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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Discussion Starter #1
I just spent over an hour with the owner of a company nearby that does complete and total car restoration. I couldn't even begin to detail the process but it was first class all the way. They pull the engine and strip every last piece off the car and bag and tag it. The frame is blasted, acid washed, sanded, treated with POR, then sealed, painted, and clear coated. They don't use any bondo or fiberglass - everything is steel. Every part is cleaned and primed before it goes back on the car right down to screws, nuts, and bolts. They showed me ~15 cars in the shop in various states of process. The way they work is an initial deposit of $1K followed by a series of deposits made as work is performed (sort of an escrow of funds to keep the project moving). If your balance drops to zero, they cover the car and suspend work until you tell them you are ready to start up again (which helps cash flow). You get a very detailed statement each month showing what was done and how much is left in your account. At the end of the project, you also get a CD with hundreds of detailed photos showing each and every step of the project.

They will not commit to a total amount of time or cost but gave me a rough estimate of $13K - $16K over 2 - 3 years. OK, so has anyone on the forum gone this route and if so, is this in the ballpark?
 

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Super Moderator
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Does it include interior, engine, and drivetrain rebuild as well? How about details like renewing the gauges? I think it's an awesome deal if it's a comprehensive restoration. You'd be hard-pressed to do it for that much even doing the work yourself. I assume they only put the vehicle back to stock condition? Before I entered into an agreement with them I'd want an accurate and detailed quote.

Todd
 

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I am sure it has been thought about by many people. IMO that seems like a very reasonable price. If you wanted anything aftermarket, could you buy that and have them add it? (Body Kits, Different hood, Ect)
 

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I just spent over an hour with the owner of a company nearby that does complete and total car restoration. I couldn't even begin to detail the process but it was first class all the way. They pull the engine and strip every last piece off the car and bag and tag it. The frame is blasted, acid washed, sanded, treated with POR, then sealed, painted, and clear coated. They don't use any bondo or fiberglass - everything is steel. Every part is cleaned and primed before it goes back on the car right down to screws, nuts, and bolts. They showed me ~15 cars in the shop in various states of process. The way they work is an initial deposit of $1K followed by a series of deposits made as work is performed (sort of an escrow of funds to keep the project moving). If your balance drops to zero, they cover the car and suspend work until you tell them you are ready to start up again (which helps cash flow). You get a very detailed statement each month showing what was done and how much is left in your account. At the end of the project, you also get a CD with hundreds of detailed photos showing each and every step of the project.

They will not commit to a total amount of time or cost but gave me a rough estimate of $13K - $16K over 2 - 3 years. OK, so has anyone on the forum gone this route and if so, is this in the ballpark?
Newman;
This wouldn't happen to be "Flashback" in Cumming, GA would it?
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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2,119 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The price quoted assumes either:

1) Mechanical parts on the car are in good enough shape to be put back on the car (i.e., the company cleans / repairs the parts that are there already and then puts them back on the car)

or

2) I am buying the parts as needed and then giving the parts to them for use on the project.

For example, I know I need new carpet on the interior. I could order a complete carpet kit from OGTS and drop it off to the restoration company for use on the project. That cost would be over and above the quoted cost for the restoration. I need to buy the carpet anyway so the cost for the materials is the same regardless. Another example would be the exhaust system. Mine is rusted and needs to be replaced entirely from the manifold on back. I would have to buy the exhaust system parts for them to install.

This company will do all the parts hunting and other associated footwork for you as well, but I see me doing that work to save some money (assuming I take the plunge on this which I need to think long and hard about before I decide).
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Discussion Starter #6
Newman;
This wouldn't happen to be "Flashback" in Cumming, GA would it?
Nope - I haven't heard of Flashback. Do you have experience with them?
 

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UngerDog
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Newman, I guess you would have to ask yourself
1) can I wait that long to get the car back?
2) is the money part a big factor?
3)can you talk to any previous customers and see how happy they are, especially if - oooops, we have a problem and it's going to cost more happens?
plus a lot of other things that are important to you. Jerry
 

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Been there, done that. I myself did a 1967 Triumph GT6. I did everything but paint and machine work. (now I have access to a down draft paint booth...figures) The entire project took me 7 years and more then the price you quoted....way more. My car is finished the way I wanted. I would drive it across country without a worry. I for one would want to do the stuff myself, that is part of the fun. If you don't know how learn (we all start somewhere) If you don't have space look around there are places where you can leave a car for years to work on. I would say if you want a perfect car just buy one already done. The price you spend on getting one put together is going to be more then the car is worth....but we don't do this for resale do we.

Look at the work these folks have done in the past, look at a new car they finished, then look at one a couple of years old. They should supply you with phone numbers of past customers. One of the LBC places here finished a GT6for a guy and that restro cost him over 30k. It can be expensive.
 

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The cost of restoration is lots more than what you were quoted. If they take appart the car, clean the parts, and re-assemble they are assuming that all your components are usable. This is done so you won't get sticker shock per say when you ask how much.

