Expected Cost’s – Planning a Budget
Let’s say you wanted to go out and buy a brand new car or truck loaded with factory options, you would expect to pay about $50,000 dollars. Going forward lets use that number as an example. If that new car or truck was put together on an assembly line and assembled in the most cost-effective manner possible, with all brand new parts that have been all designed to fit and function together. Painted and assembled brought to the marketplace where you go purchase that car or truck for $50,000 dollars.
Now let’s say you would like to restore a classic vehicle that you have found in a field or barn. You hire a restoration shop to disassemble the vehicle and strip it down to the frame. Then have all parts cleaned and get it back to the bare metal. Repair, replace or modify all of the parts, repair all of the body panels for paint and re-assemble the vehicle for fit and functionality. Disassemble the vehicle to finish all components to your desired level. Then go through the painting process, assemble and complete the restoration project in the most cost-effective manner with your new and restored parts. What do you think your actual cost would be for this scenario?
When you use this example it allows you to see that it is impossible to pay a reputable restoration shop to build or restore a vehicle to any level of quality and not exceed the $50,000 dollar example given here. You are having to pay a restoration shop to do twice the amount of work that a new car receives as it goes through the building process. The tear down and clean, repair, replace, set up and fabricate, and refinish process is not seen in the first example.
As a good rule of thumb for building a Street Rod or Custom Car is that parts equal labor. If you go out and purchase $50,000 dollars worth of parts and components. After market frames, suspensions, drive trains, fuel systems, brake systems, electrical systems accessories, and materials. One should expect to pay around the same amount of labor to go through the building process. It does not mean that if you purchase a new crate engine for $6,500 dollars. That it will cost the same amount to install it, the equal labor costs are spread out over the entire project. Deciding to bring your custom project to a high level by purchasing brand new parts and components starts to add up in a hurry, and you should expect that just because you have purchased a component does not mean that there are not still costs involved in installing and fitting that part, to make it look like it should be there and function correctly.
Keep in mind that this is just a good rule of thumb and that prices will vary, based on the shop hourly rates, custom work, and component selection. High-end finishes and replacement parts needed. All this will play a major role in your total and don’t forget the initial purchase of the vehicle.
There is just about no way to tell a customer the exact amount they will be in a project. Not knowing the needs of the project that they select, or the choices they will make in selecting components and finish levels. It is impossible to quote an exact cost up front for any project. Estimates can be put together if details of the project are available, knowing what the choices of components are and to what level it will be finished.
It is important for you to discuss your project with the restoration shop to get an idea of what your cost will be. Starting a restoration or custom build project with out talking about the known costs involved. Will result in an unfinished project and a bitter feeling about the whole experience.
While it is hard to tell a customer how much a project will cost, it is easy to let them know if it can be done within their budget. If you have a budget and a good idea of what components and level of quality you want your project to be finished out with, it is very easy to work backward from that number. A restoration shop should be able to tell you if you have enough funds allocated to complete all of the different aspects of the project to your desired level. Please find more information under “Reasons to Build” and “Reasons to Buy”.