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Technical How to choose a kustoms car builder.

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by dennyartist, Jul 17, 2017 at 5:14 PM.

  1. dennyartist
    Joined: Jun 30, 2012
    Posts: 5

    dennyartist
    Member

    Time to revisit how to choose a kustoms car builder. And to list quality shops. As new people get interested we should offer some basic info


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  2. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,877

    banditomerc
    Member

    About $50.00 an hour avarage....
     
  3. Pick a shop with a good reputation, then if they mess with you and you call them on it they'll have a reputation to protect. Do it yourself and go look in the mirror. HAHAHahahah!!
     
    czuch likes this.
  4. Unless you have very deep pockets, it may be cheaper to buy a completed car rather than to have yours done. I see some resto shops with a $100/hour labor rate.
     
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  5. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 880

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    What bobss396 says.

    And to be quite frank, I have never been completely happy with any shop I've been to, and ALL shops seem to be getting sloppier/lazier all the time.

    Auto-shop has pretty much been eliminated and therefor many mechanics now pretty much don't know what the hell they are doing or the work is slop OR it costs a damn arm and a leg.

    This is the beginning of the end boys, sad but true.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017 at 4:02 PM
  6. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,564

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Id do a lot of looking based on what the shop is kicking out and what you want for an end result.
    Theres a guy near me doing INSANE suspension and frame designs, and even really nice metal work, but he stays pretty stock. I know a few others who are locally renowned for their builds, but they mix the bondo in a cement mixer. Its a big matter of what you want and how deep your pockets are. Like said already, if you want a Kustom its probably cheaper to buy one built than have it done
     
  7. One thing to look for is that the shop ONLY does restoration work and not production line cars.
    About $ 50.00 per hour is about right, any more and the car will turn to gold. Work with the shop about payment. Don't give him a big wad to start...he will only use it to finance other projects. A modest down payment and set up monthly payments. Make use you have a CONTRACT signed by both parties. P.S:. the contract works both ways....don't change the color while he is mixing the paint....... Good luck
     
  8. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 804

    Budget36
    Member

    Labor rates are going to vary by region, no way you'll find a shop in the SF Bay Area that will do anything for 50/hr...probably 150/hr would be my guess.
    Many have written the way to go about it..but instead of monthly payments, per contract, pay when tasks are completed-and to your satisfaction.
    As said, if you make a change, etc, expect to pay for it--get everything in writing, eave nothing to yours or the shops interpretation.
     
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  9. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,210

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    CHEAPER to buy a finished car!
     
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,692

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Washington

    Why in the world would someone "build" a car that doesn't do the work themselves? I guess if you poop currency but where's the fun in hiring a shop to do your job? Ill hire out a paint job to save my liver for heavy drinking but that is about it.
     
  11. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,366

    czuch
    Member
    from vail az

    "Hire out a paint job"...Internet comment of the day!!.
     
  12. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,067

    Gman0046
    Member

    Hiring out a build is even funnier.

    Gary
     
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 20,824

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good advice there, I've got a friend who who worked that way for years. The contract stated what was going to be done in each stage of progress and payment was expected before the next stage began.

    Well for one that would put several of our Hambers who do have custom shops out of business wouldn't it. I know a number of car freaks who are quite successful in their world of work but have no skills as far as building or working on one go. Their money feeds and clothes the custom shop owner's kids. I've got a couple of friends who used to build their own cars but now can't do the work them selves and and a couple who sold the big place with the shop and moved to the nice place in town that their wife wanted that has no place to work on a car and restrictions preventing it.
    Think about it a bit, if you have been around hot rods or customs for a length of time you have friends who do make their living building rods or customs for other people.
    As for building a rod or custom without help, yes it's great but I for one would have been better off at times farming work out and working overtime at my day job to pay for it back 35 years ago. I had the knowledge and skill to design what I wanted but didn't have the physical skills to carry off some of it as good as could have been done. I'd have been a hell of a lot better off to build the complete rolling chassis myself and farmed out the custom work on the body. I've learned a hell of a lot since then and gained a lot of patience that I didn't have back then though.
     
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,692

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Washington

    Touché Mr48, I erred when I spoke form the car owner voice inside my head without consideration of those who feed their families through the shops they own and run.
    I sometimes speak with passion before putting myself in check. I had a friend recently showing off his new ride that he had pro built and delivered. It is done in a fraction of the 4 years I have been working on my car. There are days I don't know if I will ever live to see it done but like my brother in law likes to say "that sounds like a you problem". In this case it is a me problem.
    Somewhere there is a glass of bourbon and a torque wrench waiting, in that order. Billy out
     
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  15. trusty-t
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 46

    trusty-t
    Member

    haha funny al those comments, I run my custom shop in the Netherlands for over 20yrs now , and its hard doing only cumstom rides over here .. normal mechanical hour rates are $70,- universal garage to $130 a dealership.. bodywork from $60 to $120 , well known restauration shops $80-$150, the guy that does restauration in his home garage $35-$75....I charge $55 an hour ... and still some say I am too expensive .. my geuss is : they cant afford me hahahaha. But as long as I got my bills paid and still have some left to put in my own rides I am happy . Its only my brother and me we build customs from A to Z , the only thing we dont do is upholstery. rest no problemo.. and a custom/kustom car you buy is never your custom..if you have it build or build it yourselve it is .. thats my 2 cents on that , and better build than bought is a stupid saying to me .. some people just cant build it them selves.. but that said I always try to have the customer do some lil work on his own ride so he knows and learns how much work it is and after its finished he can say :I also did some work on it ;) the Chevy is our latest buid for a very happy customer.I dont advertise or what ever I think my finished work is enough advertisment haha 18620773_1078628848938881_9094415174717201095_o.jpg
     
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  16. I've always built my own cars and sub out some glass work, engine machining and a few other things. If I don't have a tool, I think about it and usually buy it even if I use it once in a while. If I need something welded and I'm not comfortable, I know someone that does mobile welding. My next car will probably be someone else's project that I take over. Let them spend the bulk of the money and get most of the parts together. I've done this in the past with stock cars. I always have an eye out for a fire sale.
     
