Fort Myers Muscle Car Restoration Guru Explains The Resto Process

John RussoGallery, RestorationOctober 3, 20120 Comment

Muscle car Restoration in Swfl, Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, Cape Coral and more

What is your flavor?

  • Gm
  • Mopar
  • Ford

We do them all!

John Russo (originally from New England) is now preforming Muscle car restoration in SWFL . It all   started at 14 years old building his first 57 Chevy and that started an addiction that never stopped. This post is about an x- race car that was always stored inside if it wasn’t burning the tires at the track.

What we did here was cut the factory quarter panels off (it was a shame though) they were rust free but needed to be removed so the car could be set up and mini tubed to fit the M&H Race master slicks. Then we welded new quarters on and shaved the door handles, completed the sheet metal alignment then final block sanding.Once the car was straight this was a good candidate for Sikkens spray poly that we use to lock in all body work and long board the panels to perfection. Then it was time for the Black urethane base by House of Kolor and then 2 gallons of House of Kolor urethane clear.

I would say this  muscle car restoration project had 350 man hours in the body. Don’t forget, this was a clean car with no rust and was in excellent shape. Many times we get into projects that take 1000 hours before any paint starts going on. Generally speaking the average muscle car restoration will use 10-12 gallons of (liquid) to complete. Sounds crazy but its true.

Here is a quick run down of materials needed:

  • 1 gal or epoxy primer
  • 2 gallons of urethane primer
  • 1 gallon of body filler
  • 2 gallons of color
  • 2 gallons of urethane clear coat
  • 2 gallons of reducer and
  • 1 gallon of activator for the clear coat

The cost for the materials has risen with the gasoline prices as well – the average material cost is $4000 including seam sealers and sand papers  so these jobs run in the vicinity or $25,000.00 dollars for body and paint.

Some of our restoration work has been upwards of 100,000.00. When you get into the jobs that take 2500 man hours the classic cars restoration are more time consuming with all the chrome and trim compared to the simpler Mustangs and Camaros.

This 1970 ss nova came with some pretty nasty power including a Sunnex 502 big block with Brod ex heads, Isky crank, and a Littlefield blower, with a pair of Demon 1150 cfm Carbs. It was pushing 1100HP and was set up with a clutched auto and computerized shift. Just a nasty Beast I must say!


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You might know us as your go to steel body and aftermarket dealers or your custom and classic car restoration pros but we have quite the history that got us to where we are today. John Russo, the owner, actually came from a chicken farming family and went to school for carpentry in Rhode Island. But his real passion – at that time a hobby – was the hot rods. He got his first 57 Chevy in high school and

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