Welcome to the American muscle blog post of the day. I’m going to go over some basic facts that I have acquired in my 30+ years of experience in American muscle car restoration.
It was a little different when I first started because you could walk into the local junkyard with $100 in your pocket and walk out with a 57 Chevy complete body ready to begin your project. As you can only imagine, times have changed since those days, along with the finished values of these cars. As I went over in the video, here are some of the tips that I can give you when you’re deciding on which car you are going to restore.
- Make sure you love the car. This way, if you end up stuck with it or over budget, it will be a good thing.
- Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money on a body that is from the West that is virtually rust free. Yes, you’ll spend more on this with purchase and shipping, but you’ll save labor hours.
- I like to make a reverse build. That means putting together a parts list, not counting body and paint, of everything you will need to finish the project. I point this out that you can get some close figures together by getting quotes, for instance, from Classic Industries, where you can get your chrome, wiring, and rubber.
- Figure out your mechanicals.
- Put together your purchase price, shipping, misc.
- Get a price on your body and paint, disassemble, and labor to complete your project.
- Make sure that they have parts for your car! Now you have a close idea of what your project is going to cost.
- You can check some values of completed cars in pristine condition
As you can see, this can get you in the ball game of what your American muscle car restoration is going to cost (It’s also similar to the classic cars).
For instance, there are certain cars, like my favorite, the 1957 Chevy Convertible, where you can purchase a starter project for $20,000. Once you put together your parts and restoration list, you will see that some of these cars are selling for $100,000-150,000.
That’s a great example of a good investment in car restorations, but I’ll be honest when saying that with some restoration projects, you’ll only break even or be lucky to break even. So the most important question to ask yourself before getting into the project is, would you enjoy driving around in this car?
I’ll leave you with this thought. Many American muscle cars are approaching the low 6 figures.
I hope you find this post valuable that these tips help you in realizing your dream. We at Palm Beach Customs have made well over 500 American muscle and classic car restorations. If there is anything that we can do to help you, feel free to contact us!