Classic and Vintage  Restoration Estimates 

Download Our Helpful Restoration Cost Analysis Tools and Budgeting Tools


Although every project is unique, Sabra Johnson of City Classic Cars in Spring, Texas has created a series of reasonable cost analysis charts to help you formulate a budget to create a realistic cost expectation for your family heirloom.

How Much Does it Cost to Fully Restore a Classic, Vintage or Antique Car or Truck in Texas? 

This budget question is asked of City Classic Cars a 1/2 dozen times every day- "How much does it cost to restore my car, how much for a custom paint job, how much for my to restore my interior, how much to restore my engine and transmission..." and other versions are asked daily. And we understand as many shops have hidden fees and inflated prices and most vitally every dollar counts.  If you are like most prospective restoration clients, there exist a desire to  want the shop to quote a flat price for the job. Most shops won't do so unless the price quoted is extremely high to cover all the unforeseen. The better and more reputable shops will always quote time and materials as does City Classic Cars. Buy Why? The unknowns of car condition, multiplicity of product choices and parts availability details create too many unknown variables. To bridge the information gap, Sabra Johnson of City Classic Cars in Spring, Texas has created a series of reasonable cost analysis charts to help you formulate a budget to create a realistic cost expectation. The following 4 tables are designed to help aid you in the quest for concrete numbers for your project: The first table addresses the general labor hours in a typical restoration, the second table illustrates the scope of work involved throughout the process, the third tables illustrates what happens in the metal/body/paint phase while the fourth table shows the actual cost of many performance parts and OEM replacement applications. 

Here are the tables to help you in your pursuit of a restored classic car or truck within your budget:

City Classic Cars Restorations Budget Tool - Click Here to Open PDF

Table 1.
Typical Process & Average Time For A Complete Frame-Off Restoration by City Classic Cars on the average make and model.


City Classic Cars Process                                    Billable Labor Hours

Body disassembly and install on a rotisserie     20-60

Frame/Susp/Steering/Brakes disassembly        10-50

Frame/Susp/Steer/ Brakes Clean Up & Paint    30-50

Frame/Suspension/Steering/Brakes assembly  30-50

Disassemble Drivetrain & Accessories               10-15

Drivetrain & Accessories Clean Up & Paint        20-30

Assemble Drivetrain & Accessories                     30-50

Body/Trunk/Undercar, Interior & Underhood Prep, Clean & Paint


Advanced Fabrications & Pro Touring Customization


Interior, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics        80-140

Total Estimated “City” Labor Process (see shop rate) 400-670

Table 2.
Scope of Work Involved in a Frame Off Restoration by City Classic Cars


Includes Assembly, Body Repair, Brake Repair, Conversions, Cooling System upgrade, Metal Fabrication, Electrical Repair, Engine, Building, Tuning, Interior Work, Rust Repair, Metal Repair, Paint Booth, Paint Refinishing, Color Sanding, Buffing, Detailing Services, Suspension rebuild Upgrades, Sandblasting, Chrome Plating, Zinc Plating, A/C Repairs

Table 3 illustrates the City Classic Cars Exterior Restoration in 4 Big Steps: Stripping, Metal, Body, then Paint

Paint Stripping Options used by City Classic Cars: Chemical Dip, Sand off, Sand Blast, Media Blast, Soda Blast, Paint Stripper, 

Sealing the Steel the City Classic Cars Way: 

3 coats of epoxy, Remove Rust, Repair Dents and Fit Panels

Starting the Body Work the City Classic Cars Method: Complete all body filler & block straight-finish with 80-grit, then Prime with spray poly Block sand w/80 grit then Prime w/spray poly Block sand w/180 grit then Prime w/spray poly Block sand w/180 grit then Prime w/high build Block sand w/220 grit then Prime w/high build Block sand w/320 grit then Prime w/high build then Wet sand with w/400 grit

Painting the Car by the City Classic Cars formula:
Epoxy Seal the car, then apply 3 coats of base, then apply 3-4 coats of clear, then polish the car, then color sand w/800 grit, then color sand w/1500 grit, then color sand w/2500 grit then buff w/compound wool pad then Buff w/glaze pad, then continue the 3M polishing system. 

