What does it cost?

Members Restorations

  1. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    I'm not sure this is the correct forum for this thread as I have already done
    a restoration thread on my 'Cuda. What I wanted to share with you folks
    is how we end up investing so much money into our cars.

    There are several of you out there that think A bodies aren't worth very
    much in our market today. That's probably the case as our A bodies were
    never meant to bring high dollars even when new.

    This thread is for you guys and gals thinking about doing a restoration on
    your ride and have no idea what you might be in for. I realize you can
    stop at anytime you want on your project but for the purpose of this
    thread, lets not do that. Lets give this project everything it needs from
    start to finish...within reason of course.

    Lets get started...where's the calculator:sad7:

    The initial investment and the type of car you start with if very important.
    My initial investment was $2500.00. That sounded very reasonable to me
    back in 2006 for a '67 'Cuda fastback. At that time I didn't realize the
    differences between the slant 6 and the V8 drive train. My plan was to
    build a V8 car when I bought it. Found out it wasn't wise to use small
    drum brakes, small 7-1/4 rear end, small diameter torsion bars, anyway
    you get the idea.

    New disc brakes and spindles with large ball joints and upper control
    arms added $1130.00. Used 340 torsion bars were $40.00 and a used
    8-3/4 rear end was another $300.00. The cost of new Moser axles and
    preparing the "C" body 8-3/4 was another $606.00. Add in another
    $336.00 for a new ring and pinion and bearing set. Now tack on another
    $100.00 for the gear set up. Starting to add up and we haven't even
    started yet. I'm not trying to scare you, just telling you the facts from
    my experience.

    We will also need some wheels and tires. $50.00 for used steel 15" x 7" wheels
    $290.00 to powder coat the wheels. Red line tires were another $985.16

    Engine and tranny redo plus labor and the install was $8830.00. MSD stuff
    was $554.00

    Paint and body work added another $9000.00

    The following is a list of stuff I had to buy for the 'Cuda because a lot of
    this stuff was gone or in bad shape. Bear with me...

    Radiator $384, fuel tank strap $37, front brake line kit $58, fan shroud
    $192(junk re pop), fuel sending unit $159, spring shackle pkg. $70, leaf
    springs $200, shift knob $25, flip fuel cap $120, deluxe screw kit $44,
    glove box liner $22, roof rail weatherstrip $90, seat belts $100, front
    fender patch $63, wheel lip molding screws $22, door panel clips $40,
    seat buns $206, fuel tank $233, fish in a circle(2) $60, Chrysler star
    emblem $13, ign/door lock kit $35, trunk lock kit $17, gas strap bolt $23,
    center console $250, steering wheel $100, dog dish caps $71, radio $40
    vents and cover $56, wiper knob $12, dash pad $78, bumper end brkts
    $63, ash tray $37, fold down trunk panel $115, shift linkage $54, tie rod
    ends/sleeves/brake parts $390, dash bezel/arm rest re chrome $677
    fiberglass hood/scoop/hardware $760, window trim clips $47, window gaskets $179,
    trunk mat $46, side glass weatherstrip $100, TTI exhaust system
    $685, hose clamp kit $13, carpet $375, front glass $260, rear glass $790
    tail light bezels $595, clips and misc screws $25, torsion bar support repair
    parts $280, quarter panel skin $228, fuel and brake lines $128, tach $200
    tach harness $30, remote mirror $277, trunk weather strip $39, fish
    fender emblems $68, barracuda script $78, right tail light lens $132
    p-l-y-m-o-u-t-h emblem $69, fuel tank pad $17, bumpers $760,
    flex plate $111, seat covers $484, door panels $374, motor mounts $75,
    redo drive shaft $160, trans brkt $41, emerg brake cable $95, drum brake
    hardware $45, misc Year One gaskets, decals screws $57, control arm cam/shaft kit
    $59, poly trans mount $40, door handles $195, window cranks $94, fender
    splash shields $234, jack instructions $8, misc decals $35, antenna $174,
    install headliner $150, wheel lip moldings $250, trunk trim $275, damper $100
    pinion snubber $69, fan $33, mini starter $160, power coat dash frame
    twice $300, hoses/clamps $298, back up lights $160

    I probably have missed some stuff here but you get the jest of it when you
    start with a car that needs everything like mine did. I started to use more used
    stuff but the condition of it wasn't that good.

    By using mostly new items I have created a car that I am very proud to
    own and drive. It will never be sold (will be passed on to our daughter
    Tonya and her husband Chris).

    Our total investment is north of $38,700 and yes the car would never
    bring that on the open market but that doesn't really bother me.

    I hope this sheds some light on the restoration process and gives you
    some data on what you might have ahead of you if you decide to take
    the plunge. Good luck to you if you do.

    Tony

    You can view my restoration thread here:

    http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=16153&highlight=my+1967+cuda+restoration
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    • 2darts

      2darts Well-Known Member

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      You a have a beautifull car Tony, you should be proud! The fact that you have full confidence to drive it anywhere is probably one of your best rewards. Thanks for the thread. Mike
       
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      • AdamR

        AdamR Big Member

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        I refuse to keep track of what I put in to my cars. It takes the fun out of it.
         
