Steel Body Replacements & Services in Florida

Working on Classic Car or Muscle Car restoration projects with a
set budget and a strict deadline?
Find out how you too can pull a Catch 22, every time.

If you’re like most classic car and muscle car restoration shop managers, you too are probably facing this situation on almost every build: With limited time and manpower, you’re racing to restore a classic or a muscle car for a client that has a fixed budget and set timeframe. This timeframe is usually set by someone’s birthday, or a car show, or some key date. It’s our job as car restorers to meet this deadline.

We’ve been doing classic car and muscle car restoration for over 30 years. What my clients consistently want me to deliver is the best bang for their buck – ASAP.

Our job is to figure out a way to deliver an excellent restoration work, on time, on budget. Every time.

What’s a Catch 22 Classic Car or Muscle Car Restoration Project

A car for the road, not a museum piece

We all know it, but let’s just get it out in the open. A Catch 22 classic car restoration project would sound like this:

I need you to restore this Chevy 57 or Nova, or 69 Mustang, fast, on-budget, and make it a great build.
I don’t care how good a welder you are. I just want the car to look stunning.
I don’t care if you mark all the screws on the rear differential with the exact brushstrokes as the factory did it back in the 60es.
And I’m certainly not interested in spending 10 grand on leather stitching density that matches the factory settings in 1957. 

What I want is a reliable classic car that’s beautifully restored WITHIN BUDGET. It’s got to be a head-turner, rumbling and tumbling heart stopper that’s safe to drive, looks hot, but can still do smooth rides when I want it to. And I don’t want to sell my house to pay for the build. 

In my 30+ years of doing car restoration projects, I’ve found that these projects are always tight. Time and money are equally important for clients we serve as is the end result of a beautifully built classic or muscle car. They’re eager to hop in their restored dream car and enjoy it.

They don’t really stress about museum-level restoration with all the nuts and bolts and paint markings recreated as if it’s 1957, and their classic car has just rolled off the production line.

They just want the joy of owning a beautifully restored classic car. They don’t care so much about history and technical details. What they want, is the visual and tactile pleasure of owning a spotless muscle or classic car brought back to life.

Pure and simple.

For us who are called to do the project, this is pure and simple, a classic Catch 22 scenario.

But you know what?

There is a way to get these projects done on time, on budget, and have a very happy client, every time.

The goal of most classic car restoration projects

Enabling “Memory Lane” experiences on-budget.

car

Imagine with me for a second, that we’re walking in your client’s garage and there’s a shell of what used to be a functioning car. It’s weary. Old. Still loved, but not loved beyond reason.

For the clients, it’s important that the car gets restored without much fuss, without deadline extensions, and no budget revisions. Because, other than the shape and the memories it evokes, there’s no real connection to the actual rusted metal that sits slouched on those 4 worn-out tires.

This means that spending $10.000-17.000 of the client’s money on welding, filler and sanding is not acceptable. They’d rather have you replace body panels or even entire sections of the car. Especially if this will help them save time and money AND result in a much sturdier body work.

Actually, if they’d have the chance to get their car restored using completely new, factory-licenced chassis and body panels, manufactured using modern technology and materials, even better!

They’re far happier to get their old Chevy 57 that is:

  • As sturdy as a modern car,
  • runs a lot smoother,
  • rides even better, and
  • it’s a lot safer for long road trips with their grandkids.

These people want to take their loved ones along the Memory Lane ride. So they too can taste this liberating experience of having a road trip in a classic car, where you in fact can feel the journey, rather than being isolated from the world while driving from Point A to Point B.

What’s a Factory-licenced body, or body panels, and when to use them

GM Licenced
Ford Licensed Product

A factory-licenced car body or car body panel is a gem.

It’s a body panel or a full body, produced using modern technology, modern materials, but has the same shape as historical originals.

Thanks to modern technologies, these factory-licenced body parts are in fact much better than their original counterparts.

Some car restoration projects will require new body panels, and others can actually rest on a completely new body, with nose, hood, firewall, tubs, wheel wells, floor panel etc.

3 restoration scenarios where factory-licensed body panels make make an excellent build

It’s not about hard labor. It’s about getting a sturdy skeleton for a solid build AND save Thousands of dollars

Let me share a few scenarios where going for a factory-licenced body or body panels is the best solution for any classic car or muscle car restoration project that has a fixed budget and a set deadline.

Miss Had-Better-Days: Original body needs extensive repairs

You’re generally unsurprised of the body parts state. It’s an old car, a barn-find that has seen better days. It’s gone through several restoration attempts by teenage wanna-be welders who did more harm than good, and then just used filler to cover their tracks.

