Corvette Forum Asks: What Does a Top-Tier Restoration Cost?

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C1 Restoration

When it comes to top quality Corvette restorations, beauty is more than skin deep.

It’s common to wonder what it would cost to do a top flight, NCRS Gold level concours restoration. Seeing those cars restored to such a high standard is inspiring. They are the image of perfection, an automotive work of art.

For one of our members, fyreline (real first name, David), it’s a question he’s been pondering a lot lately. That’s because David is the lucky owner of a beautiful, all-original C1 Corvette.

David’s gold 1962 ‘Vette has covered a scant 64,000 miles in its lifetime, and its well preserved original condition has helped David to earn a handful of local level trophies. Now, he’s got his eye on a bigger prize.

It’s not a particularly controversial topic, but it proved to be an very active CorvetteForum thread. There are several schools of thought on the subject, and many members weighed in.

C1 Restoration

Perhaps the best advice of all was from Vettrocious. He advised David to make an educated guess, and then double that estimate. He cited ‘project creep’, also known as ‘while you’re in there’ syndrome, inevitably resulting in things taking substantially more time and money than expected.

To that end, these cars are decades old, over half a century old, in this case. That’s a lot of time for things to happen, and they often do. It should almost be expected that you’ll find some surprises under the surface.

C1 Restoration

From mechanical and electrical hacks to poorly repaired body damage, undoing the work of a careless previous owner, or several, is a big part of restoration work.

That’s a big part of why there were such a wide range of cost suggestions, from $40,000 all the way up to six figures and beyond.

C1 Restoration

Indeed, the cost of a restoration will often far outweigh the completed value of such a car. However, sometimes you can’t put a price on restoring a treasured family heirloom for the next generation. Our advice? It’s only original once, go out and enjoy it as-is!

>> Join the conversation about restoration costs over at the forums

Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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