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RESTORING DREAMS

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Around the shop or on the road meeting new clients and checking out the latest trends in the old car hobby.

 

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Doc

By drronaldf20719687, Mar 21 2018 10:52PM

One of the really neat aspects of the auto restoration business, is talking with customers and getting the history behind their car.

Original owners, young married couples buy a car and fix it up years later, a car or truck that has been in the family for years,….

The look in the owner’s eyes as he/she tells the story of when they bought the car brand new, you can feel the excitement all over. Or, when you hear about learning to drive in dad’s old truck, and now they want to restore it so their kids can do the same.

We get the sad stories too. The couple who bought a car and one of the spouses passes before they can fix it up, but still want it done in their memory.

Automobiles, to some, are nothing more than a means to get from point A to point B. While others, their car or truck is a part of the family with the same emotional strings.

It is a great feeling to bring the old memories back and restore their dream. Most of the cars we do are for people like this. They want a piece of the old life back.

Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot bring the car back. Too much rust and deterioration would make the restoration way too costly. It is very difficult sometimes to talk someone out of spending $20, 30, 50,000 on restoring a car that in A1 condition is worth maybe $10,000.

The real question becomes, how much is the enjoyment of driving the old car again worth? For some, that justifies the expense.

As I have posted before, if you plan to keep and enjoy the car, then by all means consider the restoration (keep it in your budget). But if you are looking to sell/flip the car, then leave it as is. You will never recover the amount spent to restore on a quick sale.

1968 Chevelle Rstored Dream
1968 Chevelle Rstored Dream

By drronaldf20719687, Jan 18 2017 05:32PM

Winter time in Wisconsin means the cool cars are put away or are getting built. Needless to say, we have been very busy building some very cool cars this winter. 66 Lincoln, 79 Mercedes, 71 Nova, 55 Chevy Pick Up, 72 GMC, 66 GTO…..

With restoration, while the mechanical part is very important for performance and safety, it is the paint that gets the most attention.

Long gone are the days of the $39.99 Earl Schiebe paint jobs. A typical paint job without having to do rust repair easily can run $4-8000 for a basic driver quality. Higher end jobs can go $6-10,000 and top show quality can run $15,000+. Why?

Material costs, environmental regulations, sanding/masking/cleaning supplies, insurance and of course, labor. A basic paint job includes; removing trim, bumpers, etc… Removing the existing finish, filling or metal working imperfection, priming, block sanding, more primer, more sanding, sealing and then the color goes on followed by a clear coat. Then you have to put all the trim back on. Throw in a rust spot or previously repaired panel, and you have several more hours and materials tossed in.

Don’t forget, you have to re-mask at each stage!

Now that the paint is on and dry, it needs to be wet sanded (cut) and polished. Depending on the desired quality, this can be very labor intensive.

Most paint is well over $150 per gallon. Reds can run over $300 a gallon. Want a metallic, pearl or candy? Now you have doubled the paint cost.

The days of shooting a couple coats of lacquer in your buddy’s garage are long gone.

Be sure to keep this in mind when deciding on building a project car. You can save some money by doing some of the mechanical on your own. But when it comes to paint and body work, many shops will not want to work on previous repairs. We cannot guarantee paint unless we start with bare metal. Reason being, many paint brands are not compatible. Did you use a rattle can of lacquer primer?

Unfortunately, the only real way to save money on a paint job is to have a very clean and straight car to start with. So, if you have rust, dents or other damage, expect to pay for those repairs.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave below, Thanks!

66 GTO bad previoius body work
66 GTO bad previoius body work
Prep work
Prep work
1966 Lincoln jambed
1966 Lincoln jambed
1966 Lincoln fresh paint
1966 Lincoln fresh paint
1966 Lincoln Continental final assembly
1966 Lincoln Continental final assembly

By drronaldf20719687, Sep 29 2016 06:06PM

In one of my earlier posts, I described how we used modern technology to make a part for an older car. We used 3D printing to make an obsolete part.

One part of restoring older cars is dealing with chromed plastic trim and other parts. Until recently, the only way to somewhat duplicate the chrome was to use paint. Needless to say, the results were less than satisfactory. There was no way to get the deep shine of chrome with a spray can.