For you now, stripping down the rust, cutting and molding sheet metal patches, sanding down welds… all of it sounds like a bit too much work to do for the time and budget you have. You run the numbers and it ends up being a full 10-day work, morning-to-evening, just so you end up with a patched body that still is… OLD. Not to mention all the small bends and twists of the body panels that you haven’t touched just because they looked “good enough.” But you know they’re not. You’d spent time, burn through $14.000 on body work, and you have an old shell full of patches and places where you probably sanded the metal a bit too much. What used to be a gauge-20 sheet could now be a gauge-26, paint and sealer included. Scary.

This is the most common scenario actually, and car restoration shops regularly swap out entire panels or body sections with new, factory-licenced body panels. That way, the final result is a much better build, done on time, and on budget.

Miss “Trust-me I’m Fine”: Original body needs structural replacement panels

You take the car to the lift and start the standard screwdriver inspection of the under-body. This time though, no screwdriver needed to punch a hole. From front axle to rear axle, and left door to right door and everything in-between… it’s all falling apart. It’s no longer metal. It’s sheets of rust held together by sheer, good old-fashioned stubbornness. It has zero load-bearing capacity.

It’s a miracle it’s not dissolving to dust as you stand beneath it, looking for a way to salvage anything. Getting to bar, healthy metal to start welding will basically mean scraping entire panels. Or entire sections of the body.

In these cases, your best strategy to move forward is to replace these rusty panels with brand-new ones, built to factory specifications that will fit in to all mounting holes and guide rails for a perfect fit. A great example for structural panel replacement is the single-sheet Chevy 57 floor panel, replacing the previous 2-panel floor and eliminating the critical welded seam between these two panels.

Miss Swiss-Cheese: Original body is beyond repair, and a donor car is too expensive

miss swiss cheese

The stripped car body came back from the acid tub, and looks like it’s gone through World Wars 1 & 2, and then did Korea, and Vietnam, and then did Kuwait, and after retirement it spent too much time in rough neighborhoods.

Calling it “swiss cheese” would be the ultimate compliment. It’s paper-thin shell of a car that simply can’t handle any welding, and you fear that sneezing next to it is enough for the thing to turn into metal shavings.

In this case, you wish you could just rip out the VIN plate and weld it onto a new body. Full skeleton bodies are built around jigs that help replicate the exact alignment and positioning of all body panels, following factory alignment and mounting holes. The image above shows how these jigs are used in building a full body of a classic Ford from the 40es.

Factory-licensed panels deliver 5 big benefits for Car Restorers and Enthusiast

A Quick and Simple Solution

It’s just convenient. You order them, and that’s it. Pick the model, pick the year, and click Buy Now.
Within days, the panels, or even an entire skeleton car body is at your doorstep. Ready to be installed. So you can continue rebuilding your classic or muscle car. No fuss. Just align, assemble, prime, and paint. Spend your time building up the quality of the restoration, instead of getting the body to a primer-ready stage.

Better-than-originals

Factory-licensed body panels are of higher quality even from never-used, original panels. Technology has gone on in the past 50-70 years since that resto car in your bay left the assembly line.

Higher Rust-Resistance

The way we produce steel has improved. We can now produce a more rust-proof steel at a cheaper price than what the industry could do 70 years ago.

30% Stronger Steel

Original body panels were made from 20-gauge steel sheets. That’s 0.359in (or 0.911mm) thickness. The replacement panels are stamped from 18-gauge sheets. That’s 0.481in (or 1.214mm) thickness. Same body panel, but 30% thicker material!

Higher panel reliability

The way we stamp steel sheets into car panels is also much more advanced now. We can stamp far more complex shapes without stressing the steel beyond the breaking point. Case in point is the one-piece floor in the Tri-Five Chevys for example. On these new bodies, the floor is one big stamping which eliminates the center seam and enhances the overall strength and rigidity of the floor.

7 Key Benefits of using factory-licenced full-body assemblies

Fast project completion

Depending on model availability, it could take as little as a few days to order a car body online, and to get the shipment at your doorstep. The car body will come ready to be bolted on the chassis and you can start assembling the vehicle. You can cut weeks off the project by using a pre-built car body vs chasing down panels, patching rust holes, and spot-welding everything in place.

Higher body stiffness and security

Welding technology is also more advanced. CO2 allows for longer, denser, stronger welds than what was available on the market back in the 50es or 60es. With a new steel body for your classic and muscle cars – you’ll find 25% to 50% more weld spots. This helps the body be much, much stiffer and safer for occupants in the passenger compartment. It also drastically  reduces road noise.

