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Subject: Frame off resto. How much?

Original Message
Name: Michael
Date: June 22, 1998 at 22:04:53
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
My 72 is in pretty good shape. No major rust. Yeah it has bondo in it throughout the years but the only real rust is a few bubbles in the front fender wells. The rear window area needs to be stripped but you can't even fit a pencil through any rust hole. Car is very sound. Pans have been replaced. Anybody want to give a very rough estimate (ha-ha, you say?) on a frame off resto? Basically, I drag race the car and am not even sjightly interested in winning any car shows. I just want a very nice original car. Not worried about a concours resto. I will do the interior later. "Quick Classics" in Memphis said its usually about 6-8 thousand depending on a lot of things. He had not seen the car either but I'm taking it to him this week for a looksee. Any guesses on what you might estimate ? Who did yours? Any recomendations within a 6 hour drive from Memphis? Ever heard of "Quick Classics" ? He showed me some cars he did in a few mags and I have seen his work first hand. How long did it take? What other questions should I ask? Thanks.

Response Number 1
Name: Chris Dagenais
Date: June 22, 1998 at 22:54:53
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
Up here in Canada it costs about $10,000, so that guys estimate at 6-8 is probably very close to what it will be. It all depends on details, the more detailed you restore the car, the more it will cost. Also, it will be less if you don't have to do the engine etc.
Chris D.

Response Number 2
Name: Dave Birdwell
Date: June 23, 1998 at 15:34:29
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
I have done two frame-offs, it took 400 hours on the '70 GTO Judge, and I lost track of how many hours on my Chevelle. At $30 an hour, if you do the math, $8000 probably is in the ballpark. That should include body panels. Make sure that you spend the money for the full GM authorized quarter panels. They fit like originals.

Response Number 3
Name: Scooter
Date: June 23, 1998 at 18:33:16
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
It depends on whether you take it to a shop to have everything done or not. The shop I work at is has a resto now that I have personally worked on for a 76 vette. This is not a frame off and the customer was quoted $16,000. Shop labor here is $60/hr, so 30 is damn cheap! You can save a lot if some of the work is done by you!

Response Number 4
Name: Skip
Date: June 23, 1998 at 19:18:22
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
I just completed a frame off resto on my 69SS, in totally the bill I was shocked to find that I spent almost $17,000. I did quite a bit of the work, had a sound foundation to work with, and still wound up spending more than the 6-8 thousand that you were quoted. I live in the northwest and have found that labor rates run from 50 to 60 dollars an hour, but in talking with friends in Michigan and Illinois their rates generally range from 35 to 50 dollars an hour. If you were qouted 6 - 8 thousand you better find out what is included, those little rust holes are mighty expensive to fix, and there are always the intangibles. Better budget 10 - 11 thousand to be on the safe side

Good Luck


Response Number 5
Name: Bob Sullinger
Date: June 24, 1998 at 08:37:46
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
In 1992 I started restoration on my 72 SS and estimated the cost at about 7 to 8 thousand dollars with no intention of having a concourse
correct "points" car. But three years and 14 thousand dollars later, that's exactly what I had. The cost was double what I had figured. It's an easy project to snowball. And if I counted all the hundreds of "free" hours I put in the car 14K is a conservative estimate. My advice would be to take your time, demand quality work, learn as much about your car as you can and you'll have your "very nice original car. BTW, If I had to do it all over again...I would. Best of luck with your project.

Response Number 6
Name: Robert
Date: June 24, 1998 at 12:52:53
Subject: Frame off resto. How much?
I'm curious why you want to do a frame-off restoration on a car that you basically drag race? A frame-off restoration may be overkill.
Why not fix up this car to be a nice everyday runner (racer!), and take the $$ that you would spend on a frame-off restoration and use it toward a cheap driver so that you don't have to run the Chevelle race car into the ground on a daily basis? Or use the $$ toward another Chevelle!

My father has a restoration shop and too many times I have seen customers pay BIG bucks for a frame-off restoration only to regret it because it is "too nice to drive." An average frame-off resto for a Chevelle runs about $17,500 in my neck of the woods (No. California).

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