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Old 22-07-2017   #1
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Restoring Cars

I see a lot of people restoring old cars - namely ones 'worth' restoring like old 500s from the 50s and Jaguar convertibles etc. Pretty cool.

How much does it cost to restore a car on average?

Though considered a replaceable, unworthy candidate I'd love to keep my Panda for example and rather than save for a new car save for a full restoration. That's if it's still serviceable and in tact a few years down the line.

Unlike many older cars there's good availability of parts and engines and this is likely to continue with Fiats use of the same components on many of their latest models today. Though, also unlike older cars it's got a lot of computer controlled aspects too that depend on a moody BCM computer which so far has been fine, but in the future may be impossible to replace..

We have the space to strip it down ourselves if needed. Down to the metal body. Then, we have means to transport it. Finding a body shop up for the job of patching rusty areas and refinishing it, and respraying it seems the most expensive and difficult part. But if done, I'd have a physically rust free, in shape Panda. Some new panels sprayed at the same and glazing and rubber parts and the outside would be as new.

Then rebuilding the engine up and giving it a clean. With new exhaust, and anything else that looks tatty or worn.

Some reupholstered seats, interior plastics and a new carpet which could also be remade without paying Fiat list prices and it's a new car.

Call me crazy, but if I could do it for under seven thousand I'd be all for it because small cars made today are bigger, reportedly not as good and just generally less appealing to me.

Of course this is just a dream to me and the point of this thread is to hear from some of you here how feasible or not and costly it would be.

Thanks for reading
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Old 22-07-2017   #2
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Re: Restoring Cars

That's a question that probably can't be answered. Cost will depend on so many factors, including, how much bodywork rust, mechanical condition, how much work can be done oneself, or how much paid for at specialists, etc.

Most restorations are carried out on older cars, many that have stood idle for some time, so rust is an issue. With your Panda, rust hopefully is not yet an issue, so time to attack it now, with preventative measures, such as waxoyl in the cavities. A thorough underbody check, at least annually, and any weak areas addressed immediately will prevent it deteriorating. Paintwork will age, due to the UV from the sun, so will need a respray sometime.

Mechanical stuff depends on age and wear & tear. Might be time to stockpile spares, although rubber parts will deteriorate due to age, even if kept in a dark cupboard.

Sadly there will come a time when spares for our Pandas will dry up. Engine stuff will continue longer due to it being used in many Fiats, but vehicle specific parts will stop. As an 'ordinary' car, few will be cherished.
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Old 22-07-2017   #3
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Re: Restoring Cars

Interestingly, earlier today I was looking at a Mondeo ST200 advertised locally, the price was a few hundred pounds when back in the early 2000s I test drove one at about 12k at that time. I considered getting it as a second car to drive the dogs about in and have some 200+BHP fun (not many 200hp cars for under 1k) but having found out it needed some welding and had rusty rear arches, well it's just not worth the hassle, and that's a relatively special car from the Ford stable and likely to be a future classic.

There are just so many mk3 pandas about at the moment, they're not likely to be deemed as anything special in the future and as they age almost all will end up in the scrapyard what remains will be still not worth a lot, and even when there are few left, people wouldn't be looking to pay anything for an old panda. This means the likelihood is that any restoration would cost considerably more than the car is worth.

The best thing you could do is ensure the longevity of the car now by investing in rust protection now and protect the car for the future.

When the future come the car will likely be worth hanging on to if it's still in relatively good shape, probably not worth a couple of hundred of it's riddled with rust and needs lots of work doing.
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Old 22-07-2017   #4
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Re: Restoring Cars

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
Interestingly, earlier today I was looking at a Mondeo ST200 advertised locally, the price was a few hundred pounds when back in the early 2000s I test drove one at about 12k at that time. I considered getting it as a second car to drive the dogs about in and have some 200+BHP fun (not many 200hp cars for under 1k) but having found out it needed some welding and had rusty rear arches, well it's just not worth the hassle, and that's a relatively special car from the Ford stable and likely to be a future classic.

There are just so many mk3 pandas about at the moment, they're not likely to be deemed as anything special in the future and as they age almost all will end up in the scrapyard what remains will be still not worth a lot, and even when there are few left, people wouldn't be looking to pay anything for an old panda. This means the likelihood is that any restoration would cost considerably more than the car is worth.

The best thing you could do is ensure the longevity of the car now by investing in rust protection now and protect the car for the future.

