Body Shop Estimates – Yikes!

Body Shop Estimates – Yikes!

April 2015 – Body Shop Estimates – Sticker Shock

Houston, we have a problem!

I’ve called around to a few local body shops to start gathering quotes, but I haven’t really found one I like yet, or to be more specific, I haven’t found one in my price range.  But before I get into the actual quote experience, let me remind you, dear readers, that my budget for paint was $3,000 when I planned out this project.  Granted, my budgeting for paint and bodywork wasn’t based on much research.  I’d merely figured: 1) Discount shops offer paint jobs for $1,000, so three times that amount seemed like a decent estimate, 2) $3,000 seems like a lot of money, at least to me, and 3) the body is straight and cancer-free, so other than the two small dents, there isn’t any real body work that needs to be done.  If I strip the car, I’m thinking all that I need a body shop to do is spray the car.

I live near a bunch of body shops, but I also know many small shops just do collision and insurance work, so before I started calling around, I went on Yelp! and looked for reviews that mentioned painting whole cars, classic cars, etc.  But as you’ll see, that didn’t help much…

Bodyshop #1: “We only work on late-model stuff.”

Bodyshop #2: “We’re packed with insurance work, we don’t have the time or space to paint a whole car.”

Bodyshop #3: “Sorry, we only do collision work.”

Bodyshop #4: A very nice man with a light accent, “Wow, I wish I knew who to send you to.  I know there are a few guys close by who do restorations but they want blood for them…I mean really pricey stuff.”

After my first round of calls went bust, I figured I’d delve deeper and check out the websites of larger local shops.  One looked very promising; they had several pictures of a freshly painted beautiful steel grey 1967 Mustang in their gallery.  So I called them up and spoke to the owner.  I told him I had a 1966 Mustang that was bare and ready to be stripped for paint, and I mentioned the ’67 in his photos.  How much was that paint job?  $22,000.  Yes.  Twenty-two THOUSAND dollars, basically my budget for the entire build.  Although he said that ’67 needed some sheet metal replacement, so my cost might be a little lower, closer to $20,000.

Discouraged, I called another body shop that had pictures of old cars on their website.  The owner said it would be best if I came in with some pictures so he could take a look and see. Equipped with my iPad I went in and showed him the photos of the car as it now stands.  Not bad, much more reasonable…$15,000.  Oh and he chastised me for taking body panels off because he wanted to see how they fit before he painted them…ugh!

Another $15,000 estimate followed that one.

And now I’m giving serious consideration to the Hot Rod Magazine $98 Paint Job.  Because, hey, what have I got to lose?  I can buy an awful lot of paint and re-do my work about 300 times before I would end up hitting my original budget…