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Thread: How Much Does it Cost to Restore a Car?

  1. #1
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    How Much Does it Cost to Restore a Car?

    Really interesting.
    A great ending is all you'll see..
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    I hate this guys show. He’s always angry and yelling.
    A few years ago I met Dave Kindig and Kevdog. I asked them what the average cost was for the cars they restore/build. Dave said they start at $300K.

    I got a few estimates for getting my hotrod painted, it was $15-20K. For a car that was going to be a daily driver and get chips etc I wasn’t going to spend that kind of coin.

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    Not as angry as that moron english guy that built his career on cussing out people n screaming all the time

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    ^ ?? Who was that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SW530 View Post
    Really interesting.
    Drama Dan, what an asshole.
    He has a knack for finding the most gullible folks with deep pockets. "Oh, this was your Papa's car and you want to spend your inheritance(his life's savings) restoring it". "We can do that (to a middling correctness and quality) for all the money you have."

    I remember seeing an episode where overhauling a carburetor was made out to be some black art. It was an old Solex that he made a big deal of "fabricating" gaskets for. No doubt at some outrageous cost to trace a shape onto gasket paper and cut it out. Rock Auto had kits for the carb in stock for a few dollars.
    His "restorations" are often no more than perfunctory repairs in many cases I've seen.
    Him and his brake tests. 3, 2 1, your show is cancelled. Ha!

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    I hate this guys show. He’s always angry and yelling.
    A few years ago I met Dave Kindig and Kevdog. I asked them what the average cost was for the cars they restore/build. Dave said they start at $300K.

    I got a few estimates for getting my hotrod painted, it was $15-20K. For a car that was going to be a daily driver and get chips etc I wasn’t going to spend that kind of coin.
    LOL !
    I love this guy , and his shows !
    Dan Short , he's awesome imo . Prior military , straight-forward / blunt / right to the point / doesn't sugar-coat crap , and has a true passion for cars and country .

    Kindig's shop is a gold-digger shop imo , only cater to the rich-elite and none of it is realistic to the average Joe / middle-class American , which is just sad .
    I mean , look where that shop is located .... Salt Lake , Utah .... nuf-said ... lol ..
    Last edited by Jason5driver; 02-01-2023 at 09:52 AM.

    Looking for an E39 belly pan , passenger front inner fender liner

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    It's a TV show. They have to create drama. Dan's a no BS former military pilot. I liked the show. It had a long run.

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    Military, schmilitary. He's a putz!

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    Military, schmilitary. He's a putz!
    If you EVER served , then you would understand ...
    There's a certain respect toward people and people in charge . Imo , people have lost that and have become snow-flakes .... sad ...

    Looking for an E39 belly pan , passenger front inner fender liner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    If you EVER served , then you would understand ...
    There's a certain respect toward people and people in charge . Imo , people have lost that and have become snow-flakes .... sad ...
    Ex military doesn't make you an automatic hero. Plenty of A-holes that wore a uniform. One of the biggest whack jobs I know is a former pilot too so no quarter given for that either.
    He's not in charge of anything aside his shop which seemed to have a fairly robust turnover. His "straight forward" delivery is often delivering B.S. to his bunch of doe eyed customers.
    Anyone with any experience refurbishing old iron can see right through his B.S.
    Drama for TV sake? Sure, but the customer's clock is ticking the whole time.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    ^ ?? Who was that?
    Gordon Ramsey??

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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    As an empirical data point for this discussion, BCW did the body restoration on my car for almost exactly 30K. This was a full restoration on a northern climate driven E39 which included a replacement front door and trunklid and a base/clear color re-coat for everything except bumpers and roof (we'll see if Snotty's right about roof regrets lol). They charged $70/hr time and materials. A billed hour at BCW is 60 minutes. Parts markup is 100% since they also need to do the research on how to obtain the part. I could purchase parts myself for the project though and did a lot of that to lower costs. Paint work cost the most since its very labor intensive. Now a full restoration there would include mechanics and interior restoration as well and Bob tells me that can easily run the job into mid 6 figures. They literally tear the entire car apart and dip the body for this type of restoration. It was scary enough watching them tear the guts out of my trunklid/drivers side door; I can only imagine what it would be like to strip the entire body/frame down...

    He is right about the process though. Once the car is stripped down costs can add up. I was able to micro-manage most of it though since I know the owner. But getting the call from Jim in fabrication about "another rusted area they just uncovered" was a bit nerve racking to say the least.

    He is also correct in that the number 1 reason to do a restoration is your emotion about the car because you'll never get what you put into it back out (unless you drive it out of course).
    Last edited by sleuth255; 02-01-2023 at 11:24 AM.

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    This is one of my favorite car shows. Dan is a fellow operator so I'm used to his personality type. If I was going to pay to restore a car.. which would take all the fun out of it for me.. Dan would be the guy. If I was going to create a custom dream car Kindig for sure.
    A great ending is all you'll see..
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    Thanks to all of the experts here, ppl like me can DIY just about anything mechanical on our E39s.