Early this year, I was watching an episode of Counting Cars. A reality show about a Las Vegas Customizing shop. In this episode, the painter was showing the owner a new “Chroming Process” using a spray on product. He went about applying the product and it quickly developed a beautiful, deep chrome finish. The owner was very impressed. So was I.

I began to do some research on this process called Hydro-Chroming. I found that not only can you do metal parts, but plastic, fiberglass, glass, concrete, and even wood. This would be perfect for all those arm rests, dash bezels and other interior (and exterior) trim parts.

We are now the only Authorized shop in North East Wisconsin to apply Future Chrome.

We can do the plastic trim, wheels, bumpers, light housings, or custom chrome any part for cars, trucks and even motorcycles. I have even seen motorcycle helmets get the chrome treatment!

For fun I plan to do my tablet back cover.

We can also do colored chrome finishes including; black, red, blue, green, yellow (gold), purple and many others. We can also do Candy finishes as well.

So, if you have old plastic parts needing new chrome, trim, bumpers or anything else chromed, give us a call! (920) 279-5521 local or (855) 490-1916 toll free.

To see some videos on the process and for more information, please visit Future Chrome

Original Painted Mirror to be Chromed
Original Painted Mirror to be Chromed
Chromed Mirrors
Chromed Mirrors

By drronaldf20719687, May 7 2016 03:10AM

Since I last posted, things have really picked up nicely. The new paint booth finally got up and running in mid April. The first car in was the 1968 Impala Convertible that had been in an accident.

What a difference in quality and reduced time having a modern booth makes. No dirt in the paint, plenty of light to actually see what you are doing. Granted, we did some fantastic work before, now our quality took an even bigger jump upward.

Since the paint shop is in a completely separate building across the street, running between the shops is not very efficient. To speed things up, we have hired 3 more craftsmen!

We have completed the Impala, did some motor work on a beautiful 68 Camaro, built engines for a 59 Biscayne (348 Tri Power), V8 in a 94 S10, Installed a rebuilt motor into a 63 Buick Wildcat, tuned up an 85 Porsche, started tearing apart Goldie the 1951 School Bus, primed the 27 Coupe, built a motor and transmission for an 81 Camaro. At one point last month we had projects going on for 13 different cars!

This month we plan to get the 27 coupe, 94 S10, 59 Biscayne and 51 School bus completed. We have a 65 Pontiac Convertible and 72 GMC waiting for complete restorations and other paint and custom projects.

1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible in Primer
1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible in Primer
1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Assembly
1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Assembly
1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Custom Paint Blacked out Chrome
1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Custom Paint Blacked out Chrome
Reflection of Quality
Reflection of Quality
1927 Chevrolet Capitol Coupe in Primer
1927 Chevrolet Capitol Coupe in Primer
1958 Chevrolet 348 Tri Power in 59 Biscayne
1958 Chevrolet 348 Tri Power in 59 Biscayne

By drronaldf20719687, Feb 15 2016 08:00PM

When I started this business, I was experienced in only working on Chevrolet cars and trucks. It is what I drove and what I enjoyed working on. As such, I began the business doing Chevys only.

Things change.

I was very fortunate to find the craftsmen I did to work for me. Roger and Jordan are very skilled and very knowledgeable on many cars and trucks.

Roger had been at a local restoration shop that only did Ferraris. He has built Chevys, Buicks, Dodges, Porsches, Mercedes, Fords, motorcycles and even a couple boats. Roger has over 25 years of experience and it shows in his work.

Jordan, while young, has already owned and worked on a 1923 Chevrolet, Old Lincoln Zephyr, Mercedes, Studebaker and others. He even swapped a Mercedes Diesel engine into his 1985 GMC S15 Jimmy!

It would be a great waste of talent to not work on cars and trucks other than Chevrolet.

So, we have now officially expanded into doing work on all makes and models of cars!

If you have a Ford, Chrysler, AMC, Jeep, GM, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, VW, DeSoto, Packard, whatever; we can restore, repair or customize it for you.

We have already worked on Buick, Pontiac, IHC, GMC, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, and others. This week we are getting a Porsche in for paint and engine work.

Let us know what you have!

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