Restoration Budgets

This forum is for topics and questions specifically related to the second generation cars.

Restoration Budgets

Postby jereid719 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:47 pm

I know it's a touchy subject, and I won't tell anybody's wife how much they have spent! I'm at the end of year 1 on a 1963 rebuild and I had a few surprises under nearly 50 years worth of repaints and bondo, yet my budget is still intact. After 2nd-hand fenders and hood, brand new floors, bulk head and quarter panels, I've gone through about 5k. I still have to paint and reassemble, but even with some new bright work and sundries like lift-the-dot fasteners and hinges, I think I'm in good shape. Next phase is the engine work, and I really want to do it up. I'm doing a 1380 with a Shorrock blower which should come in around 5-7k. All said and done, I should have a really cool street car for about 15k.

Am I crazy for spending this much? I never see really good restored cars for sale, so I have no idea what other guys have invested.

What's your number up to? List some specs for your car, please.

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Re: Restoration Budgets

Postby spritenut » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:47 pm

Great topic
I am currently working on a 68 Midget that I bought for $50. It was just a bare stripped out shell, no doors, fenders, engine, pipes or wires.
So I decided to see if I could restore a midget complete, show worthy, safe, and a good solid runner for a budget of $500.
Yes, Five Hundred Dollars.
I am up to $480 and it runs, drives, and stops. I still have to make an interior. (I do have nice seats)
Mind you I have parted out or owned several Spridgets in my life, 66 to be exact and I do have loads of spares.
But new brake pipes, hoses, and hydraulics, a new battery, paints and sundries do add up. But I am still under budget but I think i will go over by about $50 because I need a few bits I do not have.
Most of my projects come in around $4000 with an engine rebuild and a new interior with all new parts. But those projects usually need floors, sills, etc.
This Midget was reasonably rust free and I do make my own patch panels.
So if you do have a complete car, that turns over, you could restore it for around $500 if you do everything yourself. And I mean EVERYTHING including bodywork, paint, and mounting the tires.
Frank Clarici
Toms River, NJ
The BETTER not BIGGER Healeys
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:41 pm
Location: Toms River, NJ

Re: Restoration Budgets

Postby MikeWood » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:48 am


I like Frank's approach to restoration, reminds me how I used to fix old Minis in the 1980s to use as my regular street car. 'Solid runner' - now that's a great car. Much more fun for the £ or $ than many an over-restored example - I want one!

I guess the best tip is to find the best bodyshell you can find, fix it carefully and paint it properly, and collect and refurbish parts rather than buying new pattern parts. Clean all electrical conections carefully, make new ones with good quality connectors (crimp & solder if you can), replace any corroded wire and sort out all the earthing points. Over here in the UK it is a problem finding really good shells, and there a quite a few cars that look shiny on the top but still will need serious money on fixing structural rust problems in spring hangers, sills and floors.

Spend the money on getting a really strong shell, new copper brake pipes (Automec kit) and top quality new brake hoses, wheel cylinders, master cylinders and coolant and heater hoses. And find the best quality and condition distributor cap, rotor arm and contact points you can get (even a new dizzy pigtail).

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