Tyler and I have had the pleasure of being involved in the building of more than a few fine SHOW CARS ourselves. The one I was most proud of was a 70 Chevelle SS 396 convertible (below) that won numerous national level awards, including Muscle Car of The Year by the National Muscle Car Association. Much of the credit behind building this car and many other cars of mine goes to my friend Marc Byers and others. Our personal hands on involvement is more like that of project managers that are not afraid to get their hands dirty to keep things moving. We have learned that the only way to end up with the desired results is to be heavily involved in the initial tear down and the final reassembly. I will be passing on some of the key things we have learned in managing this process and the related budget in my blog.
Tyler and I have restored very few cars over the last few years. However, almost all the cars we buy (and ultimately sell) have already won awards of one type or another. Some have received the highest “national recognition” possible. At the bottom of this page is a link to some of our national level show cars that we once owned, enjoyed and then ultimately sold.
My first corvette restoration (below)… was a fully optioned 1965 air coupe. I purchased this all original mid-year from my neighbor and original owner AFTER 5 years of begging him to sell it to me. I was 29 at the time and Tyler was 3. He was 6 by the time the car was completed, and in those 3 years I was “schooled” in the surprises you get when embarking on a total restoration. The finished results were great and confirmed by numerous first place finishes in all Corvette shows. However, the cost to finish the car came in at 3 times my initial estimate and the time involvement was easily doubled. Part of this was due to the fact it was a Corvette, but most of it was due to my lack of experience with a full blown (to NCRS specs) restoration. WOW! There is nothing like experience for a teacher. Now that I have repeated this process over and over, the one no-brainer I can pass along is DO NOT EXPECT to make money doing this – it has to be a passion. In my case, it is that and more. My son and I are best friends in life through this hobby and my dad and I are super close as a result of this shared interest. I have also met hundreds of people I would have otherwise never known and made dear friends as a result. OLD CARS are FUN!!!
This was a fun restoration (below). Like ALL the cars we have tackled it had excellent body integrity. Simply put, if you do not start with a good car – you will NOT end up with a good car. We like heavily optioned cars with serious “eye pop” potential. The factory colors on this Rally Sport convertible coupled with the numbers matching driveline including 4-speed tranny made it a worthy candidate. A word to the wise ….. the MORE options, the MORE complicated and expensive a restoration will be. With this car, we not only had the additional cost of restoring a “convertible” -vs- a coupe, but we ALSO had the added cost and complexity of the Rally Sport items (including hide-aways), the “deluxe interior” components, the power top option, the air conditioning option and the optional gauges. ALL of this “bling” adds substantially to the cost and complexity of a restoration. It is much easier and cheaper to restore a plain jain coupe ….. although I dont recommend that either.