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    My oldest Son works at a high end restoration shop. Almost everything is 60's n 70's muscle cars with major one of a kind metal and design work.
    The average build is starts at $150k to cars at $600k plus. 600k will get you carbon fiber one of a kind wheels and not a stock panel on the car.
    Budget $50k to $100k for interior work, but that includes shipping the car to have the interior work done by one of the top upholsterer's in the country.

    What he's working on now, his metal work. Their a SEMA and GM Design award winning Shop.
    Wheels are one of a kind designed by the owner. All the small metal pieces around the bumper and trunk were redone in metal without any seams.
    Fender flairs started out as three flat pieces of sheet metal.

    How much does it cost ? All of it.
    The car will spend between one to three months in body prep before final paint. Then a month of wet sanding and polishing.

    Most all their cars are driven a lot including track days. They'll return for touch up every couple years.
    Some cars are the clients second or third build, it's crazy for sure.

    Last edited by jp5Touring; 02-01-2023 at 04:49 PM.


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    Yes, good post. You may think Dave Kindig is a gold digger but his crew are top notch guys that can fabricate just about anything. They are way out of my price range. I hated doing body work on my hotrod as I’m not real good at that part of the build. What those guys can do in 2 hrs took me all day.
    Just the PPG paint, reducer, clear, hardener, thinner etc with a discount cost me $4K.
    Another show I like is Iron Restoration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    Gordon Ramsey??
    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    ^ ?? Who was that?
    GORDON RAMSAY! (sorry about the screaming)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kallekula View Post
    GORDON RAMSAY! (sorry about the screaming)
    Oh, the chef.
    I don’t watch those shows.

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    At the other end of the spectrum. I have a good friend who is doing a ground up build on a Porsche 914-6.
    Him and a friend spent five hours sandblasting it a local place that lets you use their equipment.
    He did all the body work and primed it in his pole barn.
    He paid $3000. and supplied the paint materials to a pro guy that paints at his home.
    He has a paint booth in his garage. The car turned out great, painter did a super job.
    I plan on him painting my bumpers.

    So their are options.


  21. #21
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    Wow, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I'll done a few rebuilds on old iron, but I took a 66 Chevelle all the way down to the frame. Every nut/bolt replaced, and just about everything upgraded. It was a full Pro-touring LS/6spd swap with coilovers, adj suspension, big brakes, BBS wheels, etc. I did many events over 3-4 years driving it everywhere, never trailered, so it wasn't built to be a show piece.

    Now, I will admit I'm a serious DIY guy so all the mechanicals, disassembly, media blasting, wiring, assembly including the interior was all done by me with the help of my wife or brother when needed. I work for a paint company so I handled the initial priming and prep before turning it over to the shop for panel replacements and final paint.

    This was a 4 year build, it was therapeutic so I wasn't in a hurry, and it took time to find the right parts, and wait my turn for body and paint. I ended up just south of 100K, and I know several builders personally that couldn't duplicate it for less than 2.5-3x what I spent. Building cars is expensive.....

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    Yeah, DIY saves a lot. I still need to do the drivers front seat upholstery on mine. Its not bad; just some stitching coming loose at the double seam that goes down the middle of the seat and some scuff marks. I'm considering whether to try to recover using new foam from ECS and the Sport seat covers made by Gahh Automotive (expensive) or have a custom upholsterer look at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kallekula View Post
    GORDON RAMSAY! (sorry about the screaming)
    Just to be anal retentive, GR is Scottish.
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    I've spoken to several restaurant owners who were on GR's show Kitchen Nightmares. My previous hobby shop was next door to Boyd Coddington's shop (RIP). He used to have open house every month where you could wander through his shop and look at the latest builds.

    My point is that 100% of this garbage "reality" TV is scripted. The producers have the participants act like idiots, say stupid sh*t, whatever, all to generate drama. For some reason American audiences don't care about how to cook a dish properly, or how to build a hot rod correctly, they care about "drama!" Based on what I saw watching Boyd's show (American Hot Rod?), I wouldn't let those dorks restore my Radio Flyer wagon. But in reality they had some really bitchin' rides that came out of that place.

    The upshot is don't believe anything you see on TV, especially "reality TV."
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    Quote Originally Posted by E39 Newbie View Post
    I've spoken to several restaurant owners who were on GR's show Kitchen Nightmares. My previous hobby shop was next door to Boyd Coddington's shop (RIP). He used to have open house every month where you could wander through his shop and look at the latest builds.

    My point is that 100% of this garbage "reality" TV is scripted. The producers have the participants act like idiots, say stupid sh*t, whatever, all to generate drama. For some reason American audiences don't care about how to cook a dish properly, or how to build a hot rod correctly, they care about "drama!" Based on what I saw watching Boyd's show (American Hot Rod?), I wouldn't let those dorks restore my Radio Flyer wagon. But in reality they had some really bitchin' rides that came out of that place.

    The upshot is don't believe anything you see on TV, especially "reality TV."

    By definition appearing on GR's show makes you a failure. Right? I can understand his intolerance for the stupid and lazy.

    Reality shows? I think this comes naturally to many of them and for the most part what you see is what you get.
    If you had a well regarded shop and some twit with a camera asks you to act the fool for potential customers to see would you?
    Last edited by ross1; 02-04-2023 at 08:26 PM.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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