"Why are so many drawn to classic cars? For some it may invoke a return to a simpler time, memories of high school, family, friends. Where one can relive the memories of a bygone era. A time when a car and a person were brought together. Working on, caring for and adding your own style by personalizing your car made it your own.
Bringing the past back to life through quality restoration is what we do."
Competition Auto Body specializes in the complete or partial restoration of antique and classic cars and we have a firm understanding of the huge commitment that auto restoration entails. We work side by side with each of our devoted customers to help plan and bring to life every ambition and dream they have riding on their classic automobiles. Here at Competition Auto Body, we take seriously automobile restoration.
Competition Auto Body handles many types of small and large auto restoration services including: Rust Repair, Frame Repair, Body Repair, Quality Paint Finishes, Engine Rebuilds & Repairs, Brake Repair, Electrical Systems Repair & Rewiring, Cooling Systems and even Fuel Systems.
Some people wait a lifetime to get behind the wheels of their classic dream car. It is not until they finally get to drive it that they realize that the wheel of their dreams is not exactly in the condition that they had always imagined.
Luckily, there are still ways to bring a classic car back to its former glory. The cost of restoration varies to a great degree on the level of service that best suits your needs.
Below is an example of our fine classic auto restoration work. We completely restored a 1946 Chevy form the ground up. Use the slider to view before and after.
In show judging, this vehicle is likely to win honors in its class. In a sense, it has ceased to be an automobile and has become an object of art. Extreme care is taken in both transporting and storage and vehicle is rarely driven. Restoration is for set for high professional standards of quality in all areas. Body preparation includes vehicle, all parts removed and stripped to bare metal, body or frame installed on a rotisserie, epoxy primer, high-end materials, Glasurit refinish materials. The original parts and equipment will be used and restored if possible. Body work will refine all panel gaps, body lines, panels and attached extensions to flow as one, far exceeding the cars original panel fit, manufacture and factory design limitations of the time. The finish will be color sanded and polished to a high level. It costs considerably more to hand restore a Level One vehicle. There are very few vehicles restored to Level One. This is not considered a concourse level restoration.
The Level Two can take near the top in judged shows, except when squared off to a Level One vehicle. This vehicle is driven for pleasure. Some minor defects are inherent but achieves a better than new assembly line standards and appearance. High quality materials are used, all parts striped to bare metal, full rotisserie restoration is done, including suspension, engine bay, interior and chrome. This restoration will still strive for same high quality as level one but will not have the same level of refinement and panel attention of flow and detail. In all, a superior restoration that does not go to the same extreme level of refinement as a level One vehicle.
Level three Paint and bodywork can be done to several different standards but will not be a rotisserie or frame off restoration. The attention to detail will be reduced from a level two. The paint and prior body work may not be fully removed. Parts, glass, and trim may be reused and not fully reconditioned. Factory orange peel may be left. The original motor, engine bay or suspension may not be rebuilt or fully restored. The interior, dash and gauges may only be partially addressed. Body panels and inside door corrosion may not be addressed and parts may be reused. Since this level can have so many variables a careful planning will be needed since the end results will be seen years to come and redoing them may prove to be impractical and costly. This level attempts to maintain high quality on all repairs, but will not address all systems or fully restore each back to the original factory standards or original condition.
It feels great to get covetous looks while driving down the street, but that is not exactly what this level of restoration aims to achieve. Restoration to a driver level only aims to get a classic car in a good running condition. It involves basic, even minimal bodywork, simply so it does not rust out.
While driver-level restoration is the most basic level, it is not exactly cheap. The truth is, restoring a classic will always entail a lot of work. To be able to estimate the amount necessary to get the car in good running condition, it helps to conduct a comprehensive inspection. Check the car from top to bottom, inside and out. This helps one zero in on the repairs that need to be done. Certain mechanical repairs may need addressing with the goal of just keeping the vehicle driving not rebuilding or replacing all worn parts.
Since the body and paint prep work will be greatly reduced or not addressed, this level of restoration generally looks ok from a distance away. If painted parts, including glass and moldings, may be masked off instead of removed. Vehicle will not be stripped to bare metal. Areas of repair and old paint defects may be visible, and the paint will show original amounts of factory orange peel. Expect future deterioration in the seams, moldings, and jams. In rust-out conditions, the metal panels can be replaced. This vehicle will not rank well in judged shows. All body and paint materials that will be used are of economy quality. Level Four has no warranty due to lack of detailed preparation work.
How much will it cost to restore my car? This is a common question we get here at Competition Auto Body. It may seem like a simple question but is difficult to answer. There are many variables when restoring a car, how much rust is present, does the car/truck need metal replaced, how much body filler was put on in the past, was past body work done correctly, how easy are the parts to obtain, do you want a frame off restoration or just a freshen up? Quantity of materials used, quality of refinish & body prep materials, stripping to bare metal all or some of the parts, replacement parts, level of body work and prep time, engine, suspension, and interior all affect the cost of the restoration.
The complete restoration of any vehicle is a lengthy and expensive process, with quality turnkey restorations taking an average of 1,200 labor hours. Custom frame off or rotisserie restorations can be 1,800 hours or more depending on the extent of detail needed and wanted. It is our desire that we work with you, as the customer to ensure you understand the commitment both in time and money it takes to complete a restoration project. Here at Competition Auto Body our restorations are charged by the hour plus parts and materials. You can be assured that all hours are fairly tracked. We take pictures of the process and every effort is made to give you a professional job that will last for many years to come. We also strive to keep you updated with invoices, photos, and meetings to explain and show firsthand the progress taking place.
Initially we require a deposit. Once work has begun the customer is billed prior to each additional estimated allotment of time, materials, and parts. The project is usually divided into phases. This allows us to work with the customer’s budget and do the work as their funds may allow. Because of this payment structure, at any point in the restoration process, the customer has the option to discontinue or temporarily delay the project. (Note: We do not store cars at our facilities that are not actively undergoing restoration).
For the above reasons, initial cost estimates are simply a best guess proposition. The true cost is only revealed during the rebuilding process. Each project will hold its share of unique repair challenges. Each car is uniquely different, and all these questions cannot be answered by just a quick look at your car. Doing it right the first time will save you time and money in the long run.
Choices can be made as the process unfolds to replace some or all desired parts, as well as, quality of materials used, color sanding & polishing, reinstallation of parts and final re-assembly. Other things to control pricing include glass replacement, interior restoration, undercoating, etc. If someone is unable to commit to a full high-quality restoration, we are willing to work with a budget.
Remember, the idea of an “inexpensive restoration” at a high quality, is just one of the many misunderstandings of people not aware of the full scope of the restoration process. Auto restoration is not for everyone. The vehicle owner must make a large commitment before deciding to restore.
We recently completed a collision repair for a local vespa owner. We repaired the damage to the body and completely refinished the scooter with new paint. Watch the video below for the owner's reaction!
We have provided car restoration services for many satisfied clients. We have documented some of these projects with images. Click the image below to see all of the restoration project gallery images.