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A restoration whether automobile, building, ship, plane or anything else means to make “as new”. When you consider the relative complexity of an automobile and the thousands of parts that comprise it, it becomes obvious that a true restoration will be costly. Think, if you will, of one unit, the heater for instance, to disassemble, sandblast, remove dents, prime, sand, paint, check/repair electrically, rewire, reassemble, and apply required decals and the cost of the decals, wires, etc., ten hours would not be unreasonable.

So, labor, parts and material would be approximately $700.00 for a “new” heater. Now, do the same for the other components of the vehicle, radio, speedometer, clock, cigar lighters, glove box latch, window regulators, and on and on and on. As is known, restoration work is done on a time and material basis and the time builds at what seems an incredible rate if the project is to keep going.


The main body is always the most costly due to the requisite metalwork, replacing sheetmetal, previous accident damage, alignments, etc. There is no way, even after inspection, that an estimate can be made but $30,000.00 is probably the average for a “new” body inside and out. Now you have the suspension and all the required replacement parts, some may have to be machined. Tires, wiring harnesses, rubber seals, and hundreds of miscellaneous items to assemble the body, trim, etc.

Next think about the engine, transmission, rear end, brake system, steering system, it never seems to end. Think now about glass and related alignments of not only the windows but also the regulators that have already been totally disassembled and rebuilt. How about the upholstery, here’s a big one, time to make the upholstery correct can be big, maybe not too far from the cost of the body. Then there’s the chrome plating, another big one.

Did we miss anything? Sure, the stainless trim that needs repairing and polishing, some of the glass lenses that need replacing, etc., etc. This analysis is not meant to discourage anyone but, if it does, it’s better for all concerned. Horror stories related to restorations are the result of neglecting to analyze.



COLOR-ITE Refinishing Co.
868 Carrington Rd, RT 69
Bethany, CT 06524 U.S.A.


Email color-ite@att.net
Voice: 203-393-0240
Fax: 203-393-0873