FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
We encourage our visitors to ask questions. The more informed a consumer is when selecting a shop to begin a restoration project, the happier they will be in the end. We encourage you to come visit our shop before making a decision.
How long does it take to complete a project?
There is no direct answer to this question but unlike what you'll see on TV, it will certainly take longer than a week to restore a car.
There are many factors to take into account but here are a few to consider:
● Is your car a popular model and are there a lot of the replacement parts for it?
● Are the replacement parts of good quality?
● What make is your car? Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, etc. All cars are built differently, and some may take longer to repair than others.
● Is your car a Convertible, Hardtop, Coupe, or Sedan? A Chevrolet Impala convertible compared to a Hardtop has far less surface area that needs to be primed and blocked multiple times. The convertible may also have less roof area, but it will usually have badly damaged floors as well as more complex braces that need to be fabricated to hold the car together. Consequently, this may require more fabrication or panel replacement that would not have been needed for a hardtop.
● In what era was your car built? Pre-war cars are made with thicker steel and most of them are actually "over built." Some of these cars may have wood framework inside which is often rotted out and needs to be replaced. After the war, mass production was in full swing and by the mid 1950's hand-built cars were almost fully a thing of the past. With factory assembly lines and mass production, some replacement parts are much easier to obtain for these later models.
● Do you want your restoration to be completely original or have custom features? Custom craftsmanship always takes time and it becomes difficult to determine how long some projects will take.
Communication at each step of the process is the key to customer satisfaction. Think about taking every little piece off your car, clean and detail each part, paint or polish each part, then put each and every part back on the car. It can take a while to do it right. If the job is rushed and corners are cut, it won't be long before all of your problems are back and that spot of rust may be worse than before. If it is a project you intend to keep, it is less expensive to do it the right way one time, then to do it over and over again.
Can you finish a car or project that was started at another shop?
Although we prefer to do the project from start to finish, we are willing to finish a project started at another shop. HOWEVER, we cannot warranty the work that has already been done and we will not just cover mistakes that surface during the restoration process. Our reputation is that of a shop that will ensure you have the best possible restoration. Therefore, if we find that the car was done incorrectly, we will not finish the work unless you are willing to make the repairs needed to do it right. Just be aware that this may take more time and possibly more money than you originally intended to spend.
How much will it cost?
This is the top question asked! The brutal truth is that a proper restoration is expensive. Why does it cost so much? Sometimes the real damage can be hidden under the surface- so it's really hard to tell what needs to be fixed from a brief look. For instance, we have seen everything, from rockers molded with old newspapers to screws sticking through the body to hold on the polyester filler. Some people go to great lengths to hide damage so you really never know what you will find. We understand that you may want to hear a set price to make a budget for their restoration project and we will try to give you a rough estimate of the repairs but everything will be based on what we see at that point. The restoration of any vehicle is a lengthy and expensive process, average frame off restorations are 1,000+ hours lasting from 1-3 years depending on the complexity of the restoration. As a customer, it is our desire that we work with you to ensure you understand the commitment both in time and money it takes to complete a restoration project.
Can you paint over an existing paint job?
Yes, we can paint over an existing paint job - but we won't.
Why? We strive to achieve a show quality paint job that will not only look good, but last for years to come. Therefore, every vehicle that comes in is stripped of all paint to ensure that we have the full view of any and all damage. There have been too many times when we've stripped a car and found areas that would have turned into horrible problems later on.
I want to save on cost; are there things I can do myself?
If you feel that there are things you would like to do, we understand and we will work with you. However, ask yourself how mechanically inclined you are. For example, when a car is disassembled for restoration, remember that the car may not be put back together for several weeks or months. Can you remember how everything goes? It is sad to say, but it happens all the time: Someone begins a restoration, takes a car apart and then cannot get it back together. Most times, the car is then either sold "as is" or taken to a shop where hours are spent sorting through jumbled, unmarked parts with the hope that nothing is lost or damaged in the process. Those hours spent figuring out what someone else has started may end up costing you far more than it would have if the car was taken apart by a professional.