First of all let me tell you a little about what isn’t a car restoration, then we’ll move on to what is a car restoration. Let’s dive right in here, the top of the list of things that a car restoration isn’t starts with a collision repair, at least in the sense that we can break it down, and do a complete full estimate.
I say this because it’s the first thing that I always get asked to do, and it’s the last thing that is possible for us to do. The short sweet explanation is this; we have to tare the entire car apart to do an estimate, and by then the work has already begun.
We can’t just quickly through the car back together so you can take it to the next place. No shop will take a job that has been started by another shop, in most cases. There is a reason behind this, we don’t want to get left with fixing the things that they may, or may not have done.
Lastly on the subject of estimates, you really don’t want to come and take your car away in boxes. This is your other option; doesn’t sound very appealing huh? In the end it is all up to you, but this is one of the main reasons that most real restoration shops will not do an estimate on your car.
My shop most definitely will not do an estimate on your car, and the truth is that we are not a collision shop. We don’t have a book, or a program that gives us a list of hours that it takes to do things. Mostly because there is no way for anybody to know every variable that comes in to play.
All though some of the work that we do appears to be allot like collision repair, it is truly nothing like the same thing. We aren’t all about speed, we are about getting it done the right way every time. It can take some time, but it will be right if you have the time to spend.
The next thing that we are not, is a tuner shop. Our shop specializes in cars 1974 and older. We didn’t used to go newer then 1963, but that has changed along with the fact that these cars are getting hard to find these days.
People are restoring cars that used to be considered parts cars. Because they can’t find anything else, this obviously makes extra work for the restoration shop that is doing the work. An average car can cost $100,000 or more in just labor alone.
I tell people to be ready for anything that might happen, it’s always better to be sure that you have what you need before you begin the work. Make sure that you know what you want when the restoration is complete, discuss your vision with the shop that is doing the work.
Make sure that the shop knows what you want when your car is complete. Rather it’s a factory stock restoration, a resto-mod, or a hot rod. In the end for both you and the shop to feel like they had a good experience, discuss every detail of the job with the shop doing the work.
Now for what a restoration is; first of all the restoration shop should be a place that you enjoy visiting, and seeing the progress on your car. OK beyond this a restoration shop does body repair work, interior repair work, mechanical repair work, and the list goes on.
We dismantle the entire car piece by piece, determining what pieces are good, and what pieces need to be fixed, or replaced. This is not the same thing that any collision shop does, they do what it takes to get that car out, and move the next one in.
We look at every parts of the car, not just a damaged quarter panel, or peeling paint. Every job that rolls out of a real restoration shop has to be perfect, and nothing less will do. A restoration shop wears a lot of hats, we are a hot rod shop, a custom car builder, a custom auto paint shop, and more.
Essentially we do what ever the customer wants us to do, we never have use after market parts if the customer doesn’t want us to. If a parts isn’t available, we will fabricate it, yes we ware a lot of hats, and we love it.
We love the creative part of the process, we are in this for the art work sake of the job. Our passion is to see these cars on the road, not to get this one out, so the next one can come in. Our passion is creating show winning cars, and cars that people will love their entire lives.
What is a car restoration, it’s returning your car back to factory, or better specs. It’s being able to customize your car any way you like, you should enjoy the process of a restoration, you should always receive the highest quality work possible, if all of these things happen, you will love it.
In short a car restoration is exactly what you want it to be, nothing more, and nothing less. The whole idea is to have fun, that is what hot rodding, and restoration have been about from the beginning. It’s still the same thing that is has always been, a few guys having a good time with an old car.