1. How much does a restoration
This can vary greatly depending on the level of
restoration and the condition of the vehicle. As
a rough idea, a "driver" type topside
only body and paint could be about 300 hours. A
turnkey restoration on a clean car with few options
can be 1000-1200 hours while a rougher car with
more options could be 1200-2000 hours of labor.
Often a similar restoration from my past can be
used for comparison to get a ballpark figure.
Is there a waiting
Always! It's unusual to find a shop that does high
quality work that doesn't have a waiting list.
3. How long does a turnkey
restoration typically take?
Again, this will vary greatly depending on the condition
of the vehicle and the level of restoration. The
type of restoration makes a difference as well.
I would say a minimum of one year.
How do you charge?
jobs are done on a time and materials basis. Billing
is based on actual hours spent on the car and parts
and materials used. A ballpark cost can be estimated,
but final costs are based on real time spent. The
variables in restoring these wonderful old cars
are countless, and each one is unique and will have
its own set of challenges. When a shop quotes a
firm price, the trouble starts when that price can't
be met toward the end of the project. Corners are
cut to make the price, and the job suffers. Nobody
5. How do payments work?
Billing is done monthly and includes
a detailed description of work performed as well
as parts and materials used. A balance sheet is
used to track payments and expenditures.
6. How will I be kept
informed of the progress of my car's restoration?
Contact is made via e-mail, phone conversation,
etc. and with the monthly billing. Photos are included
to document progress as well as detailed descriptions
of work performed and hours logged. Digital photo
images are also stored on a backup CD and will be
provided at the end of the project.
7. Will you accept any
car for a restoration, regardless of condition?
I can't say I've ever turned away a project
because of its condition. In fact I've been told
I seem to have a reputation for doing the ones no
one else will touch!
8. Do you provide the
parts that need to be replaced?
Sometimes I'll get everything needed
and other projects will have many parts supplied
by the customer. It's up to the customer how it
will be done. Many customers enjoy the "thrill
of the hunt" part of looking for parts.
9. How do you keep my
parts organized and separate in your shop?
Extensive labeling & inventory records
are kept on each car. Each car's parts are kept
in separate shelving areas to avoid confusion.
10. How do you conduct
your research to ensure an accurate restoration?
Many ways! I often work based on what
has been learned and documented from previous restorations.
Another way is to study unrestored original cars
(these cars are gold mines of information). Many
times the car itself will give details too.
11. Do you use reproduction
parts in your restorations?
When necessary or desirable. It really
depends on the particular part and the type of restoration
being done. Something like carpeting, where you
have no other option, is an easy choice. Things
like a trunk floor pan or a quarter-skin require
more thought. Some reproduction parts are very nice,
others can be "massaged" to make them
acceptable, and yet others are just simply junk.
12. What type of body
fillers do you use?
In the factory seam areas I prefer to
weld the seam solid and reapply body solder as originally
done. Welding the seam solid prevents moisture from
creeping back in behind the lead and causing corrosion
problems. Leading these seams is also important
because it prevents read-through lines that can
occur with plastic fillers in these areas. In other
areas, after working with the metal, I use very
little if any plastic filler. Properly applied in
proper quantity, plastic fillers are perfectly fine.
Its also worth noting that it's better to use a
small amount of filler than to work sheet metal
too thin and likewise using too much primer to fill
imperfections instead of plastic filler is no better
13. Can you pick up
and deliver my car and parts?
I can arrange for a transport company
to pick up a vehicle. Most customers arrange their
14. Where can I get
references for your restoration work?
References and customer testimonials
can be found on our Testimonials web page. Please
feel free to contact us for additional references.
15. Why should I have
you restore my car?
1978, I've engaged in the comprehensive restoration
of Mopar muscle car-era vehicles. We use only the
materials and techniques to rebuild, repair,
perform bodywork, and paint each unique car to perfect
"like new" condition, assuring you of
a long lasting, top quality restoration. We provide
personalized service and unsurpassed attention to
detail, and bill at competitive labor rates. We
control all aspects of the restoration process with
a full range of skills available in-house.
you get with me is a sincere down-to-earth honest
billing of actual time spent working on the car,
using the most efficient methods and procedures
to maintain the highest level of quality. Communication
is also vital to a successful restoration. It's
much like a marriage
yes, a marriage! You need
to be completely confident that you're getting your
car done the way you want it and that you're being
charged fairly for the work. Consultation during
the project is important to discuss different options
for repairs, parts selection, etc.