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Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#1
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LSU_Phidelt
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Based on cursory research, I've read that a person could reasonably expect to pay on the average $77/hour for classic car restoration work.

I understand there are a multitude of variables that dictate an individual restorationist's hourly rate, including reputability, area of the country, and type of vehicle.

I'd appreciate feedback from any forum members who might able to advise what I should expect to pay.

Posted on: 2018/5/27 9:15
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#2
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Fish'n Jim
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Labor rates always very by location. So you may pay more or less than the average. I'd say that your average figure(US) is not out of line for most mechanical and body shops. Also shop efficiency comes into play. ie, how much work they get complete per billed hour. Hard to judge that unless you have experience with shop. There's no "restoration police" that monitors these factors in shops as their is in construction, etc.
Then there's specialties like do they upcharge and how much the parcelled out work like chrome, blasting, paint, upholstery, glass, radiator, etc. they can't do in house. Chrome is a large expense. Paint is too if done right.
Depending on what you have, they could expend a large amount of hours finding parts. So that needs to be considered, hoe they manage.
So I'd negotiate with the shop, not just accept what they tell you. Also, some sense of timeline, as some are notoriously slow/overbooked.
I'd be more worried about expertise and equipment than the hourly charge. i.e. can they do all that you want done. Inspect any shop before you hire. Cleanliness, quality of work, pedigree of the craftsmen, etc.
One might "try" them on a small job first and see how it goes, like fixing the brakes, starter, or wiring. I did that and helped decide if they were reputable/reasonable or not. Promises come cheap. There's several thousand hours in making a new car, and more if you take an old one and try to make new, so the cost is not the issue, what counts is if the vehicle's value can support the investment and it's what you want to do with that money.
Always less to buy one already done.

Posted on: 2018/5/27 10:58
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#3
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Ernie Vitucci
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If it is possible, find a shop where you can stop in on a regular basis and see what is happening. Even do a bit of parts procurement yourself and become sort of an accepted presence in the shop. All business (I have found) is relationship based. I suspect that you will receive more for your hard earned money this way. Ernie

Posted on: 2018/5/27 11:17
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#4
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Just can't stay away

George40
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I would also suggest that you speak with individuals who have had their cars restored at different shops to see if they were satisfied by the quality of work and the time it took to get it done. As was mentioned previously, a lot of places have multiple projects going on and are notoriously slow in getting things over the finish line. Here on the east coast, prices are in the range of $100 plus, per hour.

Posted on: 2018/5/27 13:31
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#5
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Craig Hendrickson
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A couple of points of reference given that I did almost all the restoration parts procurement and work myself on my 1956 Packard Panther "restomod custom":

Paint was $5,000 and the shop was local which did mostly collision repair for an established dealer. They did minor finish (perfection) work on the body which turned out beautiful. It helped that the manager was a restomod guy himself and like was suggested above, I made myself known at the shop and met the guys actually doing the work.

Engine work was $1,000 which consisted almost entirely of checking previous engine work and making minor accuracy corrections. I assembled it myself. The owner of the shop also took an interest in my project and even came over to my garage a couple of times to see the progress.

YMMV,

Craig

Posted on: 2018/5/28 12:41
Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure! Ellen Ripley "Aliens"
Time flies like an arrow. Frui
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#6
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JWL
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The owner of a local restoration shop prefers his customers to be involved in the restoring process and encourages them to source and purchase parts. This saves the shop many billable hours from having to do the time consuming job of finding and buying parts. The shop can better spend his time working on the car. This method cuts costs and gets the owner involved. JWL

Posted on: 2018/5/30 11:39
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Average hourly rate for car restoration?
#7
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Caribbeandude
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the hourly rate actually means little. Best track record is "ask the man who's been a customer". I saw a shop that charges $52.00 /hr restore an MGA for $160,000. Integrity in business and reputation is the best factor to select a shop.

Posted on: 2018/5/30 15:56
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