    Gman0046 likes this.
  17. We are in St Louis Mo and we charge $75/hr for body and mechanical work. We are expected to go to $100/hr in 2018. We speak to potential customers in depth about what they plan to use their ride for when completed. Customers are usuall suprised whan you tell them how many ways a vehicle could be built. We require a small down payment when a customer drops off and we bill weekly for all booked time. The customer can then take their project at any time if they wish and there are no problems as to how much work has been completed and if they should pay. We no longer give what every customer calls a "ballpark figure" for any restoration work. That is too much of a trickbag. The customer secretly writes that number down in stone and completely forgets all the changes and add ons they make throughout the project. I know it is easier and cheaper to buy a finished ride. This is a double edge sword. First, you are buying someone else's idea of custom and it was built for their tastes, not yours. Second, the quality of work may not be up to the same standards as if you built it. We have heard and first hand witnessed the purchase of a car that looked great in pictures and was a total mess when it arrived. I believe if you truly want a custom car you should build it yourself or get it built and be involved along the way. My best advice is check out a shop's work and ask around about their work quality and reputation. Don't give a ton of money up front and check on your project often. Do an unscheduled pop in to see if work is being completed in a timely manor. Use your Spidey senses and if you feel things are not getting done as you see fit, don't wait, address the problems with the shop ASAP. Don't wait 15 years like some of the horror stories I hear about........
     
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  18. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,067

    Gman0046
    Member

    Who can afford to have a car built other then Gold Chainers. I'd be embarrassed to tell someone I paid for a build.

    Gary
     
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  19. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,604

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    This is one of the more offensive posts in this thread! I'm 76 and have the means to have a car built. I have a limited amount of time to enjoy a car as my health has to be taken into consideration. You want to think twice before hitting the POST REPLY button. FYI, built my first cars in the late fifties and made a very fine living in the hot rod industry
     
  20. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 16,029

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    "gold chainers"... can't wait to tell my buddy he is a gold chainer.
     
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  21. trusty-t
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 46

    trusty-t
    Member

    hahaha the owner ( a buddy of mine),Vincent, of the Kandy Devil '53 is deff no gold chainer, he works his ass of in construction to afford the build, he rather lais bricks and make money to have a pro build his dream ride , then fuck his ride up so he can tell : I build it ! he did some work on his car .Your comment is so stupid! but I hear it so often moslty from people who cant afford it ...I guess its envy.
     
  22. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,067

    Gman0046
    Member

    There are those who can build and those who can't build. Thankfully I'm one who builds. My 63 Impala (avatar) is a nut and bolt frame off restoration with 500 miles on it. I also like to go fishing and eat what I catch. Lots more fun then buying fish at a fish market.
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 7:52 PM
  23. What do you do for a living Bub?
     
  24. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,943

    williebill
    Member

    Yeah, and I used to change my oil on my DD, until I realized that I had dick for spare time, and COULD pay for others to do things for me. I'm smart enough to know how stupid I really am, so Hell, I'm ahead on that one, too.
    If I could afford to have one of my dream cars built for me by an honest car builder, I'd jump at the chance.
    That does NOT make my dick smaller than yours..
     
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  25. If everyone built their own cars there would be no rod/custom shops.

    I wonder if Bob Hirohata caught hell for not building his car......
     
  26. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,209

    clunker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Boston MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    If someone who paid some someone to build them a car uses the phrase "I built this car", then I can see peoples' problems with it.
    I'm a carpenter, and when some rich douche says "I built this house", I wanna say "No, you underpaid people as much as you could to BUILD this house for you, you rich douche.." (good thing I keep my mouth shut or they would never hire me to build cabinets for them).

    But if someone is crediting the builders of their car and not being deceptive about it, then I don't see a problem. We all gotta work! Rich douches can't take their money with them, so if they wanna pay us to make them cars or cabinets, that's a good thing! (Anyone not having to eat dog food after they retire is a rich douche in my twisted world view, I'm headed for Alpo myself...)


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  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,692

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Washington

    That would make a great name for a custom shop "Gold Chainers Rod and Custom"
     
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  28. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,067

    Gman0046
    Member

    clunker, WOOF WOOF. I'm also partial to Tuna Helper without the tuna

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 7:42 PM
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  29. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 382

    Bugguts
    Member

    If everyone did all their own work and no one payed for custom work, we would have never heard of George Barris, Bill Hines, the Alexander brothers or Gene Winfield and others.
    Surely they did work for others and not just themselves. At least, that's what my old "little books" tell me.
     
    JimSibley and Sancho like this.
  30. That is how some of them funded their personal builds.

    Same with a builder who enjoys building most. Sell the completed build to someone without the skill/time/tools etc. Then roll that money into the next project.
     

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