When the future come the car will likely be worth hanging on to if it's still in relatively good shape, probably not worth a couple of hundred of it's riddled with rust and needs lots of work doing.
I could not agree more ,when I bought my doblo van in 2003 I drove it straight into my garage and it stayed there for 6 weeks while I stripped it down blasted waxoil into every possible cavity and painted the whole underside with black hammerite ,it's regularly cleaned underneath and inspected,I took it for the mot last week and the inspector said he had never seen anything like it !
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Old 23-07-2017   #5
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Re: Restoring Cars

If you want to restore a car because you love it then do it! If you're doing it to make money, unless you are very lucky you wont!

I had a Beetle and spent much much more on it than I eventually got back but that wasn't the point. Even old jags cost more to restore than they are worth. That's why Aston etc cost 500K.

My Multipla is starting to look quite old now and I'm thinking of chucking a bit of cash at it. This would be completely illogical and fruitless but I don't really want to get rid of it and it's only a SX model too but it would be fun.?.?
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Old 23-07-2017   #6
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Re: Restoring Cars

My biggest issue with waxoyl and more in depth, real rust curing is:

Access - how to I get into these areas in order to apply or repair them with engine components etc in the way?

How to actually do it - some parts on the chassis of the car are complicated shapes. The two crash barrier supports and surrounding bulkheads show surface rust. I plastered waxoyl on them last year and they look fine still, but how to get to all areas and inside them where rust prevails is an issue that surely will eventually take hold.

The only rust I've discovered is as mentioned, front crash barriers supports and as well, rear wheel arches.

Other than some rough, chipped paintwork and perfect dents where paint is unbroken or unphased, but a reflection shows a dent my pandas bodywork is perfect.

Worth cutting at those parts and getting them replaced? At this rate, if it's too hard, I'd pay to have it done as it's chassis parts that really could affect the car down the line
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Old 23-07-2017   #7
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Re: Restoring Cars

Most chassis legs/rails have a few holes for drainage. A proper waxoyl kit will include a probe to poke into these holes to inject the wax. If stuffed in far enough, and gently pulled out as sprayed, it will coat the whole insides. Waxoyl is very searching, and creeps around to give a good coating without gaps. Then over a few weeks, you just leave little drips of the stuff.

If unsure of filling the whole cavity, kits of grommets can be bought. Holes are drilled, wax injected, and grommets fitted. Just don't drill holes too near structural areas, as MOT tester will treat as a rust hole.

Downside, if welding needed later, bit of a fire risk.
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Old 23-07-2017   #8
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Re: Restoring Cars

Quote Originally Posted by SB1500 View Post
My biggest issue with waxoyl and more in depth, real rust curing is:

Access - how to I get into these areas in order to apply or repair them with engine components etc in the way?

How to actually do it - some parts on the chassis of the car are complicated shapes. The two crash barrier supports and surrounding bulkheads show surface rust. I plastered waxoyl on them last year and they look fine still, but how to get to all areas and inside them where rust prevails is an issue that surely will eventually take hold.

The only rust I've discovered is as mentioned, front crash barriers supports and as well, rear wheel arches.

Other than some rough, chipped paintwork and perfect dents where paint is unbroken or unphased, but a reflection shows a dent my pandas bodywork is perfect.

Worth cutting at those parts and getting them replaced? At this rate, if it's too hard, I'd pay to have it done as it's chassis parts that really could affect the car down the line
Inside rear wheel arches ,sills and rear chassis rails on my 1990 Fiat Tipo required lifting of the carpets,you will find access points if you look hard enough.
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Old 25-07-2017   #9
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Re: Restoring Cars

If...

"How much will it cost?"

...is the first thing you think of; don't bother starting.

Depending on the car it can cost more than it's worth to restore so if you are looking for an investment look elsewhere.

Lots of people are taking on restoration projects; but out of those too many have seen an episode of "Wheeler Dealers" where after a few basic repairs and run over with a polishing mop cars are sold (to hired extras for the show) described as "fully restored". This is not true to life and legally speaking if you try it you could be done for fraud.

In the mean time the market is being diluted by TV inspired bodges so buying a classic is even more treacherous then ever before.
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Old 25-07-2017   #10
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Quote Originally Posted by Liquid Knight View Post
If...

"How much will it cost?"

...is the first thing you think of; don't bother starting.

Depending on the car it can cost more than it's worth to restore so if you are looking for an investment look elsewhere.
What ever the project you should always start by asking how much a it's going to cost! What's the point in doing a project if you can't afford to see it through to the end. You could have a beautiful 1920s rolls Royce worth a million pounds when fully restored, but if you can't afford the specialist to repair the body work or make new panels from scratch then there is simply no point.

