What will it cost?
I would love to be able to tell you, but I can’t…. Even if I look at it in person I won’t know. Stripped to bare metal I still won’t know. There are just too many unknowns involved.
Obviously you need some kind of idea and once I've seen your car I can usually give you some kind of estimate, it will be pretty wide ranging and only an estimate though...
Generally the biggest issue with old cars is repairing poor work done to them previously (this is not a dig at other people’s skills - times change, techniques, tools and materials improve resulting in better work. For a long time these cars were just old cars and not worth anything, so repairs were limited to just what was needed to keep it on the road)
The other issue is there will almost certainly be rust or damage that will be hidden behind the outer panels.
So just repairing that little bit of rust in the bottom of the rear guard? That’s probably going to mean cutting a large section out to access the inner panel, then cutting that out, making a patch to replace it, (or three patches because there will probably be overlapping panels in that area) then re-making and re-attaching any braces in there, then priming it and then we can get on with fixing that little rust bubble in the outer guard.
Even once all the rust (and there will be some, I don’t care how good it looks!..) is repaired, I still won’t know the cost because those previous repairs and accidents will almost certainly have affected panel alignment and fixing that can really soak up a lot of hours.
Plus, we’re all obsessed with having perfect gaps and making them look better than when they left the factory takes a lot of time.
Anyway, you get the idea!
So how will it work?
The Classic Factory works on time plus materials, it’s the only way to be fair and guarantee a good, long lasting job.
I would be extremely wary of someone offering you a fixed price for your restoration and here’s why – What happens when something unexpected comes up? (and it will…) You’re either going to be stuck with a surprise bill or they’re going to cut corners to keep to the price.
It’s also not uncommon that once your car is in that fixed shop, stripped down and very difficult to move that the price suddenly starts going up due to previously unseen problems. That “fixed” price won’t look so good then!
At The Classic Factory there will be a charge for materials and a charge for labour. (Quality materials are very expensive - beware of cheap paint. I only use premium materials, it’s false economy to skimp here) You will be given regular invoices for hours put into the car accompanied by pictures showing the work done as well as a written report.
Why do it?
Excellent question! Not to make money would be my first suggestion. To do a full, high quality restoration on most classic cars will cost more than the car is currently worth. However, that’s not the way to look at it in my opinion. You may be personally attached to the vehicle, it may have been in the family your whole life, it may have always been a dream of yours to own this particular car. Then the cost is immaterial.
As we know, you can buy a new car for vast sums of money and within 5 years it’s practically worthless. A quality restoration will stand the test of time and they’re not making any more 1969 MGB’s with overdrive, or 3.8 Flat floor E types, or Bugeye Sprites or TR3a Triumphs or whatever car you have. A properly restored car will almost certainly appreciate over time making it a better proposition than a new car.
Another thing to consider. Restoring a car yourself means that you know exactly what you're getting. You will have been involved all along the way and seen many pictures of exactly what has been done as well as personally inspecting the car. When you buy an already restored car you are taking a big chance, there are many many cars out there that look pretty on the surface but are full of horrors hidden by shiny paint that is about to start bubbling up... There are also plenty of very well restored cars available to but it's almost impossible to tell unless you can see very very detailed photos of the restoration and know exactly what to look for.
I can promise you from personal experience that when you’re out driving your perfectly restored car on the open road you won’t remember the cost at all!