Resto-mod Build Advice

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by SterlingGreyGT, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. This is a continuation of a previous post. It has been a dream of mine to own a classic mustang. I have been going over this idea of building one.
    Background information:
    wanting a classic mustang (67-69 fastback) exterior with modern touches (engine, trans, brakes, suspension, etc)
    How does it typically cost to build such a car?
    Would a budget of 20-30k work?
    Better to buy a junker or fairly good condition car?
    Shop fees? due to not having the experience or tools for the major parts
  2. a $30,000 budget will get you a pretty nice restomod, even if you have to farm out a lot of the work. my best advice to you is this;

    1: start with the best car you can afford to buy. the better the body, the less expensive the rest of the build is going to be. rust repair is expensive, and really eats into the budget at a rapid rate unless you can do a lot of that type of repair yourself.

    2: after finding a good condition body, you want to first concentrate on stiffening up the body and chassis. the reason for this is that everything else is built on this foundation, and if the foundation sucks, the rest of the build is going to suffer badly.

    3: when dealing with suspension, you need to take a systems approach to get what you want. if you just start grabbing parts, you are going to have a poor handling car that also has a poor ride quality. bling parts are nice, but again, just like the chassis, this is the next step on your build as the stance, ride, and handling all come together with this part.

    4: when dealing with the drive train, you need to be ABSOLUTELY honest with yourself in what you want from this car. if you want a daily driver, or a back up driver in case the main driver goes down, you want a car that is dependable with a capital D. and if your significant other is going to drive this car, EVER it really needs to be dependable, and drivable. thus a 600hp 393 stroker windsor and 6 speed manual trans is probably not what you want. a nice 347 that makes around 350hp at most and a good automatic, a proper AOD for instance, coupled with say 3.55 rear gears and you have a nice package that will work nicely on the street and be reasonably economical to run, and pretty much dead reliable

    5: when you are dealing with external bodywork, stay conservative there. no wild fender flares, or eleanor body kits, etc. if you want a front spoiler and rear wing, thats fine, but again be conservative. and when it comes to paint work, a candy paint job really looks cool, but it costs a lot of money, AND you will be very afraid to park the car anywhere, let alone drive it, for fear that if the paint job gets damaged you will have to seriously consider killing yourself because you are now in for another $10,000 minimum paint job as everything has to come off and totally resprayed. a good solid color, perhaps even a metallic paint job will serve nicely and get plenty of positive comments without breaking the bank.

    6: the interior also needs to be comfortable, perhaps with good heat and a/c, and a decent stereo system, remember you are going to be spending a fair amount of time in this car, so comfort is a requirement.

    one more bit of advice for you, pick a theme and go with it beginning to end. for instance a road racing looking restomod should be shaved of all its emblems, and as much chrome as possible. it should LOOK the part. if you are going for an updated restored car, then you want all the emblems and chrome, but do NOT go overboard there either. keep it as clean as the factory did. a couple of emblems here and there, and a bit of chrome but no more than the factory. if you are going for a full on show car, you dont have enough budget for that, you need at least triple that $30,000 budget.
  3. To me $20-30K will get you nowhere if you have to buy a car + tear it down and rebuild it.
  4. What I was thinking was keeping it as original as possible in that all the major components would be modern, but still keep that classic look to it. So, like a sleeper car.
    new sound system, maybe new seats (I dont know how comfortable the original seats are) then again I don't how often I will driving to the coast (roughly 3hr drive)

    Thinking about even with 30K budget to buy a car and then spend the rest on modifying does sound like a bit of a stretch if the goal was to have a finished product at the end.
    What would you suggest? buy the car and then have a 30k budget on a resto-mod?
  5. again, you need to pick a direction and go with it as far as the look goes. what happens underneath the hood and car is completely different. like i said, loading up on fender flares, and spoilers, and then putting all the factory emblems and chrome on is going to look like rubbish. if you want the car to look restored, then make it look restored., then make it as fast as you want it to be, with in reason.

    no you can have a $30,000 budget to buy and build the car, you just have to pay attention to costs, and do as much of the work yourself as you can. if you watch your expenses, buy used parts and refurbish them yourself, etc. you can save a lot of money for other things. and like i said, if you start with a good body with little or no rust, you will save a ton of money on rust repairs alone. for instance if you find a car that is say $10,000 and has a nearly perfect body, but needs everything else, you are actually quite far along as compared to the guy that got a "deal" of say $5,000 and then spent another $6000 on rust repairs, he is already $1000 in the hole compared to you.
  6. that depends on how good the car your begin with is. its also possible to find a project car that has been started, and is getting ready to start looking like a car again. often times you can pick those up for a song and finish the job. granted its a lot of work to sort through all the boxes and get everything straight, but its doable.
  7. Thats exactly what I would do.I've seen a lot of projects where the owners were over zealous and got in over their head.Usually they blow thier budget on paint or drivetrain and are unable to finish.

