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Old 07-11-2018, 09:36 AM   #42
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 8,654
Default Re: Cos of A Restoration

I have followed this thread for awhile but purposely stayed out of it not to taint it from a professional POV, however after reading some of the comments above I will interject a few thoughts based on personal experience.


1) I generally just shake my head when I hear/read someone that says "You can buy one cheaper than you can restore one for.". What I have found counters that, and while that remark may seem logical from the outside looking in, I can point you to quite a few people that have found saying that not to be true for them. More often than not, most "restored" cars that are available on the market have been grossly patched with most of the hidden areas of the vehicle overlooked. Even listening to people here sharing their experiences, it seems that rarely does anyone purchase a restored car that does not require work to correct things that should have been restored the first time. Often times those 'overlooked' items turn into lots of $$.

For example, how many 'restored' Vickys do we find that have shiny paint and clean upholstery over the top of deteriorated or brittle wood? By the time the new owner realizes the time & expense to have the wood replaced on his 'restored' car, he quickly begins to realize that buying a 'restored' one is not always cheaper. The same applies to many other facets of the restoration where something was wire brushed and repainted without properly restoring that component.


2) Next, most restorers (-including most Fordbarners) have no idea of how many hours it takes to restore a Model-A to a 'driver level' or even a fine-point level. I am not saying this to be mean or intend it as an insult however if we are truthful with ourselves, most people cannot even give an accurate answer for how long (-within 1 minute) it takes for them to drive to work much less a complete restoration. Even my shop has difficulty in accurately forecasting and estimating the correct time on each task even with all the experience we have, ...simply because no two projects ever require the same amount of labor to complete the task.


3) With regard to the insurance company, Bob simply needs to educate them on why his vehicle is worth more than $45k. To begin with, he is establishing a replacement value, and I doubt anyone can quickly find anyone willing to sell a replacement Victoria in the exact quality (-same exact components restored) for $45k. If Bob must find someone to make the repairs to return it to the condition it was just prior to his claim, then it does not take very many hours of professional labor to 'eat up' that $45k.

Now where this gets complicated is differentiating quality and placing a value on that difference. I am going to use Greg's car mentioned above as a comparison. From my own experiences, having a car score 488 vs. the ones that score 500 points is not just a $500 or $1,000 difference in costs or value. Scoring 488 is a great accomplishment and is not to be taken lightly however it is also very possible that those final 12 points could easily cost a thousand dollars per point to obtain, --or likely even more! My point is, it is the entire vehicle that establishes the value and not just the items on the scoresheet. Using the wood infrastructure mentioned above as an example, this is not evaluated in T/C judging however it would/should be when establishing a value of a vehicle, ...or when determining restoration/replacement costs. From my experience I will tell you that 190A wood kits can generally suck straight out of the box and because of the poor joint fits, they generally do not offer the same structural integrity as what the original wood did. This is not good for a show car however it is even worse for a driver level car that is intended to be driven. I can also offer that for us to cut, shape, fit, and install that new, correctly fitting wood in a 190A will generally take in the 175-200 hour range, plus materials (wood, screws, expendable items such as blades, drills, etc., & glue). You then need to place a $$ value on that work because we are not comparing apples-to-apples when comparing a replacement vehicle that has old wood to one that has been correctly restored. Labor costs in this country are already expensive, and are rising. These costs are already affecting restoration costs no matter whether it is for the hobbyists purchasing new parts, -or for the professional restorer that must pay a fair wage to his craftsman to do a task. Either one of these costs greatly affects the money that must be spent on a restoration. Ultimately, these costs also establish the value of a restored Model-A, and the bigger problem is that most Model-As are not truly restored, but instead are 'repaired & repainted' and passed off as restored.


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