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        • Rob

          Rob Well-Known Member

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          Great post Tony! I make a point of not doing the math, way too scary as you pointed out in great detail.

          Now make sure nobody's wife reads this post :D
           
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          • R4Sedan

            R4Sedan Forum H/R Dept. President FABO Gold Member

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            Tony,that is alot of good info, especially for some of the young guys starting out.To me anymore it doesn't matter what you start with as long as you are happy with the finished product. BTW TWO thumbs up on your 'Cuda!
             
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            • bkd

              bkd Two Scoops To GO!!!

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              :cry:Well,...........there goes Two Scoops to the crusher :( ain't got or never will have that kinda money.......:cry: :cry: :cry: :( :( :(. Oh well I guess I will have to try and enjoy her the way she is. Still sad....Great article and forum Tony, thanks for the info. I have always wanted to know this, and am only kidding about Two Scoops....but still a little depressing. :)

              Thanks Tony,
              Brad
               
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              • holmes

                holmes Well-Known Member

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                I know exactly what you are saying here Tony, A friend of mine had all the parts to put his 72 Duster together and wondered why I told him to keep another $2000 for incidentals....until he started assembly. When he was done that figure was $2157 on stuff that he didn't expect or forgot about! You find out when you go through it. I thought when I bought my 1975 Duster on ebay for $1800 that it was a deal and the start of an econo-muscle car. Being a slant 6, 3 on the tree, drum brake, 4" bolt pattern wheels (yes on a 1975) the econo part went away with the switch over and the money continued to flow. It must be a labor of love or lust because I know I would never get my investment out of it.
                 
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                • Tincup

                  Tincup Well-Known Member

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                  Way to let the cat out of the bag Tony....Just Kidding!

                  When I started the search for a car to build, I fell into the same trap. I seriously considered a Factory Five Cobra, but the kit price of $20K + motor, trans, wheels, tires, and paint seamed high. So instead I bought my Dart for $3500 and began the ground up. Granted, I had a vision in mind of the type of car I wanted, but looking back, the Cobra would have been a deal. But I did learn a valuable lesson, if you want to build a car from scratch don't do a Mopar! I could have built 2 Chevy's or 1 1/2 Fords for the price of 1 Mopar.
                   
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                  • jos51700

                    jos51700 Well-Known Member

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                    You can't take it with you to the grave...
                     
                  • younggun2.0

                    younggun2.0 Well-Known Member

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                    i stopped counting at 25K. i just tell myself this: i can spend 30K on a cookie cutter new car that will be an absolute bore to drive or i can spend 30k on a car that will make me happy every time i turn the key.
                     
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                    • 4404spd

                      4404spd Well-Known Member

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                      • Evildart

                        Evildart Dart Member

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                        Tony, I just stopped counting and did what I had to do. I am finished (are we ever?) with my build and have a very thick folder full of receipts. I am not adding them up because I know I will never get what I put into it for money, I built the car the way I wanted it and now it is a 20 year car.

                        Tincup had it right 2 Chevys or 1 1/2 Fords but I would not trade for either
                         
                      • HemiDenny

                        HemiDenny HDK Suspension FABO Gold Member

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                        I think I'm somewhere around 5 or 6K.....but then I was never any good at math
                         
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                        • MattP

                          MattP Well-Known Member

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                          I spent a little over $50k on the last car that topped out at $20k when it was time to sell. It would take that to replicate the car, but at the end of the day it's only worth what it's worth.

                          My plan is to keep this project pretty close to what it's worth. I'll probably spend close to $15K. I hope to sell it for at least $12k. I don't mind eating a couple thousand bucks for the enjoyment, but $30k was a tough one to get over.
                           
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                          • Snake

                            Snake Mopar Nut

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                            We always spend a ton,for me I guess I am one of the lucky ones,I always get back out what i spend and make very little profit.You have to find the right buyer,I always say FIRM to my price that weeds out the low ballers.
                             
                          • 12valve

                            12valve Well-Known Member

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                            I told my wife I was going to spend 10k on the car. I may have left out the part that I wasn't going to stop at 10k though
                             
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                            • cosgig

                              cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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                              Thats also why I took over 10 years to do the blue 66!! I had a lot of patience and also took the time to research, locate the best parts available (at the time), and was able to wait for the right deal most of the time!!

                              I look at it this way... my car is free!! I owe nothing on it, and the money spent is long gone and not even missed. Only costs me what I want to put into it, which is mostly gas, $20.00 at a time!!

                              What could I sell it for?? Who cares, it ain't for sale, and probably never will be!! (Until I'm gone and nobody is willing to love it anymore).

