I’m going to make a short list of the things that a shop will look at to determine the cost of your restoration, and I may miss a few things here, but I’ll give the old college try here.

1.The first thing that a shop will look at, is the overall condition of the car, and they will do this by inspecting certain areas of your car, usually the areas that are prone to damage from rust, wear, other body, electrical, and mechanical damage, as well as interior wear and breakdown.

2.The shop will look at the list of things that they have found, and they will find things that need to be repaired, and they will determine what parts they think your car will need, and come up with a tentative list of things that need to be replaced, this will determine your parts list, and don’t think even for a minute that they will see everything in one inspection, they will need to order other parts that may not be on the list, things that they can’t see until they tear the car down.

3.After they have a tentative list of parts, they can begin to estimate the hours that it will take to do the job, and remember I said estimate, not absolute perfect price guarantee.

It is impossible for a shop to do that, and it’s the reason my shop does it by shop labor hour, rather then an out and out estimate of the cost of your job.

In the end this estimate usually causes problems between you and the shop, and most real shop’s don’t barter on their prices, it’s the same as you going to your doctor and telling him hey I don’t like that price, can you get it a bit lower.

Most reputable shop’s will tell you exactly what your doctor would, that’s our price, and we don’t barter.

4.Beware of a shop that offers you a price that $40 or $50 an hour below the other shops prices, this guy will take a short cut on your car, it’s the only way that he can make money.

So look out for the guy that says that his shop will do the same quality of work for a lot less then the other guy, this is a very competitive business, and most good shops will come in about the same price, or with in a few dollars, beware of the guy that says he’s in business to save you money.

5.. It is a shop’s job to find all the things that need to be fixed on your car, and present them to you, the word restoration infers that it will be like new, or better when it’s done, and a typical job weighs in at about 800 hours of labor, and it will go up from there the more things that need to be repaired to restore your car.

6.Keep in mind that if you add custom parts, body work, wheels, or paint work, the price will go up, these customizations cost money, and a lot of it, so plan a head to have the money ready to restore, or customize your classic car.

Please do yourself and the shop a favor, and don’t go in planning to spend $5,000 or $10,000, a paint job alone can cost that much or more to do.

What I’m saying here is be ready, rather you do the work yourself, or have a shop do it for you, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by being prepared for what your about to do.