Table 4 reveals the City Classic Cars Restoration Parts Guideline Chart

Popular Products Price Points.

Pro Touring Tires and Rims (Tubbing)

$8, 000-$12, 000

Stock Tires and Rims Ride Height

$1500- $2, 500

Vintage Tires and Rims

$2, 500-$4,500

Stock Classic & Vintage Engine Rebuilds

$2,000-$6, 000 (Long Block Only)

LS Crate Power Trains (Trans & Engines)

$12, 000-$25, 000

Coyote Crate Powertrains (Trans & Engines)

$10, 000-$25, 000

Mopar Powertrains

$9, 000-$35, 000

Intake and Carb

$750-$3, 500

Fully Assembled 350 engine packages

$3, 000-$7,500 (add 50% for Stroker)

350 or 400 Transmission with core


700 R4 Transmission



$2, 500-$4, 500

Muncie 4 Speed


Vintage & Classic Transmission Rebuilds

$1, 000- $5,000

Front Runner Systems

$2, 000-$3, 000

Vintage Air System

$1, 500-$2,000

Classic Instrument or Digital Dash Replacement


Classic Instruments Retrofit Gauges -Custom

$3, 000-$6,000

Leather Interior w/Suede Accents & Supplies

$4, 000-$7, 000

Vinyl and/or Cloth Stock Interiors

$1000- $3,000

Stock OEM Kits (less labor)


Carpet Kits and Supplies and custom floor mats

$250-$1, 250

Convertible Tops

$1, 500-$3, 500

Canvas Tops

$1, 000-$2, 000

Hot Rod Custom Glass Kit


Full Chrome of a Classic or Vintage Car

$2, 000- $6, 000

Gold/Rose Gold or Color Match Chrome

$5, 000-$7, 500

14k Gold Chroming

$15, 000-$20, 000

OEM sound system replacement

$500-$1, 000

Modern Sound System w/ custom boxes

$1, 500-$4, 500

Competition Sound Systems

$4, 000- $20, 000

Classic Headliners


Vintage or Custom Headliners


6 or 12 Volt Wiring Kits



$250-$2, 500

Pearl Craft Steering Wheel Restorations

$1, 500-$5,500

Detroit Speed Suspension Kits

$4, 000- $10,000

Art Morrison Frames

$17, 000- $27,000

Ididit Steering Columns


Steering Wheels


Moser Rear End Muscle Packs- Ford 9 inch

$3, 000-$5,000 (add 15% for GM 12 Bolt)

EFI Conversions

$1, 000-$5,000

Complete Disc Conversion Kits

$1, 000-$2, 500

Fuel Injected Tanks

$500-$3, 000

Replacement OEM tanks and sending units

$200-$1, 200

DCU 2021 Clear kit

$600-700 per kit

2k Primer Kit


Epoxy Primer


Premium Sealer


Self Etching Primer


Lizard Skin Kit


Dynamat per box


Raptor BedLiner Kit


Vibrancy Base and Clear

$2, 000-$4,000

House of Kolor base and Clear Kit

$2,500 - $4,500

DBC PPG Base Coat

$750 - $1,800 per (pearl/red add 20%)

Metal, Paint and Body Prep Supply Cost

$200- $800

Floor pans


Body Parts and Panels per part

Varies ($500-$7, 500)

Lights  & Exterior Accessories/Trim

$200-$5, 000

Dynacorn Body replacements

$10, 000- $25, 000

Donor (Parts Cars)

$1, 000-$5, 000

Renderings and Visual Models

$300 - $1, 500

Then add parts to the estimate above in range of $20k-$80K depending on project, condition of car and type of build.


Because of the many unknown factors in labor and the many parts choices we are unable to “guestimate” with exacting or even approximate details your “price point”, but we can easily determine what you can afford and help you make choices in light of that budget and condition of the project. Call us at 832-717-0774 to schedule a consultation.  

Beautiful Title

City Classic CARS 

Christian Repair & Restoration Center