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Restoration Estimated

The #1 question aftermarket consumers and car collectors ask is how much does a complete vintage or classic car restoration cost? Does a classic car restoration cost $100k, 200k or 300k? The cost of an automotive restoration is determined but many factors with the biggest being your investment of time. It is very safe to assume a complete restoration will be greater than $100, 000 American dollars in the Texas Restoration market and take greater than 24 months to complete. Additionally, most professional builders in Houston TX automotive restoration market charge time and materials by the hour with most being $100-$125 hour. City Classic Cars charges $115 hour. City Classic Cars has created ROM charts which help first time consumers form possible ranges of financial  magnitude based on the desired level of finish and style of build. Although there are dozens of key decisions throughout a full restoration or even in a classic car repair, City Classic Cars has determined there are (4) key decisions that undoubtedly chart the financial direction of the build thereby making future decisions easier. Although there is not exact cost in restoration, you must prepare yourself for a substantial cost point.

Restoration Cost Factor  1- Select A Restoration Choice

Every build has a visionary direction. Once a vision is chosen, that visionary direction serves as a filter for all next build steps. Use the illustrator below to help determine the best direction for your build.  For most, its easy to determine the price choice, yet the end result is the unknown.  Some will choose an entry level price then expect the highest level of end result. It is best to think of restoration as good, better and best. The price between good and better is significant as well as the quality while the contrast to better and best is less than 3-5% at equally a large price gap. Use this chart to determine good, better and best.


Restoration Cost Factor 2 - Select A Chassis & Performance Choice

The second most important choice involves chassis & performance. Use the illustrator below to help determine the best chassis and engine choice. The things you can not see cost just as much if not more than the things you can see. The chassis is what determines your drive ability experience and the powertrain measures the thrill.  Do you want stock, modern, performance or custom. Is this a museum car or a weekend cruiser? Parts are rather fixed cost factors, but don't forget to consider the labor for fabrication and installing. And lastly, remember, the details are what separate the good from the great. 


Restoration Cost Factor 3- Select A Paint & Body Choice

The third most important choice involves addressing the paint and body process. Use the illustrator below to help determine the best paint and body choice. On the higher end side of paint, metal can consumer 1, 000+ hours, body can consume 1, 000 hours, Paint consume 500+ hours, post paint 500+ hours and assembly 500+ hours. On the flip side a basic scuff and shoot may consumer less than 150 hours for the full process while another complete process may consume 300 or 500 or a different time value as professional paint and body labor time is the biggest factor in quality. So deploy the model odd, better best. The Best will exceed 2500 total hours, better will consume greater than 750 skilled paint and body hours while good is anything less than 500 billable hours. Quality is a relative term reflective of a time value and cost point. It takes more than quality products to produce a Award Winning Car as it will often consume more than 750 hours.  These charts are designed to guide your expectations.


Restoration Cost Factor 4 - Select A Upholstery Choice

The final important choice involves choosing the right path for your interior.  Use the illustrator below to help determine the best upholstery choice.  Upholstery choices begin with leather vs synthetic leather then proceed to levels of comfort and amounts of technology.  Sometimes a stock interior is the only acceptable choice while other times custom is the best avenue. But again, think in terms of good, better and best. At the end of the day, the more complex the design then the more the time investment and more time equates to more cost, so align your interior cost with your expectations.

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