The purpose of classic car restoration varies from person to person. Your goal may be to enhance the car’s aesthetics and style or it may be to improve performance and increase the life of your vehicle. You may be wondering how much it will cost for the restoration and whether or not the restoration cost estimates will be realistic. But, the answer depends on the expertise of the shop and whether or not you want your car to be partially or fully restored.
Restoration Cost Estimates Are Variable
Every car is unique. While the make and model may be the same, over time owners will modify their vehicles causing variations between similar cars. Additionally, while the car may look pristine on the outside, there may be major repairs needed to achieve optimal performance. There’s no clear cut way to estimate the restoration costs without physically inspecting the vehicle. Be wary of any website or shop that provides an estimate over the phone or online. You’ll likely find that the estimates are usually lower than the final outlay.
Partial or Full Car Restorations Costs Are Variable
Your estimate will vary depending on whether you want a full or partial restoration. If you need new paint, but no body work, you’ll pay less than someone who needs a new door or major body work.
The key is to first decide on your purpose for the restoration. Are you looking to keep a family heirloom running for the next generation? Do you want to enter it in a classic car show? Do you want to upgrade the cars safety features or do you want to restore it to its original condition?
Once you understand your purpose and motivation for the car restoration, you can determine if you’re willing to budget for a full or partial restoration.
Factors Affecting Classic Car Restoration Cost Estimates
There are numerous factors that affect the restoration cost of a classic car. Here are a few to consider:
Body of the Vehicle
The condition of the body will impact restoration cost. If your classic car is missing major components, those will need to be acquired from older cars or manufactured to replicate the original. You’ll incur product cost, labor cost as well as time to search and acquire the parts.
If your car has minor damage, you may be able to get away with an expert paint job that removes the old paint and buffs out minor flaws. At Becker, we are one of the few classic restoration shops that has a clean room dedicated to providing a flawless paint job.
Mechanical work always plays a major role in restoration costs. When you use experienced mechanics, you can rely on their ability to foresee how one change effects another. They should be able to tell you the process of the restoration and how what seems like a minor upgrade can affect the entire vehicle.
Assuming you need smaller repairs like new brakes or air conditioning repair, you can expect your estimate to be on the lower end. However, if you need major engine work, expect to pay for many labor hours, new or replacement parts, as well as the time it takes to source those items.
Changing the Interior
The interior of your classic car include seats, floor, dash, audio systems, windows, and other upholstery items. Reupholstering seats and door panels are the most common classic car restoration needs. There are many options for colors and fabric type and the process isn’t too difficult. Many enthusiasts choose to do this part themselves to save on labor expenses as well as to gain the feeling of contributing to the restoration process.
Upgrading Beyond OEM
If you want to further your car’s performance, then you may want to upgrade beyond the OEM specifications. These modifications may include power brakes, power locks, power windows, security system, and upgraded safety features. Typically, these types of upgrades reduce the value of your classic car. However, if your priority is comfort and safety, they may be worth the trade-off.
Classic car restoration cost estimates are in fact estimates. But when you’re planning a budget for your project, you want to get as close to accurate as possible. We can help you. Give us a call today at 480-449-3561 to get started on your estimate.