fort myers muscle car restoration guru explains the resto process

Fort Myers Muscle Car Restoration Guru Explains The Resto Process

by | Oct 3, 2012 | Gallery, Restoration

John Russo (originally from New England) is now providing his Muscle car restoration services in SWFL. He is a well respected, a veteran member of Palm Beach Customs.

It all started when John was 14 years old and built his first 1957 Chevy. That sparked a passion that never stopped.

The story in our next post is about a former race car – always stored inside when it wasn’t burning the tires at the track.

What we did here was cut the factory quarter panels off. They were rust-free, but we removed them 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, it was ready for Sikkens spray-on polyurethane. We use it to lock in all bodywork and longboard 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 that we put in 350 hours for working the car’s body for this muscle car restoration project. It was a clean car with no rust and was in excellent condition.

It’s not unusual for us to get into projects that take 1000 hours before we get to apply paint. 

Generally speaking, the average muscle car restoration will use 10-12 gallons of liquids to complete. 

Here is a quick rundown of materials needed:

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

The cost of the materials gets higher alongside gasoline prices. The average material cost is $4000, including seam sealers and sandpapers. These jobs run in the vicinity of $25,000 for body and paint.

Some of our restoration work has been upwards of $100,000. When you get into the jobs that take 2500 hours, the muscle car restoration is 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 Brodix heads, Isky crank, a Littlefield blower, and a pair of Demon 1150 cfm Carbs. It was pushing 1100HP and was set-up with a clutched auto and computerized shift. A nasty beast, I must say!

Muscle Car Restoration In Swfl, Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, Cape Coral, And More

What is your flavor?

  • GM
  • Ford

We do them all!

Contact us for any additional information.

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  1. Mike Hall

    I’m looking to finish my 1969 Chevelle that I bought when I got out the service. (Original owner). Since I moved to Ft Myers 12 years ago I’ve put the rebuild on hold.


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