    this for instance would blow a good chunk of your budget
    #7 iskwezm, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  8. good example. the guy is asking just under $17k for what seems to be a decent condition complete car that needs work. i would be willing to bet that if someone went ot the guy with cash they could probably pick the car up for closer to $13k.
  9. i say make it however you want it- flares, scoops or not. Its your car. I personally like the simple clean look, but who am i? A nice driver can be had for a decent price and then you can do some modern brake/drivetrain upgrades as you go. Dont get stuck on the numbers. If you want a professionally built show car/race car then yes you will be spending lots of cash but a simple car to enjoy could easily be built on that budget- the fastback is going to cut that budget down some. If you are not paying some shop to do all of the work you will save a bundle- im doing everything myself- of course ive done this alot- but im not a pro in any stretch. I'll prob. have $30k in mine when its done but that will be a totally new car with pretty much new everything, custom bits and new suspension crazy billet everything or top end 700 twin turbos, tube frames or what ever, but a "Foose" type car that can be driven, tracked, touched up and enjoyed.
  10. Minus the car I have roughly 40K in mine. Now, I went new EVERYTHING (see my sig.) and a 8K paint job. I did everything myself except the bodywork and paint. The car I bought from a guy I have known since the early eighties, his mother bought the car new put 39,000 accident free miles on it then garaged it till 05 when I bought it from her for $4,000.00 rust/dent free. So I'm in it right at $44,000.00. Could have gone a lot cheaper if I didn't want the willwood brakes, 340hp crate motor, TCP rack ........etc. I have to say though that it was the best money I have ever spent!
    #10 valley82, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  11. A few things I would add.. When you are buying a project car, it will ALWAYS be in worse shape than you think. Proper rust repair is very expensive when you have to pay someone to do to it because it is so labor intensive. You also have to really trust the person you hire to do it, and make sure they are competent. It's easy to take shortcuts. Fastbacks are really expensive, so the entry price is pretty high. Restomod can mean different things to different folks. What I hear you saying is that you want a reliable, fun to drive classic with modern conveniences. If I had a 30k budget for a fastback build, I'd consider a brand new dynacorn body. 15k is a lot, but any fastback you buy is going to run 8-10k and still need significant rust repair. Then find a cheap parts car from the same year as the dynacorn you select. An old 68 coupe without an engine and trans can be bought cheap. It doesn't matter if the floors are rusted out of it, you aren't going to use it anyway, just the parts. Next find a beat up 5.0 fox with the transmission of your choice for a drivetrain. So.....
    Dynacorn shell 15k
    Coupe parts car $1500
    Fox parts car $2500
    New suspension kit. $1000
    Borgeson power steering kit. $1200
    Classic auto air a/c. $1000
    Front power disc brake conversion $1000

    That's about $24k. The 5.0 will need a rebuild, and you will need some extras if you decide to use EFI, but you won't be wildly over budget on a reliable fun to drive '68 fastback, with a brand new, rust free shell with power steering, disc brakes, and modern electronically controlled a/c and overdrive transmission.

    This is the basic blueprint I am following with my convertible build, except I started with a car I thought was solid. Meanwhile I have been bogged down for months with extensive rust repair, and don't see an end in sight. And I'm nearing the break even point where a new shell would have been cost effective. The best advice I have no matter what route you take, go slowly and build the car you want. You will be happier in the long run if you don't compromise.
  12. Thanks everyone for your advice so far. I am starting to get an idea of what routes I can take the costs attached to them. This idea has been roaming around my head for a long time I still have a few kinks to work out now that more options have been brought to my attention. Since I am still young, thankfully almost out of college ( I can see the light) and into the real world I can start making a dent into the "project car fund" not the official name of course. I thought it was as good of a time as any to start asking around and getting perspective on a serious undertaking like building a car.
  13. one more bit of advice, when you start searching for your project car, dont limit yourself to your area only, or with in say 150 miles of where you live. better to expand your search area to about 500-600 miles out. you would be surprised at the price difference in similar condition cars. and while it probably isnt worth borrowing or renting a truck and trailer to save $1000 on a project car, it probably would be worth doing if you were going to save say $5000 on the base car. also if you want to save the effort, chances are there is a stangnet member in the area that you could cajole into checking out the car for you and reporting back, sending pictures, perhaps even getting them to close a deal for you, just remember that the drinks and dinner or on you if you do this. and its a good way to meet another member.
  14. Thanks for the advice.