                              Tony, when the big bill comes due, you'll never miss the $$, but the investment in enjoyment will have been worth every penny!! Geof
                               
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                              • ocdart

                                ocdart Inland Mopars Car Club FABO Gold Member

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                                Great thread, Tony. You've got a great-looking Barracuda.
                                Your post reinforced the fact that I was fortunate with the start of my build. I bought an unfinished project on eBay 5 years ago that brought me a straight '69 Dart 2-door hardtop with a brand new 380HP 360 crate motor, freshly rebuilt 727 trans, B-body 489 8.75 Sure Grip rear end, and the front disc brake conversion already done. Inside the car when it was delivered was new carpeting, all the interior parts, a brand new 3" exhaust system, new in-the-box B&M floor shift, and new in-the-box Auto Meter guages as the previous owner had been planning on a Rocky Mountain dash. Not a bad package for just over $4000.
                                I've been accumulating parts for my build for the past 5 years and saving for paint. Still lots to do but it's all going to come together for well-under $15K when complete.
                                Moral of this story: find an unfinished project that the owner is tired of if you can.
                                 
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                                • chryslerfat

                                  chryslerfat Well-Known Member

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                                  I am not done with any of mine yet because I learned after going over 5 grand just to get it on the road and still needing alot of work I wait and buy only at better prices now instead of buying parts at the flick of a swith just to have them now. Your car is a very beautiful example of how we all wish our cars look when they are done. But they are never done are they?
                                   
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                                  • sleeper-oem

                                    sleeper-oem Well-Known Member

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                                    Good to let those that are not as informed to know what they are getting into. I chose Mopar for the challenge and personal reason. I have @ iam working on and i will have 25,000 in a 4 door valiant, and 32,000 in another. People ask me why all the time we do it because we want to and love it. I am trying to climb Everest in a few years people ask why and the answer is the same its for the love of it. They will never bring that back but i dont want to sell them either Tony. My dad always told me remeber these 4 rules and you will have less enemies and alot more peace.
                                    rule 1)
                                    never make fun of a mans job you dont have to work it
                                    rule 2)
                                    never make fun of a mans house you dont have to live in it.
                                    rule 3)
                                    never make fun of a mans wife you dont have to sleep with her.
                                    rule 4)
                                    never make fun of a mans car you dont have to drive it.
                                    I don care what folk do there cars thats what makes this country great we can do mostly what we want. Paint it shit brown put a 20,000$ engine in a pinto. If they ask me what do you think its always "do you love it".
                                     
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                                    • SpikeWills69

                                      SpikeWills69 Mopar Gearhead Wannabe

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                                      Good work Tony, you must either be an accountant, or a real detail person. I started keeping track, but think I lost my receipts in our recent move. My Cuda has been on the back burner for awhile now, so the money I have already invested is a foggy memory. I would have to add tools and equipment purchased for the process too, but love my tools also.
                                      I would venture to guess that many of us on FABO have daily drivers that reach or exceed 30 grand in cost and other than being very convenient, are as boring as boring can be. No boring cars on FABO. Just a thought. (You see, I will do anything to rationalize my love of Mopars and A-bodies in particular).

                                      Your Cuda is a real credit to out hobby.
                                       
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                                      • jabdusty57

                                        jabdusty57 Well-Known Member

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                                        Thank you Tony. You have helped me come to grips with what I thought was one of the top five biggest mistakes in my life. I can feel good now about my large investment, even if it is painted #$%^ brown like sleeper-oem says.
                                         
                                      • 1972DusterPaul

                                        1972DusterPaul Well-Known Member

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                                        hum-ah-nah-hum-ah-nah-hum-ah-nah...:toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10::toothy10:

                                        I just don't show my wife this thread...:violent1:

                                        Money well spent if you ask me.

                                        Paul
                                         
                                      • Johnny Dart

                                        Johnny Dart Well-Known Member

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                                        I'm a firm believer in building low and selling high. Even though I haven't let any of them go yet. Lol

                                        I learned a lot after my 65 build. Spend a little extra for the sought after,correct, Mopar parts,and stay away from Spectre,JC Whitney,Autozone crap.

                                        When buying a car, look for the ones with the good stuff. V8,8.75",disc brakes ect.
                                        Also,buy the cleanest,rust free,car possible from the start (interior,headliner,body,top,ect)
                                        Saves cash at the end. Sorry slant sixers.

                                        Hold out on those Barrett Jackson part sellers, and find a bargain.
                                        Case in point,I found a set of Hi-Po 340 manifolds on Craigslist (Chevy guy) for $120.

                                        Do not pay $10,000 for paint....Period !!!!!! That's ludicrous !!
                                        Hold out and find a painter that does good work,for waaayy less.
                                        Remember,money is King when negotiating.

                                        I have 10-12 grand in my 70,and I believe I could double that if I were to sell.

                                        Just a few of my thoughts.
                                         
                                      • SSVDP

                                        SSVDP FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                        Thanks for the post. This is a very important lesson for anyone into vintage cars. It is too esy to get upside down on any vintage car, yes even our A-bodies.
                                         
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