 

I hope to see it done before my brother Andrew passes away; though I'm not sure I'll let him drive it; certainly not unsupervised. 

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My HS buddys' (who happens to be my wife's cousin also) 68 GTA 390, he has had it since age 14, or 43 years.  Original plan was restore to drive by age 55, but after treading water time wise and educating 4 kids he is finally treating himself.  This is a year in (expected ot discussed delivery was 12 mos. give or take, obviously still a ways to go..) with a marque specialist.  He gets it, but I it will be over budget and delivery date by at least double.  Like yourself, he did a lot of dissasembely ahead of time.  Par for the course, alsancle accurately predicted this, btw about 18 months ago. 😁

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Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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I will face same problem with our rust free Model A roadster, it really needs a paint job, which will cost at least what the car is worth.  Will likely go local body shop route as it is no show car.

 

A family friend in the business explained that most collision shops don't want to do whole paint jobs let alone restorations as it's a different skill set.  Good luck and hope you find the right shop. 

 

Penn Dutch in SE PA is someone to talk to, Jeff Hammers aka Restorer 32 on this forum.  Been around here forever, well respected and approachable.

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A reputable shop will have no problems with you coming in and discussing the project on a regular basis, especially when you are paying an invoice. Shops understand that, at times, customers can be demanding and difficult to keep happy 100% of the time. Shops also know that some customers can be so unnecessarily difficult that it can put a strain on the entire project. Don't be a customer in the latter category. 

When you go into "interview" a shop to perform your work, good shops are also "interviewing" the customer to make sure that a cohesive partnership can be established.

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I think part of the problem is that you're trying to get the car restored but not pay for a full restoration. I don't mean that in an insulting way, please don't take it that way, but telling a shop that you don't want a full rotisserie restoration really only says that you don't want to pay full price. Essentially, you're putting them in the position of cutting corners, but what corners are OK to cut? What's the difference between a rotisserie restoration and what you want? Where do you want them to do an inferior job to save money? Remember, their reputation is on the line and they surely already know how this ends--would you be satisfied after spending tens of thousands of dollars and having some parts be sub-standard? Can they leave the quarters wavy? Is it OK for the undercarriage to still look like a used car? Would it make you feel better if they told you, "You didn't pay for a rotisserie restoration?" Of course not.

 

So I think part of the struggle is that you are technically saying that you want them to cut corners to save money, and that puts them in the lose-lose position of having a dissatisfied customer and a car that doesn't represent their best work.

 

Also, while laying out expectations and making regular checks are a good idea, as well as tying a week of work to a week of pay (very good idea), I think they may regard your list of requirements as an owner who will be looking over their shoulder throughout the project. Add in that the customer doesn't want them to do their best work, and, well, I think they are understandably skittish about taking on the job.

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6 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

I will face same problem with our rust free Model A roadster, it really needs a paint job, which will cost at least what the car is worth.  Will likely go local body shop route as it is no show car.

 

A family friend in the business explained that most collision shops don't want to do whole paint jobs let alone restorations as it's a different skill set.  Good luck and hope you find the right shop. 

 

Penn Dutch in SE PA is someone to talk to, Jeff Hammers aka Restorer 32 on this forum.  Been around here forever, well respected and approachable.

 

 

Sadly Steve, you are correct about the local body shops.   The skill sets have change completely in only 25 years.    You need a shop with some "old timers" who still have the skills to do the work.

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I understand your hesitancy to put the car in a shop and let someone else 'run the show' thus relinquishing all control.  However, if I had a reputable restoration shop and the customer came to me and said he wanted to be the boss/project manager I would do 1 of 2 things. Offer him a job, or kindly tell them I am not interested. As far as pricing, I also think it may be hard to have a fixed cost, way too many variables. If that is your shop in the pics with the car, it looks like you may be pretty well equipped. You may be better hiring a man to do the work and work directly under your supervision. Might be able to find a retired body guy that would work 25-30 hrs a week, $30-$50 an hr. In the long run you could have the car finished in a years time, have total control and still be under budget of what a good shop would charge. I would recommend setting up a corp. to do so, you would have additional taxes and insurance to deal with but still may come out ahead.  

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I had some very good luck with a local shop. Minges Auto Body in Battle Creek,  MI is quite a long way from you but will do the job you ask them to do. While capable of Pebble Beach quality restoration (their last PB car was a Mercer Convertible Coupe) they can do anything the owner asks. They have significant experience with everything from multiple Cord L-29s, Rolls, Packards and numerous muscle cars. 269-979-3013. Hope that helps.

