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Took my car to shop for estimate to complete

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 34Larry, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,351


    So I took my 34, (in the avatar), to a well known shop for an estimate to complete. His work is top shelf. I asked in another post about shop rates. He is located very rural in Washington state, and he is $60 an hour with two shop guys.
    Gave him a list of what I thought needs to be done to make it a driver, not Riddler contender at all.
    I'll just say that there is not a lot of fab work left, just some sheet metal work in the trunk area and some R/W to the firewall. Needs deck lid, hood, battery/cable installed, R/W gas door-antenna, R/W brakes that don't work, complete dash/gages, wire it, install side glass channels, install seats and other small installations plus paint and upholstery. I have all the parts needed to complete it, there is not much to buy on his part.
    Not putting him or his work down at all, but the 20 to 40K he quoted me, puts this average guy back on the tools myself, and at 74 maybe I'll finish it before I croak of maybe I won't. At the very least, I will stay busy.
    Please do not think I'm complaining, I know this hobby is expensive. :D
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. Kensey
    Joined: Sep 25, 2006
    Posts: 735

    from Pittsburgh

    Wow, dude! That is a LOT of work that still needs done. Also keep in mind, saying it will be a "driver" doesn't really mean anything. A shop can't do substandard work. And the term "driver" can mean way different things to different people.

    Have them get it running/road worthy first so you can have fun with it. Then pick away at the rest.

    Just my thoughts.
  3. 20-40k is not out of line for everything you listed....Paint and interior are going to cost over 10k alone.
  4. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,126


    If you do the work yourself it will be a car you built. For me, most of the fun is working on the car, that is the part I have always enjoyed the most. So good luck with it, and start banging on that metal!

  5. If I just read your other thread correctly you've gotten as far as you have in just under two decades, not unusual for a ground up car, and kudos to you for not just throwing in the towel. 74 you're not going to get any faster or more physically able than you've already learned/shown. I know, I'm only a few years behind you and it's already getting tougher. So well meaning advice to "build it yourself" might not be realistic unless all you're looking to get from the experience is to give yourself a reason to get up each day and putter in the shop (not a bad objective either). But, if you would rather have a car to take out on the road and enjoy, you may have to bite a bullet or two.

    Foss knows how to do a car well/right, and his pricing is realistic. The number range he's given you is pretty much in line with reality as Matt has already stated. If you're normal you've understated what actually needs to be done for dozens of valid reasons, so I'd guess it'll be closer to 40 than 20. And remember, that's an estimate not a hard and fast bid. Almost always things are discovered in the progression of actual work that need to be dealt with that weren't apparent at the time of estimating. That's just reality too.......nothing to do with the honesty (or lack of) of the shop necessarily. This is a conversation that could go on for a couple hours easily, and I won't bore you with all of it here. And you've probably mulled most of it anyway.

    You need to figure out what you ultimately want. Keep on projecting without likely finishing it (which is fine), or enjoy participating in active events with others in the area (fine too). And then the sad reality...........what do you want to leave for your survivors to deal with? (Younger guys might not get that notion, but us old farts should)
  6. Us younger guys think about that too. I'm sure my family would have no clue what to do with my toys if I passed.
  7. What I tell people is if the Total amount has you overwhelmed, brake it down. Let's not do everything at once. Make a list of the most important things to have done, generally things you can't do. Have one or two of them done at a time and stay involved. Do as much as you can yourself between buying help. Don't look at the 20-40K number. The real issue here is that out money isn't worth anything any more, not that his work is to expensive. Fun costs money and you can't take it with ya. Get your car done while you can still drive it.
    The Wizzard
  8. BaBa
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 97


    I have over $20k in my truck and I had most of the parts and did most of the work myself. I farmed out the paint and body work. Maybe you can negotiate with the shop to do some major stuff that you don't feel up to and continue to do some of the smaller projects yourself. I enjoyed doing little stuff and never minded that it took me 3 hours to do what I could have paid someone to do in 1 hour at $60.
  9. NickJT
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 640

    from S.E. PA

    Any chance the shop can hire you and you can do work for them/their customers' cars and also work on your own with their help?
  10. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,242


    Larry, I'd love to see your car some time.
  11. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,346


    I'm 62 and work in a restoratrion shop, I've had my own Roadster project since 1962 and don't think I'll ever drive it down the road. I ok with that, often wonder if there are more unfinished cars than drivers. Body, paint, and interior for 20 grand sounds about right, and the shop isn't making any big profit on it IMO. Bob
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  12. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457


    You're asking for a fully finished car & you're in shock because they always seem to cost a lot, esp when you do it in 1 big bite. Remember how we all did it when we were kids?

    Some of the things on your list can be done after the rod's on the road, like the paint, the gas door, installing door hardware, an interior upgrade from just a blanket, etc.

    Talk to the builder & ask him what it would take to get it to a stage where you can just friggin drive it safely. It sounds like some metal fab, wiring, & primer will get you on the road.

    I have found that any car/truck is a LOT easier to deal with once it's a driver. When it's driveable, you feel better about owning it. A few outings will make spending some additional money & time on it feel better too.

