The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly – What You Need To Know About A Restoration Project

What Does A Restoration Really Cost?

There are 2 common methods for estimating a restoration and 1 not so common but effect method for pricing a restoration of a car or truck.

Reality of restoring an classic is that they ALWAYS take longer and cost more than expected.  They are a tremendous amount of work and there a lot of unknown’s that you’ll find along the way, regardless of how well you plan.

1- Create A Detailed Repair Plan – Then Double or Triple That Amount To Cover For All The Unknowns. In this estimating model a shop can often stick to the budget because there is enough built in to cover the unexpected issues that will come up.  Creating a detailed repair plan at this level takes A LOT of experience and time.  Most classic car owners look for another shop due to sticker shock.

2- Create a Low Cost Guesstimate – Most classic truck or vehicle owners will go with this type of shop.  The estimator will take a look at your project and point out somethings that will have to be fixed.

Then they’ll take a big breath and say, “these are a lot of work, that’s going to run $12,000.”  The owner says how long will it take and when can you get started? Unfortunate thing is that both the price and time frame very seldom are accurate.  The is only one way that it could be and that is if steps are skipped and quality is sacrificed.

3- Repair Plan Plus Labor – In this model a detailed repair plan is created based on the work the can be seen and documented.  Then a discounted labor rate is determined in order to address any addition things that are found when the vehicle is opened up.  This method allows the shop and owner to work together to determine the best repair plan dynamically. The shop isn’t pressured to cut corners and the owner isn’t paying a large sum to cover what could be wrong.  The is the methodogy Ogden Body uses for classic car and truck restorations.

Ogden Body’s 38 Step Restoration Process

Most people who have not been personally involved in a restoration don’t realize the steps required to properly restore the body and paint of an old vehicle. 

  • Dissemble the body panels of the car.
  • Strip all paint and bondo down to pristine metal.
  • Spray rust sealant.
  • Cut out rust that has compromised the metal.
  • Fabricate and weld in new pieces.
  • Prime Again
  • Use fill to perfect the body.
  • Sand
  • Glaze
  • Sand
  • Mask Car
  • Spray High Build Primer
  • Wet Sand Jams, Underneath Hood, Engine Compartment, Firewall
  • Spray sealer coat.
  • Spray base coat.
  • Spray 3-5 coats of color.
  • Spray tricoat metallics or pearl coat.
  • Spray 3 coats of clear.
  • Re-hang body panels.
  • Make structural adjustments to get lines and gaps.
  • Apply 2nd layer of fill.
  • Spray guide coat.
  • Block Sand
  • Apply glaze.
  • Block Sand.
  • Apply pin hole fill.
  • Tape Vehicle
  • Spray high build primer and final block.
  • Block sand for perfect body lines.
  • Wet Sand
  • Paint Prep
  • Tape and cover car or truck.
  • Spray sealer coat.
  • Spray base coat.
  • Spray 3-5 coats of color.
  • Spray tricoat metallics or pearl coat.
  • Spray 3 coats of clear.
  • Reassemble
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Ogden Body Shop’s Restorations