The value of the car isn't just financial, if the car is a cheap run about and you're not fully invested in he restoration then you're going to quickly lose interest. Or when you later sell it the new owner may just see it as a cheap run about and not see any value in your restoration, later scrapping all your hard work.

In order for a restoration to be worth it the car needs to have some special value or quality.

Look at the old 500, well worth restoring now, very sought after and commanding several thousand pounds for well restored models. And you know if you sell it on someone else will love it. Not the same can be said for many other fiats from the same era, which there are very few about now.
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Old 25-07-2017   #11
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Re: Restoring Cars

I have several 'heaps' to dispose of following my Father's death.
The big car, is a 1939 SS Jaguar, taken with enthusiasm by a guy who will have it restored. His estimated cost is 100,000 over about 5 years. At which point it will be worth around 30-40k. For him, a price worth paying as it is the car he wants. A few saloons still around, but the drophead, very rare, only around 3 or 4 left in the world.

The Herald, was falling to pieces as we dragged it across the yard out of the way. Difficult even for a scrap man to pick up with a grab. Will probably cost us to dispose of.

The third one, an old Standard 8, now built into the garage as the roof props prevent easy removal, is probably worth nothing. Even the Standard owners club refused it.
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Old 25-07-2017   #12
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Re: Restoring Cars

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
I have several 'heaps' to dispose of following my Father's death.

The big car, is a 1939 SS Jaguar, taken with enthusiasm by a guy who will have it restored. His estimated cost is 100,000 over about 5 years. At which point it will be worth around 30-40k. For him, a price worth paying as it is the car he wants. A few saloons still around, but the drophead, very rare, only around 3 or 4 left in the world.



That jag is stunning, it's the sort of car that might only be worth 30-40k when it's finished, but in 10 - 15 years with the value of classic cars climbing like it is as the Chinese billionaires snap them all up, it could easily make its initial investment back.
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Old 25-07-2017   #13
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Re: Restoring Cars

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
That jag is stunning, it's the sort of car that might only be worth 30-40k when it's finished, but in 10 - 15 years with the value of classic cars climbing like it is as the Chinese billionaires snap them all up, it could easily make its initial investment back.
2 litres, straight six engine, about 90hp I think. Top speed around 90mph, to be stopped by enormous drum brakes all round. No power steering, almost zero rear visibility and the turning circle of a supertanker. Glad to see it go.

Now, anybody want a very sad Stag? Would cost lots more to restore than a good running one costs on Ebay right now. Not much chance there either.
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Old 25-07-2017   #14
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Re: Restoring Cars

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
2 litres, straight six engine, about 90hp I think. Top speed around 90mph, to be stopped by enormous drum brakes all round. No power steering, almost zero rear visibility and the turning circle of a supertanker. Glad to see it go.




These days a restoration usually upgrades a few bits here and there to make things more usable, especially the brakes (which I'm guessing were also not servo assisted back in 1939. Also back then why would you need to worry about what is behind you, they didn't have such issues as tight parking spaces in Tesco on a busy Saturday morning.
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Old 25-07-2017   #15
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Re: Restoring Cars

My personal motivation for restoring my Panda isn't that it'll ever be worth anything much in terms of money, I'm happy for the day it goes to be the day it's worthless, in sorry shape and I literally take it to T.Met to watch it be turned into metal flakes. I of course, hope many more years stand between now and then though. I almost don't want to let anyone else have it after all my personal investment in it. It comes more down to the fact I really like it now, can't see myself ever suddenly 'not liking' it and out of the new cars available today none of them really impress me. Even VW's city car resorts to coloured metal on the interior and the current Panda is the least cheap, least 'budget' feeling city car in my opinion. And the people who have owned those and our type of Panda only ever complain about how bad the newer one is which makes me think I'm in no hurry to run to any new models. And I read that Fiat have no choice but to make the next ones even larger again?! I sure hope not. It seems to be a lot more expensive to restore than I thought! I was hoping a few grand for a refinish and respray of the chassis and the rest, I do myself with family of course including stripping it down , moving it , buying parts and rebuilding the engine. But if it costs multiples of it's original cost that's where I have to draw the line. Whereas, if I could have it done for the price of a new 6,995 Panda Pop then I'd opt for it. Some good discussion as always though and I appreciate everyone's input
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