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JB here.

I recently aquired my 64 ss and I was just searching around the web for different parts, panels, and what not. I came to the realization that this is going to be a money pit... Not to much of a concern since I plan on turning this into a decade project. Basically I was just wondering if anyone could give me a rough estimate of frame-off restore costs??? I know that is a question that cant really be answered without looking at the car and knowing everything there is to know about it, but an estimate would help.

Thanks a bunch.
 

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SS Frame off

Doing three 64's right now. I did a run down of the parts to completly restore a rusty one I have and it came up to 9k. I do my own welding and painting to keep cost down. Main thing it to do it right the first time and not to cut corners. It is real hard to lose money on a classic Impala. The longer you keep it the more its worth. Good luck with your restoration.

-C-
 

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I figure mine will end up costing 40-50k but I am also going all out with ls2 full air ride etc.

Expected to be done in the next 10-15 years haha.
 

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Well I Personally Have Completed A 63 Impala Resto In A Year But At The Same Time Took 5 Years On A 48 Chevy Which I Never Got Totally Finished. As Far As Cash The Best Way To Save Money Is To Do As Much Of It Yourself As You Can But Do Your Homework 1st. Dont Just Jump Into A Full Frame Off Resto Without Any Idea Of What Your Doing. Sure Welding Painting And Interior Arent Everyones Specialty But Mechaincal Stuff Can Always Be Done With Little Problems. Dont Be Afraid To Get Into It Thats How You Learn. Ive Been Doin It For 17 Years And I Am Still Learning New Things. Shop Around On Parts And Labor. I Am In San Diego So If Youre Anywhere Nearby I Would Be Happy To Help You With Anything You Need. And If Your Not Close I Am Sure I Can Walk You Through Most Anything You Need To Do. I Built My 63 Impala From Frame Up For $3k But Put $5k Into The Unfinished Chevy So You Can See How It Varies. Just Remember The More You Work On It The Faster It Gets Done! Goodluck Man!
 

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Time estimates

I'm an "amateur" restorer who does a lot of the grunt work, but then "farms out" some of the more challenging work. I do the disassembly and cataloging, the cleaning and refurbishing, the assembly and of course manage the overall project in terms of time, parts procurement, payment, etc. I have the machine work done professionally, but choose and purchase all the components (my engine guy lets me do this because he is new to 409 stuff) and do the engine assembly and break in. I also don't do paint, but do much of the rough preparation (paint stripping, rust repair, etc.). I had the seats recovered, but do the interior installation, for example.

That said, I am also anally detailed and keep track of my time and effort. I estimate that in my recent restoration of a 1962 Impala SS (nut and bolt frame off on a very rust free CA car) I put in some 1200 hours. That's about $60K of shop time where I come from. No way I could afford that bill! All I farmed out was paint and machine work and some interior stuff (headliner and bucket seats).

I am currently doing a much more challenging restoration of a 1961 Belair sport coupe ("bubbletop") with a 348 four speed with lots of floor pan work needed. I know it will take even more time. The Impala was rust free and required little rust repair other than some simple "metal bumping".

I have detailed costs in spreadsheet format associated with the 409 build from the Impala SS, along with other costs. I'm extremely frugal in shopping for parts, but try to go "top shelf" when I can (not cut corners). I started with a $7K car, added a $10K drivetrain, then spent another $10K on components (interior coverings, rubber, etc.) Believe it or not, I spent some $948 on rubber alone (every piece for a 62). Also recognize that you will need maybe four garage spaces to do the job properly, over a period of maybe several years.

A guy I know who owns a shop in Colorado just completed the frame off restoration of a 1962 Belair bubbletop and he reported that his billable hours totally 1500 for that project. Some $24,000 was for paint alone (Black exterior).

Good luck!

Tom Kochtanek
 

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I live in San Diego had a question for Jefe the Mechanic

Hey

I read your from san diego and i was getting ready to rebuild my transmissiona and engine

At first i wanted to get rid of the little rust and redo my interiror but with little cash my new goal is to just get it running in top shape

Jus wanted to know if you could possibly tell me what to expect to pay to get the transmission and engine rebuilt and if you know of any good shops around san diego

thanks

Gabriel Guzman
 
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