When we restore a vehicle, we do the same but everything is new. And when you add up all of the new parts you will see that it is far greater than $13-15K. Just the front end would cost you about $1k to rebuild.

Unless you have an ample wallet, I would be very carefull since you can easily get in the 30K range with all bells and whistles.
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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2,119 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Who is it?

I may have another Opel for them to work on.
The company is Exotic Coach Works. The owner was very professional and I was thoroughly impressed with the various cars in process and a couple that were near completion. Their process is extremely detailed and thorough and their communication methods in place are meant to assure you that the work they are billing you for is really being done to your car. If you do call them or get a quote, I want to stress that the "estimate" they gave me was just to ball park the cost so that I could think about it and have some idea what I would be in for. They would have to look at your specific vehicle of course.

I have to say that I really didn't want to spend more than $5K - $6K on the bodywork. The fact that they will let you spread things out and "pay as you go" is enticing. However, I may have to come back to reality and accept that I can't afford perfection. Plus, I just got the car running again after eight years or so of seeing it rot away and the thought of then parking it again for another couple years or more is hard to take. I'm definitely going to consider other options...
 

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Having done just that, and I'm still working on it, lemmee give you my thoughts. Doing it "myself" has been a blast although very time consuming, 6 years from the start of the engine/tranny swap and later the full restoration, both are still a work in progress but real close to completion. Cost is way outa site, but most of it was for the engine/tranny swap. Gil at OGTS has said, in public, I "bought the store". Mechanical work, fabrication, body work, upholstery, all that I couldn't do, cost a bunch to get it done. Now I have an almost new car that folks stop and look at. The neighbors have seen the progress, start to finish, and compliment me on how it looks now. Yeah I have a sense of pride in what I've done. I may have saved some bucks doing it myself, but lost out in time spent. I can pretty much tear down a GT to a rolling shell in maybe a week or two, but it will take that many months and then some to put it all back together. That doesn't take into consideration the restoration of parts, which is the most time consuming, and in some cases very expensive, (the dash comes to mind) all the hardware that had to be replaced, the bits and pieces that were stripped and painted. Stuff like that is real time consuming. But when it all goes back together, AND WORKS, that's the fun time and possibly worth all the time and money expended. Is it worth it for you to do it or let someone else do it. That is up to you. One way, you may spend more time and possibly save money, the other way, you'll save time, maybe and spend more money. Can you say "crap shoot"?
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Discussion Starter #13
The cost of restoration is lots more than what you were quoted. If they take appart the car, clean the parts, and re-assemble they are assuming that all your components are usable. This is done so you won't get sticker shock per say when you ask how much.

When we restore a vehicle, we do the same but everything is new. And when you add up all of the new parts you will see that it is far greater than $13-15K. Just the front end would cost you about $1k to rebuild.

Unless you have an ample wallet, I would be very carefull since you can easily get in the 30K range with all bells and whistles.
Good advice. Yes, they are assuming that everything on the car is put back on or I supply new parts. Thus, when finished, the car wouldn't run any better overall than it does now unless I were to provide additional new parts to replace failing or worn parts.
 

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UngerDog
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There are plenty of really nice cars all ready to buy and have delivered for a lot less than what it will end up costing you to have it restored professionally. If it is like a family member then that would have additional merit to having it restored. But, do what you can yourself, do it your way, learn and have fun, it can be good exercise, get job satisfaction :haha: and scars on your knuckles, use those cuss words that have been dormant for so long :banghead: , and if there's something you don't want to mess with have a shop do that for you or ask for help here, save lots of money, get an Opel addition, buy another, etc, etc, etc. :D Jerry
 

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UngerDog
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One way, you may spend more time and possibly save money, the other way, you'll save time, maybe and spend more money. Can you say "crap shoot"?
Ron is right. It's up to the individual. Sometimes I use this philosophy. What is more important to you? Time or money? Just remember, although you can buy time shares, you can't buy time. :) Jerry
 

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Opel Key Master
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Opel Restoration

