What Can You Expect from an Average Classic Car Restoration?

June 22, 2021 1:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Classic cars have a timeless appeal, but it takes a lot of hard work to not just restore a car to drivable condition, but to bring it back to beautiful visual condition, too. While restoration costs will vary from car to car and shop to shop, there are some general guidelines that can give you a good idea of what you should expect to spend on your restoration project. Here’s a brief rundown of the typical costs you can expect when bringing a vehicle back to life with classic car restoration:

  • Car acquisition costs: Unless you’re lucky enough to inherit a classic car project from a friend or relative, you’re going to need to buy the car for your project. Classic cars in decent drivable condition can start at around $15,000, while private party sales in drivable condition but still in need of restoration typically have starting prices at $5,000 and up. It all depends on the rarity of the vehicle as well as its condition at the time of purchase.
  • Restoration preparation costs: If you’re going for a full restoration, the car frame and chassis must be completely stripped. Most preparation projects include replating the entire body and frame, and every component including nuts and bolts should be cleaned in an acid bath, then replated. Typically, this step of the process costs up to $15,000.
  • Parts: The cost of parts is highly variable depending on the vehicle you’ve chosen, and could run upwards of $10,000. Older cars require rare parts, and rarity equals additional expense. If you’re restoring a foreign car, parts typically will be more expensive than for domestic models—you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
  • Finishing costs: While getting a classic in roadworthy condition is important, appearance is just as crucial in any restoration project. You’ll want to find a reputable car restoration shop to perform a high-quality finishing job on your project car. Many classics have at least some rust, which will need to be treated—in some cases, replacement panels will need to be cut, shaped and welded in. After body repairs, you’ll need a quality paint job, and the cost can vary depending on the type of paint used and the number of coats applied. Expect to spend several thousand dollars on finishing work, all depending on the starting condition of your project car.
  • Overall costs: Many classic car restorations have an all-in cost between $40,000 and $60,000. Financing is available at most shops to cover the cost of restoration. Always set a maximum budget before you start any project by determining the level of restoration you wish to perform on your vehicle.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to bringing a classic car back to life. If there’s one thing you need to remember, it’s that you should work with a reputable expert in car restoration to make the most of your investment. Contact Lentz Auto Body to discover more about the exciting and rewarding process of classic car restoration.

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