Gene Bernshtam on the Factors That Affect Restoration Costs for a Classic Car

Eugene “Gene” Bernshtam is an avid collector of classic cars. And just like every other serious collector, he finds immense joy in restoring his cars. He usually seeks help from professional classic car restorers because they don’t just have more experience—they also know where to get the parts needed for the restoration project. In this post, Gene Bernshtam talks about factors that affect restoration costs.

First off, Eugene Bernshtam warns, restoring a classic car can set you back as much as $40,000, depending on your purpose. Are you fixing up the car for regular driving, for storage, as part of your private collection, or for car shows? A show car is generally the most expensive to restore because it needs more work. The preparation alone for a show car restoration could already cost roughly about $15,000. Factor-in the parts that you need to procure, as well as costs for finishing and labor, and you could be looking at a total cost of at least $40,000.

As already mentioned above, the factors that could affect restoration costs are parts, labor, and finishing; the purpose for restoration will raise or lower the potential costs. For the parts that you procure directly from the shop or from someone they know, you could be charged an additional 25% of the actual cost for each part. If you do obtain the parts from an online shop, or from another resource, you should also factor-in shipping costs if you can’t pick these up.

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As for labor costs, Eugene Bernshtam says, you could be charged an hourly rate of $75. Understand that the mechanics who will be working on your car are classic car specialists, which means that they charge more than a regular mechanic.

Last but not the least, the finishing cost. Again, it all depends on your purpose for restoration as well as the work that needs to be done: paint job, sheet metal repairs, replacement panels, and such. According to Eugene “Gene” Bernshtam, this part of the restoration project could cost thousands of dollars.

To cut down on the restoration costs, Gene Bernshtam usually visits junkyards to look for parts that he needs. He also works on repairs that he can do. When restoring a classic car, it’s best to take your time. Eugene Bernshtam has spent up to two years restoring one car alone.