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Having owned a large shop, and being good at what we did, I can tell you today good shops do not need additional customers. How much does it cost? Easy! Parts and labor. How much labor? Twenty times more than you think. Let a customer make decisions? Nope, not gonna happen. Good shops have good reputations because they work to a craftsman standard. Work is either done correctly, or not. There is no good enough, no in my customers judgment...........I interview people BEFORE I agree to work on their car........most I will not work for........most. I have more work that I can do. So the car must be a project I want to take on, and I must be willing to deal with the customer. That eliminates 99 percent of the people, and the line wanting in is almost limitless. I do understand a limited spending situation..........I apply it to cars I own, but NOT cars I get paid to work on. I do my best work at all times, regardless of cost or time............yes it’s asinine expensive. And I’m too busy to do more. A good old time local body shop is your best bet. How do you fix rust on a unibody car? It’s  is on a rotisserie.........or it’s a half assed job. Rust is five to ten times more extensive than you can imagine. Spend 8 thousand hours in a shop, then ask me if doing limited scope work is something you want to do. Good luck with your project. Looks like a fun car.

 

PS- Alsancle has a car in my garage I’m working on this week. It’s a one off auto show car, full custom. He lives  1600 miles from me, and has never driven the car. I have driven it. Understand that people who know old cars take them to the best possible shop for that marque possible........to hell with the cost, or convenience. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 6/28/2021 at 10:17 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I think part of the problem is that you're trying to get the car restored but not pay for a full restoration. I don't mean that in an insulting way, please don't take it that way, but telling a shop that you don't want a full rotisserie restoration really only says that you don't want to pay full price. Essentially, you're putting them in the position of cutting corners, but what corners are OK to cut? What's the difference between a rotisserie restoration and what you want? Where do you want them to do an inferior job to save money? Remember, their reputation is on the line and they surely already know how this ends--would you be satisfied after spending tens of thousands of dollars and having some parts be sub-standard? Can they leave the quarters wavy? Is it OK for the undercarriage to still look like a used car? Would it make you feel better if they told you, "You didn't pay for a rotisserie restoration?" Of course not.

 

So I think part of the struggle is that you are technically saying that you want them to cut corners to save money, and that puts them in the lose-lose position of having a dissatisfied customer and a car that doesn't represent their best work.

 

Also, while laying out expectations and making regular checks are a good idea, as well as tying a week of work to a week of pay (very good idea), I think they may regard your list of requirements as an owner who will be looking over their shoulder throughout the project. Add in that the customer doesn't want them to do their best work, and, well, I think they are understandably skittish about taking on the job.

 

Hey, Matt:

 

Thanks for your discussion; I don't take it personally at all. This is why I came here with my inquiry, I knew I would learn other points-of-view and experiences.

 

It may be that we have a different idea of what a full rotisserie restoration means. I understand it to be a complete disassembly of the car, every part restored or replaced, and the car reassembled by hand, finished better than any assembly line could ever do: a perfect example of the production car. I signed up for that kind of restoration at a local shop in February 2021, completion date planned for February 2026, estimated cost $60,000. A great deal in comparison to all other quotes which exceeded $100,000. 

 

While enjoying the recent Founders Tour in West Virginia, I visited with a senior club member and well-known former vice-president of AACA, Marty. We talked about this '68 Charger and my plans for a Concourse de Elegance show car. Marty had and has a lot of antique cars. He looked at me and said, "Joseph, the cars I enjoy the most are the ones I drive, like on these tours." I agreed. I would rather go on a tour than do a car show any day. Marty caused me to rethink the Charger's restoration. When I got home, I withdrew my car's place in line for the rotisserie restoration (2 year waiting list, 3 year production). Yes, the cost is part of my decision. My retirement is "good enough", I usually say, but it's not millions of dollars; no, not even one. I do well to afford one national car show and one national tour each year, a small-time antique car aficionado. 

