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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Why restore???

Just a little time to vent...

Why is it that we all ignore the very correct advice to just buy a good car and not deal with the expense of restoring a car??? I'm so stupid, I've got two restoration projects AND a race car project...

Anyway, last Friday, we went to go get some estimates for the paint job on our Sprint- you can see pictures of it in the pictures page...

One person was $12k + materials, another was $10k.... a third is still pending

Breath in, breath out, find your calm space.

What you can't see in the pictures is that the front of the car, and the passenger fender is very wavey, as the car was in an accident... So the painters think it will take 100's of hours to get that smooth enough to look good. At $30-40/hr- ouch.

The sad thing is that, in it's current state, there is NO way I can get out what I have in it, so I'm pretty much forced to finish the job.

Oh, well.

Thankfully, there are noses and fenders available for Spiders. So that should save some money on it.

Thanks for listening...

Eric
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 09:23 AM
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Wish I found someone that would only charge $30-$40/hour. That rate is what the insurance companies will pay for bodyshop work. So, most shops charge that. Body work is time consuming. Replacing panels is very hard work and can run the price up. Sometimes, it may be more cost effective to find someone that actually can straighten a fender. People that have the skill to stretch and shrink metal are hard to find tese days. When you do find them, they are expensive. 10-12 k for restoring a body and painting doesn't sound that far off.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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About the body- the metal work was pretty much done. My guy at least got the two sides to be symmetrical...

But to hammer out the details from there will still take hours, or using filler the correct way will take hours.

It will be worth it when done- but it's a little hard to swallow...

Eric
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 01:44 PM
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I bought the best car I could find, with good paint, good mechanicals, and a nice interior.

it has still swallowed quite a bit of my money.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 06:55 PM
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Have you considered doing the body prep work yourself? The skills involved are not to be taken lightly, but you can probably pick it up from videos or by hanging out someplace where you can learn. If you're not interested or don't have the time for body work, then the $$ might be well spent.

Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 08:35 PM
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I bought a decent car.

It has no rust. I THINK it's straight. The interior is worn.

All I need is a beefy motor, 4-5k paint job, and a quick interior job.

Will run me about 15k.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 08:53 PM
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Eric,

I feel your pain! I am just a sick man. I buy Alfas like Charlie Brown buys Christmas trees! I just wanna adopt the poor, rusty cars in need of repairs because I hate to see dead Alfas!

That said, restoring that Sprint will be expensive. And no, it probably would not come close to being a good investment to put the money into the restoration and bodywork for resale. But then, it isn't about resale or investment is it? It's about how cool you and Ines will feel trotting down that road at ridiculous speed in a 40+ year-old Italian thoroughbred that you brought back from the dead! And you just can't put a price on that kind of fun, can you?

On the other hand, I have been getting estimates of about $3500 to paint my Milano Verde...the one I bought for $600 and a spare washer and dryer. I have already paid for the trick, custom interior, but I don't think I can afford the paint job right now, as I still have yo rebuild my Spider 1300 Jr's engine...not to mention getting to work on my '73 GTV race project.

If you can swing it, go for the restoration! That is an awesome car...one which I know you will both really enjoy (and the rest of us will envy you and drool over the pics!).

Hey, you asked...right?

Cheers,

Rev high! Alex 'Sandor' Csank
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 05:43 AM
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I can feel your pain.

When we started the 1750 Spider we thought we could get it done in the ballpark of 12k but as we really started to get into it we realized that we were going to be far deeper into it than that.

Now, with work on the chin under the nose, rockers, floors, rear valance, quarters requiring minor work, and a fair amount of general tweaking about the chassis we know we're going to be about double that.

As soon as the paint comes off you can be assured that there will be other problems found.

Add in having the motor properly done (maybe 5k), paint, interior work, and you quickly get up to the $25k mark.

Our wheels looked good but they need minor straightening attention, painting, etc. and it can just get out of hand.

I'm looking at our restoration as a long term investment. I could have gone out and bought a new Subaru or something similar and spent the same amount of money but in the end I'd just have another disposable car that would look like every other old POS car on the road in 5-6 years. Instead we chose a great, fun little car and decided to put the time and $$$$ into doing it right.

With any luck I'll have a car that'll last another 35 years or more and is a whole lot more stylish than some Subaru. :-)

J

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1969 Spider Veloce (Round Tail) 105.62.148.1553 (US)[/b] -
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 05:54 AM
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I'm compeletely with mister Csank on this one....
Money should never be your first concern regarding old Alfa's....keeping'em on the road on the other hand....
IMHO, you will never regret spending money on that sprint, man it's such a beautiful car....I'm quite shure you' will be the happiest man in the world when it's finished....

People always say spend you money wisely..... I can't think of a better way than spending it on a beautiful jewel of engineering...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the encouragement.

Actually, finishing the project is not an issue. It will be done. I way too far into it to not let it get finished. We both are passionate about the cars we have, and will do almost anything to make them right.

What it may do is change my plans via the Carrera- I may not want to race it with that kind of $$ in it. Just own it, drive it, and love it for another 20 years.

But I'm still a moron-
after the Sprint is done, I've got to build a race car out of a '67 Jr, the FINALLY restore my Spider Veloce, and once all of that is done, my '73 GTV gets re-done.

If I were smart, it would only be the GTV.

Thankfully, I am far from smart.

I'm still planning on having this car done some time in 2004, so it can celebrate the 50th of its model. A stretch, yes, but still a plan!!!

Eric

ps- truth be told- this is Ines' car, not mine. What a woman.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 04:07 PM
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Restoration is about the fun, the satisfaction and the experience. It doesn't make financial sense, but does it really matter? It's still a lot cheaper than pleasure boats, competition racing or motor homes. You will have spent less than most Harley owners spend on their bikes!

I figure if I sink $20K into my car, it will be worth about $10K if I'm lucky. But, it will take 2 to 4 fun years to build and then I'll probably enjoy the finished car for another 8 to 10 years. So, losing $10K or so over such a long period of time is a pretty cheap hobby. Buy a new Miata and you'll lose a lot more money than that. Plus, you can't show off a Miata at the local Italian car shows.

Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:01 AM
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I am in the final stages in the restoration of a Duetto that I have actively been working on for the last two years. I echo a lot of the sentiments expressed on the subject.

I had read a book by Joe Benson(?) on Guilia restoration and even so, I was not prepared for the actual experience of taking a car apart and rebuilding it.

I knew from the start that the restoration would never make economic sense... and that was based on the costs which I had grossly underestimated.

My primary reason was to spread the cost of the car over an extended period and bring a dead car back to life and make it beautiful again.

I've learned a lot from the experience which included finding parts from all over creation, stripping the paint off with a razor blade, and turning wrenches. Even though I paid others for the work that required real skill I have learned a whole lot about the car, I know it inside and out and take a great deal of pride in the accomplishment.

I recommend the experience to those that love cars and have the patience and resources to see it through. I have another project car in the wings for when my wallet is "restored" from this one.

LD'A
67 Duetto
64 Maserati Sebring (project car)
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