My thoughts on this is that a company that states they are going to coat your frame with POR, doesn't need to be working on your car. If they don't know much about them, its not a good idea. The GT is a unibody (hello) No frame off here. But I will offer you this. I work for a restoration shop in Cookeville, TN. And can show where I've built show winning Opel GTS (namely the Spyder) I also have a professional rotissorie set up for an Opel GT so it can be properly cleaned, striped and painted. Also 2-3 years is too long. I can guarantee no more than 16-17 months. If you are interested in talking with another company not too far away from you, call me at Mid-Southern Restorations. Our web sit is Mid-Southern Restoration and you can see some of our projects. We mainly deal with Packards, but I seem to specialize in the Opels. The price they gave you seems about right, would have to see it for myself. I may be coming to Atlanta soon as well. We have the part sources for these cars as well, where another resto shop would be clueless, and it would cost you much more than you could regularly get.
Keith
Email me if you are interested and we can discuss more
keithlundholm(at)yahoo.com
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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My thoughts on this is that a company that states they are going to coat your frame with POR, doesn't need to be working on your car. If they don't know much about them, its not a good idea. The GT is a unibody (hello) No frame off here. But I will offer you this. I work for a restoration shop in Cookeville, TN. And can show where I've built show winning Opel GTS (namely the Spyder) I also have a professional rotissorie set up for an Opel GT so it can be properly cleaned, striped and painted. Also 2-3 years is too long. I can guarantee no more than 16-17 months. If you are interested in talking with another company not too far away from you, call me at Mid-Southern Restorations. Our web sit is Mid-Southern Restoration and you can see some of our projects. We mainly deal with Packards, but I seem to specialize in the Opels. The price they gave you seems about right, would have to see it for myself. I may be coming to Atlanta soon as well. We have the part sources for these cars as well, where another resto shop would be clueless, and it would cost you much more than you could regularly get.
Keith
Email me if you are interested and we can discuss more
keithlundholm(at)yahoo.com
Keith,

I am definitely interested. In addition, since my initial post my wife has weighed in on the "let's do it" side which always helps :veryhappy . Anyway, I will send you an email with some contact info and I would want to discuss particulars of how the project would proceed. Thanks!
 

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Senior Contributor
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Restoration

Shop around; parts alone for a full complete restoration to show room condition not counting bodywork and paint will run close to $7.5k. Labor to install just the parts about $15k and that is with them removing the old parts. Machine work for an engine close to $750 to $1000. Then add in body and paint and depending on how much body work is required based up upon body being taken down to bare metal any where from $4k to $10k. and could take any where from a year to 2 years depending on the shop. Doing it your self can save up wards to 75 to 90% on labor and take you up to 4 to 6 years working weekends and vacations. My restoration was not to bare metal but custom body work and paint, new parts or reconditioned cleaned and painted, custom interior;all based up on 97 prices including original cost of my GT in 76 was $10.5k and a year and half of work with vacation time and baby sitting a job in which nothing was happening on for 3 months, which I spent working on my car and getting paid at the same time. I spent an estimated 7,000 man hours to do mine. :eek:
 

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Opeler
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I've gone partially down this route with an old Mini Cooper. We did all the disassembly, tagging, etc. We bought all the new parts, and with a Mini it is easy to get brand new sheet metal where it is needed, not something you can do with the Opel GT. Any metal fabrication they need to do will be expensive. So what we had done was have the body blasted, all the rust cut out and replaced, we did the POR on the under side ourself, then had the body painted. Not counting the parts, the cost was higher than your quote. However, being in the Detroit area, our labor rates are probably higher up here than they are in Georgia. But in my opinion, I'd bump their estimate by 50%. On my project, the painter came in almost on target(just a little higher), the body guys were way over, the blasting was right on the estimate, the interior (recovering the back seat) was right on. But the body work was expensive if they do it properly. Depending on how good the body is, you could run into lots of cost. Rust back behind stuff is hard to see until you pull everything apart. Don't take this all as discouraging, just be ready for cost overruns, they likely will happen. Also, I agree with the other comments, the more you do yourself, the more fun it is and the cheaper. The Opel at least can be rolled around when you pull the engine and transmission. With the Mini, when we pulled the engine we had no front wheels anymore and had to pick it up and carry it around all the time. Good luck and have fun. I'm a couple years away from doing the same thing with my GT.
 

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Old Opeler
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Communication!

Even experienced restoration shops have to guess a bit when estimating what needs to be done to a body with paint on it.
Until the body is stripped bare and the horrors hidden by Previous Owners are revealed it is extremely difficult to accurately estimate the repairs needed.

Communication is the key here - you have to cultivate an extremely close working relationship with the shop doing the work - remember, a shop owner and his guys who are on good terms with the car owner will often "go the extra mile" to get things done correctly and keep you informed. Most restoration shops are run and staffed with car enthusiasts who do the job because they are interested. Most have never seen a GT - and that alone makes them more interested in your particular job.

Most restoration shops work on an initial 'guestimate' and monthly progress payments base on hours of labour put in to your project and keep meticulous records of what they have done - usually photographic records too. Ask before they start if they do this .... and if they do not, go find another shop!

The shop that did the bodywork/paint on mine quoted $10,000 to bring the body to 'rust-free' and high quality paint job ..... then the paint was stripped off and the horrors revealed. Front and real panel damage that had been "sculpted" back to shape .... with over 100 pounds of LEAD. Fortunately I Found a front and rear clip that saved hundreds of hours of panel fabrication.

Still, 14 months later - much to the shop owners embarassment - the final total up of labour and materials came to well over twice his initial quote and it took considerable negotiation for me to meet him half-way on the cost over-run. He now does jobs like this on an hourly rate basis with progress payments monthly ... and no fixed price quotes!
 
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