 

Does the car need a total restoration? No. The undercarriage is solid. I've beat on it with a hammer, looking for weaknesses, and found none. The mechanic doing the chassis work found none (chassis work is complete, air conditioning system being the last item on the bench now). The interior? It simply needs a new headliner, new carpet, new package tray, and a new console body. I'll have an interior specialist do that work. Luckily, all the black upholstery is nearly like new. Yes, it's OK if the undercarriage looks like a used car. I primarily desire to drive it. I drive my '66 Charger about 1,000 miles each year (April-October), the Original HPOF car. I do plan to show the '68 Charger with AACA, but a DPC car is fine with me. This Charger isn't a big-bucks muscle car, just a 318cid, automatic, with air . . . a really nice touring car . . . easy on fuel and really cool. 

 

So, it's just a body restoration that I really want. But almost all restoration shops won't consider it, they want the entire job. I get it, that's their preference. I will turn my attention to smaller body shops, seeking a guy with experience, probably old like me, that desires to do some vintage body work, if I may use the word "vintage" when referring to a 1968 automobile. 

I thank you again for your discussion. 

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3 hours ago, TAKerry said:

I understand your hesitancy to put the car in a shop and let someone else 'run the show' thus relinquishing all control.  However, if I had a reputable restoration shop and the customer came to me and said he wanted to be the boss/project manager I would do 1 of 2 things. Offer him a job, or kindly tell them I am not interested. As far as pricing, I also think it may be hard to have a fixed cost, way too many variables. If that is your shop in the pics with the car, it looks like you may be pretty well equipped. You may be better hiring a man to do the work and work directly under your supervision. Might be able to find a retired body guy that would work 25-30 hrs a week, $30-$50 an hr. In the long run you could have the car finished in a years time, have total control and still be under budget of what a good shop would charge. I would recommend setting up a corp. to do so, you would have additional taxes and insurance to deal with but still may come out ahead.  

 

TAKerry:

 

Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. 

The shop in the Charger's pictures is my brother's. It is well-equipped, and Johnny is an experienced vintage mechanic, besides his regular customers' everyday cars. He has a couple of antique Mopars himself. But he doesn't do body work, not even his own. That's what the '68 Charger needs. 

The discussion here is pointing to seeking out a small-time local body shop with experience and interest in restoring old cars. 

I worked at that shop when I was 14 and until I left for college at 18 years of age. All my brothers did the same, the older ones starting as young as 11 years old. 

 

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Oh my.   Priceless and value are likely two words that will not fit in the same sentence of this conversation.

 

I highly doubt people will ever recover all the money spent on restoration projects.  Most people I know don't restore a car to "make money" selling it.   Even unique cars might not be worth what's spent on them.

I think OldChargerGuy is looking to make sure he doesn't get bent over a barrel.  I don't understand how quotes/estimates can't  be accurately made if the project is thoroughly inspected.

What are some shops afraid of?  Revealing the true cost of the job and scaring off the potential customer?  What customer would say "stop" half way through a project when they are into it financially deeper than they wanted to be...  willingly?   That is a blatant disservice to a customer.  I fully understand the OldcChargerGuy's concern.   

 

Not everyone is filthy rich and when given a quote or estimate accepts it based on that and that's all the money budgeted for it or they can afford.  But to expect them to keep paying the ransom(anything over the quote) just to see the car finished isn't fair either.  I guess some shops think the customer can always take it home.   Nice.

 

That's why I say, " stay away from people who think they know what you can afford".

 

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

PS- Alsancle has a car in my garage I’m working on this week. It’s a one off auto show car, full custom. He lives  1600 lives from me, and has never driven the car. I have driven it. Understand that people who know old cars take them to the best possible shop for that marque possible........to hell with the cost, or convenience. 

 

I wondered where that went...

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5 hours ago, OldChargerGuy said:

It may be that we have a different idea of what a full rotisserie restoration means. I understand it to be a complete disassembly of the car, every part restored or replaced, and the car reassembled by hand, finished better than any assembly line could ever do: a perfect example of the production car. I signed up for that kind of restoration at a local shop in February 2021, completion date planned for February 2026, estimated cost $60,000. A great deal in comparison to all other quotes which exceeded $100,000.

 

These are the numbers that were going through my head so I guess you have an idea.   A perfect paint job on that car feels like 60-90k to me in today's world.    A nut and bolt restoration 150-200k.   But maybe 30k will get you nice job at a shop within 100 miles of your house?

 

 

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Well, good luck in your search for someone to take on your car.

 

A couple of comments.

 

Restoration shops which do excellent work are swamped right now, most with a minimum of a year wait to get a car in process.

