Frequently Asked Questions

What is restoration?

To restore a vehicle, it means taking that vehicle back to as if it were new. Essentially, it should look, function, and perform just as it did from the showroom floor.

Detail is extremely important in a restoration, right down to the last nut and bolt. If you want to see if a car has been properly restored, the first tell is usually the hardware. Does it have Phillips screws when it should have slotted? Hex nuts when it should have square nuts? Carriage and hex bolts without grading castings? Modern hose clamps where there should be wire or tower clamps?

What is involved with a full restoration?

To begin the restoration, the vehicle is thoroughly inspected and documented with scrupulous notes and pictures. The head of each department (paint, body, mechanical, and upholstery) will evaluate what needs to be performed; what, if anything, is missing or is incorrect; and the proper course for the restoration to take.

From this point, the vehicle is systematically and fully dismantled, down to every last nut and bolt. This process involves cataloging each individual part to aid in a smooth and efficient restoration and for re-assembly purposes. The parts and pieces of the car will now move on to the different deparments where the restoration work will be performed.

A lot of planning and scheduling goes into the restoration so that the different processes conclude close to each other. For example, we don't want to rebuild the engine in the first month. We want to finish the rebuilding of the engine when it should be ready to be installed.

By the time the restoration is complete, we normally will have taken about 2000-3000 pictures of the restoration. These pictures will be given to you at the conclusion of the restoration on a flash (USB or thumb) drive for your documentation and viewing pleasure.

We'll also include detailed instructions on how to care for and maintain your finished classic vehicle. Now that you've had your car restored, we want you to enjoy it for many years to come.

What type of vehicles do you specialize in?

We do not have a specific era or marque that we specialize in. We're always open to taking on new, exciting, and different projects.

Rare or popular, a horseless carriage or a european sports car, fully assembled or in boxes... We have the experience and the passion to tackle even the most challenging of restorations.

Do you only perform full restorations?

No. We gladly take on partial restorations. No job is too big or too small. From routine maintenance to already started projects, we are here to accomodate your restoration needs.

What is the difference between a restoration shop and a regular repair shop?

There's a big difference! While there are many talented technicians out there, they don't specialize in strictly antique automobiles. We do. Because of this, we have the knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary to fully and properly restore your antique vehicle.

Do you perform all parts of the restoration in-house?

No. We implement well-known specialists to perfrom our plating (chrome, nickel, etc.), our machining, and our media blasting. All of our sub-contracted work must meet our strict guidelines for quality.

What if I already have some parts collected for the restoration?

That's okay. Include them with your car upon delivery to our shop. All parts purchased by the customer prior to the restoration will be inspected to ensure that they meet our strict guidelines for quality in order to be incorporated into the restoration.

If a part does not meet our standards, it will not be used. After the restoration begins, we will no longer accept parts purchased by the customer.

Do you work on any rods or customs?

While we are mainly a restoration shop, due to the similar nature of the work, we do ocassionally take on rod and custom vehicles. This is based upon what level of customization or modification is needed. Please contact us regarding your rod or custom to see if we can be of service to you.

How much does it cost? How do you charge?

There is no set fee for a restoration. We charge by the hour and by the material and/or part. The customer is reponsible for paying for all materials and parts incorporated into the project.

This system of billing has proven to be the best because it is the fairest. If we work one hour, the customer gets charged one hour. If we use one piece of sand paper, the customer gets charged one piece of sand paper. And yes, our invoices are that detailed!

The invoice the customer receives states the date, the time, specifically what was done to the vehicle, and what materials and/or parts were incorporated into the project for that particular segment. Photographs of the progress will be included as well.

Can I get an estimate?

Estimates are tricky. Because we bill hourly and per material/part, the cost of the restoration is determined by what needs to be done and what is requested of us by you, the customer, to be done. We could have two customers, bring us two essentially identical cars of the same year/make/model, and one could cost X dollars and the other could cost Y dollars. The best thing we can do is to take a look at the car and evaluate the condition, and then discuss what needs to be done.

Something to remember is... we can't estimate what we can't see! A lot can be hidden under layers of paint and filler, undercoating, upholstery materials, and years of road grime. This especially holds true for vehicles that are brought to us disassembled and/or not operational. Considering these unknown factors, you will most likely not be able to receive an estimate for a full restoration.

We can, however, give you comparisons of the time and cost of parts incorporated into other similar restorations that may have taken place. Some partial restorations can be estimated, but we must see the car in person to do so.