Built to factory specs

Car bodies are assembled using jigs built to perfectly fit with all factory alignment and mounting holes. This ensures that our car bodies come with the highest level of body fitment and gaps in the restoration industry.

Unbeatable value-for-money for end clients

Thanks to manufacturing technologies, higher material strength, and millimeter precision, you can provide a restoration service of the highest quality, in the fastest time possible, at a lowest cost of service possible. Using a full body skeleton will ensure a very strong, rigid car body at a much lower cost, and you can cut weeks off your restoration project.

Improved satisfaction of ownership

Cars with these full-body skeleton foundations look great, drive even better, and are much safer than the originals that rolled off the production line, decades ago. And it doesn’t cost a fortune! Using licenced panels frees you from guestimates and gets you to have actual fixed prices.

Suitable for award-winning restoration projects and racing car builds

Restoration shops and car enthusiasts have used full-body skeletons to build classic and muscle cars that won awards and reached over $200.000 in auction sales Nation-wide.

We also had clients build race cars based on our full-body skeletons and had years and years of successful and joyful participation in car shows and races.

Blank canvas for your project

Full-skeleton bodies come without any filler or primer, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust the panels alignment once you rest the body on its 4 wheels.

Instead of spending over 500 hours on auto body repairs, it takes only 60-80 hours to to align all panels and gaps when using a licenced auto body parts.

Time to take massive action

When it’s all said and done, there are ZERO reasons for you to continue chasing down donor cars and patching up rust holes. 

The best, safest, fastest and most reliable way to complete a classic car or muscle car restoration, on time and on budget, is to use factory-licenced body panels. 

These bodies are better than their factory counterparts, assembled right here in USA, and ready to be delivered to your doorsteps within days. 

All gain, no pain. 

We have factory-licenced body panels and full body assemblies. 

GM Licenced Products Logo, Ford licenced products logo, Mopar Licenced Logo

Pick the make and model of your restoration project, and shave off weeks of work, and get your client a superbly restored classic car.

Body Panels By Licenced Factory:

GM Licenced

Ford Licenced

GM Licenced

FAQ

Are they “perfect” bodies?

No. Nothing is. These are still metal parts that will be built to factory specs, but that doesn’t mean they will be in perfect alignment with the rest of the parts you have. Usually old cars parts will have deformations past elasticity. Such permanently bent elements, when combined with factory-spec panels will reveal a lot of gaps and alignment issues. Panels and bodies are still intended for professional car restoration projects. This isn’t a kit-car situation.

Can I return the body or panels?

Yes, you can. But the shipping is your responsibility. And the panels must be as-new. Painted, bent, mounted panels won’t be accepted. Panels must come in their original package. So make sure you keep the packaging until you’re absolutely sure the body or panels fit well.

What if what I want is out of stock?

If this is the case, your item will be placed on backorder and we’ll get in touch with you about ETAs.

Can you ship Nation-wide?

Yes. The entire USA is covered. Alaska and Hawaii too.

Can you ship internationally?

Yes we can. But if you’re an international buyer, please get in touch with us. We can create an eBay listing, and let eBay’s Global Shipping Program handle the logistics of getting the body or parts to your destination. That way, we rely on a trusted system that is proven to work well and does it on a budget.

Can I register my vehicle if I use these factory-licenced body panels or an entire body?
  1. Yes. You can register your vehicle even if you’ve replaced the entire body. There are several types restoration projects, and you’ll need find where your project fits, and follow the guidelines. 
  • If you have a donor car, you’ll need the paperwork for it, plus the full stack of reciepts for all other build-related expenses. Get your local Department of Motor Vehicles fact sheet from your state DMV website.
  • If there isn’t a donor car, then you will need to register your car as a Newly Assembled vehicle with your state. While you won’t get an MSO, you will of course get the Bill of Sale. This invoice will be treated as an MSO by your local DMV. Make sure you check your local laws and regulations before ordering. You’ll also need to make sure your engine has the proper documentation. An invoice with the VIN or serial number will suffice. When you don’t have a donor car, you will need to keep a detailed build diary, marking all the key stages, and have all receipts and invoices that clearly state what was purchased, when, and from whom. Make sure you document serial numbers and VINs with photos and rubbings. 

Ready to Discuss your Build? Click Here to Contact Us

“Due to COVID supply chain problems and price fluctuations, please call us to confirm availability.”