 

I’ve been involved in heavy construction, and understand the need for a penalty clause in some situations.  I can pretty much guarantee you that car restoration doesn’t work that way, you won’t find a shop willing to sign such a contract.  There are just too many “what ifs” when restoring a car, or even just a paint job.  What if supplies get scarce due to a pandemic ( I know, that’s far fetched ), what if there’s hidden rust or damage to body, the list goes on.

 

Also, you’re looking for a craftsman to fix your car.  Telling a craftsman how to do their job is not a good idea.  As Matt stated, the shop will be judged by the job they perform, so having a customer as “project manager” of that job just doesn’t work.  

 

There is a shop in our area that just does paint, they do all the work for a restoration shop I know.  Don’t ask because I don’t know the paint shop, but when I last asked through my friend’s restoration shop a number of years ago, a driver paint job was 10k and a show paint job was 20k.  I’m sure it’s more now.  The driver job meant you may still have minor dents and ripples in body, and no effort made for panel fit or gaps. But, you’d have a nice shiny coat of paint.

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I did not read all the responses but from what you have posted you are not looking for a full blown restoration down to every nut and bolt or it would come all the way apart. If this is the case then go to the large local car shows and find quality cars there. Even if it is not cars you like, just look at the quality of work done to it. Ask the owners who done the work if you like what you see.  You will find out that there are MANY one man show restorers out there that do exceptional work and can work with your vision of a final product. They may not be a Wings Auto Art or a Level One quality but they will not be a $150,000 trailer queen restoration either. 

 

Check out some of these local guys and see some of there other work or what they are working on now. Whatever you do DO NOT take it to a collision shop or a shop that does any collision work. 

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Lots of back and forth on this.  

 

You need to figure out what you want.  From your description you have a solid car that needs a bit of metal work and a nice paint job.  My Riviera was a good runner with bad paint and in need of some metal work.  I did the metal work (not my first rodeo), stripped the car to bare metal, removed all the trim including the drip rail mouldings.  It went to the paint shop in with a coat of variprime.   All that was probably several  hundred hours of my labor in a well equipped hobby shop by someone who is not a newbee.    

 

I am lucky that there are a couple of local shops that will take on a project such as mine.  Cost to paint it was $5K in 2012 using PPG base and clear.  Its nice, but not in comparison to a $10K or $20K job.  I reassembled the car after plating and buffing the shiny stuff.  More $$ and more of my labor, as there is a lot of it.   I purchased seat covers and a headliner from a reputable source and paid a local shop $3,200 to install everything.  Their hourly rate was $80, so that gives you some idea of the time involved.  There are still some shiny bits that need doing and the engine compartment has not been detailed yet.  

 

Is it perfect?  Nope.  Do I get lots of complements?  Yup.  Is it fun to drive?  You bet.  

 

From an economics standpoint, I have about $20K- $22K into it, starting with a $3,500 purchase price in 1999.  Although I have a complete file, I have never added it up.  Probably because I don't want to know.  The engine has had some work, but not a rebuild.  Same with the rest of the drive line.   At the moment it has about 80,000 miles on it, which is real.   Although I am a CPA, the $$ are not my concern.  I completely understand this is not a hobby where you can expect gains, especially if you have to pay someone else to do the work.    If I had to pay for all of the labor hours on that car, I would guess I would have close to double the $$ into it, and be upside down bigly.  

 

For what its worth.  

 

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5 hours ago, trimacar said:

Well, good luck in your search for someone to take on your car.  

 

There is a shop in our area that just does paint, a driver paint job was 10k and a show paint job was 20k.  I’m sure it’s more now.  The driver job meant you may still have minor dents and ripples in body, and no effort made for panel fit or gaps. But, you’d have a nice shiny coat of paint.

Oh Oh, better call MAACO! 

Actually they can spray a good job if you are willing to clean and do a bit of bodywork yourself. Only a few hundred dollars.

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16 minutes ago, JFranklin said:

Oh Oh, better call MAACO! 

Actually they can spray a good job if you are willing to clean and do a bit of bodywork yourself. Only a few hundred dollars.

What happens when it rains?

 

For a few hundred, they must be using latex house paint.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Zimm63 said:

What happens when it rains?

 

For a few hundred, they must be using latex house paint.

 

 

Ok, Laugh if you want but what I am saying is true. Try it with a car that you don't love and then be surprised. The guy in the paint booth has done more cars than most expensive shops. I have had jobs laid on like glass or piano shine out of the gun and lasted many years. didn't even need to buff! The job is the prep work. They know if you care they will do a good job, as it looks great on their lot when others stop in. I am only talking driver quality jobs not show work.

