Restoration Costs

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Mike Israel

Hi All,

Following up on the theme of restoration costs, there is an article in
this months "Sports Car Market" entitled "Restoration Escalation". It
talks about the cost of Ferrari restorations which have escalated
dramatically. They attribute this to much higher standards of
restoration and judging, increasing labor costs, increased overhead
and regulations for things like paint. Some interesting tidbits from
the article ...

In the 1980's and early 90's a "Pebble Beach quality" restoration was
usually estimated at 2,000 - 2,500 hours labor, plus parts, machining,
sublet and materials. Today, the very same car would be subjected to
3,000 to 3,500 hours labor plus a whole new world of peripheral

Today, there are only four large total-service restoration shops with
10 or more employees in the US. These are Motion Products in
Wisconsin (, Bobby Smith in Texas, Dennison
Motor Sport in Washington, and Paul Russell & Co. in MA

While it once took $10k to do the chrome on a concours 275GTB, the job
today is $35k.

In 1989 an industry-standard paint booth and compressor cost $45k.
Today, a new downdraft paint booth and rotary compressor configured to
comply with newer regulations costs about $275k.

Cars are usually judged at concours by starting at 100 points and then
subtracting points for flaws. Only Motion Products has scored 100
points at Pebble Beach and it has done so five different times.

BTW, the Paul Russell site has some good info on what you should
expect in terms of estimates, invoices, business practices, etc..