    Spend some time behind the wheel with a grin on your face, then make it pretty.

    just my opinion....
  13. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,983


    It costs for quality work. Looking at your list I would estimate at least $30K. I am retired and at 70 can't do it all either but keep chugging along--do it all but paint and uph. Current 40 std coupe will be $10K for paint,etc and $8500 for uph-started on April 1st and estimate being done by Aug 1st minus interior-about the same as the last 4 40 coupes but will be quality work and timely as well. At my age I can't let them sit 1/2 done as they would be a burden when I check out.
  14. lstwsh
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 440

    from Dayton,Oh

    I think you should have the shop get it running and driving for you.Just the bare essentials.The gauges ,wiring,and brakes would be first.Once you can drive the car then you could work on little things you can do.You don't need paint and upholstrey to drive.My last car i drove for 12 years in primer and no upholstrey.The first 3 years i did not have side or rear windows.My car i have now i just got running after five years.It still has no upholstrey and may never have any.
  15. chubbie
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,307


  16. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,489

    from Phoenix,AZ

    There may be another solution more budget friendly that my neighbor used.He contacted a local trade school to restore his truck it had seen some serious four wheeling and teenaged daughters and was full of dings and dents when it came back painted royal blue you could not see a ripple anywhere.All work was supervised by instructors and done right,cost? He just ponied up the materials.If we can pass on the love of our cars and skills to our younger generation we will leave a mark to be proud of.
  17. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    What will make you happier; driving the car around NOW? Or working on it for another 2 decades? Pick one and go for it.

    There's another option to consider: sell the project and use the $ to buy something that you can drive and have fun with now.
  18. Bigiron383
    Joined: Feb 14, 2007
    Posts: 17

    from Phoenix AZ

    Time to join a club. Call some friends over ?
  19. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,352

    from Soquel, CA

    It always seems like too much money till you try and do it all yourself. $60/hour for two guys is cheap. The other thing is a smart shop will tend to over estimate because the customer is always happy when it comes in under estimate and never happy when it's over estimate.
  20. Good luck!! I'm with kensey on this one!! Be real specific with what you want done!! Then no ones pissed off in the end!!!
  21. That's called the "Mr. Scott factor of 3"
  22. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    Did they offer to break the work up into manageble pieces? So that you don't get hammered, they can prioitize so that you might be able to putt around in it a little while it is still under work.
    They sound like pretty responsible guys and a master with two apprentices for $60per seems to be ok by you. You have sticker shock as the reality of the effort has set in.
    They guys i would be afraid of is the ones that can do it for $15K, get your car and a substantial deposit and this thread would have a different subject matter.
    I'd go back and talk to them. They can figure a way out to make it happen.
  23. stewartwhite
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 44


    Maybe a high schooler, 74 year old guy I don't think so? With that said maybe you put together a win-win five year plan to promote Foss's business since you are in the Seattle area (population center) and he is located in a rural area. Offer to allow the shop logo and phone number to go on the car. Put together a schedule of events, locations and attendance numbers of the events you will attend and show the car. Also include that you will have signage and promotional brochures displayed and if Foss wants use of the car for any events it’s made available. Trade for the labor you supply the parts. Every business has costs to market their products and services if you have a cost effective plan Foss might bite. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  24. F-6Garagerat
    Joined: Apr 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,652


    I'm not even 50, I've got this genetic disease that zaps most of my energy. Raise a kid by myself too. I worked today, I'm beat. But I'm headed to the shop as we speak, stopped for some food. Honestly, most days I don't think I have it in me to finish it. I really don't feel like going to work on it today. But I'm going to. Because Safari-wagon is right. I need to drive it. I need to know this isn't all for nothing. I'll make it pretty one day but I just need that first ride. It's the motivation I need to keep going. Good luck man, I hope you drive it.
  25. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,671


    $60/hr. is cheap, in most markets.
  26. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,886

    from Oregon

    I do all my own work, except paint, and I still can't estimate what it will cost. Everytime I figure it, the end cost is 50-100% more than I figured. I'm an old guy too, but I think building my own cars helps keep me young, even if it takes me way longer now.
  27. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,094

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    You're 74.
    You said his work is "top notch".
    $60 hr. is a steal!

    Maybe for < 10k, he can get is wired, etc. and completely together in primer in time for you to drive it and enjoy it this Summer.

    Like someone mentioned, do this, then worry about paint and upholstery later. Maybe send it in for paint a couple of winters from now, then down the road drop it at the upholstery shop.
  28. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    from Phoenix

    I think his quote is reasonable. Most people don't have a realistic idea how many hours it takes to do a car, and unfortunately remember what it "used" to cost to have work done.

    As most have said you need to prioritize the project. Safety issues first, get it driveable then worry about cosmetics. There are a lot of people missing out on a lot of fun with their cars because they have to have the whole car completely done before they use it, and either don't have the time, knowledge or money to do so.
  29. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    get it running and drive the hell out of it. ive seen rattlecan paint jobs that were very nice. and some guys on this site did a roller paint job it was real nice. not a pro job but not 10.000 bucks either.
  30. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,351


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