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Right on, JF.  I had MAACO do mine in 2009.  Still looks good. Single stage polyurethane, too.  Price was under a thousand at that time.   High dollar paint jobs are only for showing that "  I have the money and you do not"  IMO. 

 

  OP should just hire a qualified body man and supervise the work.  What I am going to do when my ship comes in.  

 

  Ben

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14 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

These are the numbers that were going through my head so I guess you have an idea.   A perfect paint job on that car feels like 60-90k to me in today's world.    A nut and bolt restoration 150-200k.   But maybe 30k will get you nice job at a shop within 100 miles of your house?

 

 

 

Wow-weeee. Man, those are some difficult numbers, alsancle. We shall see how it goes. I have some other tasks for the Imperial pushing my schedule now, but after that I must get that Charger moving along. 

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8 hours ago, OldChargerGuy said:

 

Wow-weeee. Man, those are some difficult numbers, alsancle. We shall see how it goes. I have some other tasks for the Imperial pushing my schedule now, but after that I must get that Charger moving along. 

 

Keep us posted.   A restoration thread on the Charger would be watched by a bunch of guys on here.  

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When I did my 77 T/A, I had talked to the local MAACO. When I went to the shop I asked the manager if they did 'special/project cars'. He took me to the back of the shop and there was a 442 being worked on. He said his lead painter loves when an old car comes in that he can give extra love to. Obviously the price wasnt their $500 special. The deal I was working out had me painting all of the jambs, I was to put the primer coat and do the body work. They were going to give it a once over and put on the final coat. He quoted me a round about price of $3500. Once I got the body work done, sprayed the jambs, and put multiple primer, sealer coats on, I was confident enough to paint the car myself. Turned out great, not a $20k show paint job, but not the worst paint job on the lot either. I think I have around $3k total in that paint job including the tools, decent gun, air dryer for the compressor, buffer, compounds etc.

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Did they give you any reason why it cost more to shoot paint on that car over any other going into their shop? I think they were a bit greedy. I paid no more than the regular price, just did the prep as you described. I had them mask, spray sealer and top coat. I did the initial masking at the edges but they did the rest.

Edited by JFranklin (see edit history)
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24 minutes ago, alsancle said:

So what is MAACO using for paint?   I think I paid almost 3k just for the paint last time I had a car painted.

If they paint your car for a few hundred dollars they sure aren't using $3000 worth of materials, but it is bought in bulk and quantity wholesale.  

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I wonder if any shops practice discretionary pricing based on the estimated finished value of the vehicle being worked on and the type of vehicles the owner of the project drives up in when they visit the shop.   Lol.   

 

Image and appearance is everything but doesn't always tell the whole story.

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6 hours ago, 1937McBuick said:

I wonder if any shops practice discretionary pricing based on the estimated finished value of the vehicle being worked on and the type of vehicles the owner of the project drives up in when they visit the shop.   Lol.   

 

Image and appearance is everything but doesn't always tell the whole story.

 

I realize your comment might be tongue in cheek, but what you are describing is weeded out pretty quickly by what car is being restored.

 

One doesn't bring a Duesenberg to be restored to a shop that specializes in Model T Fords.  If you have a high dollar car, then there are high dollar shops you will bring it to, so the "discretionary pricing" is built in.  There's a shop here in the Shenandoah Valley that only does Ferrari restoration, for example, so a high dollar car will find a shop that does a specific marque the best...

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I am not surprised at Kerry's ultimate decision.  To a person every pro, and a couple hobbyists who paint I know say it's the bodywork and prep that is where the work is, and as long as basic technique is mastered, and your conditions/mix/equipment is good, laying color on is the easier part. 

I think the bigger challenge is in any substantial bodywork.  I also know many shops want to do either the whole thing or not at all, which is understandable as well.  

 

I am actually thinking I might save money by taking body off my A and sending it to the shop that way, with what little trim, etc. removed.  I can repaint frame even if it's half a$$ed at home, as it was done once a long time ago when the car was first restored.  Body wouldn't take as much room in a shop, and it can go and come home in dad's F150. 

 

Following to see how Charger Guy makes out for sure.  Probably been suggested and maybe shot down but a good forum sub section might be shop recomendations.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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