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Clueless Writer Restore Question

 
Old 07-13-2018, 07:58 AM
  #1  
Johnmstoryteller
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Hello Corvette forum,

I am a writer who knows a limited amount about car restoration and maintenance. I am currently working on a short story where a father restores a 78 Corvette and gives it to his son.

The story: The father purchased the car second hand back in 1999, the same year his son was born. It had been kept practically concours. The father crashed the car in 2008, his wife died in the crash. For the past 10 years, he's been restoring it. Even though he wants to keep and drive the car for life, he decides to give it to his son to remember his mother by.

I did some research which revealed that a 78 Corvette would cost about 10k new in 78. Adjusting for inlfation, that means he probably bought the car around 20-25k.

However, my research on the cost of restoration gave back wildly varying numbers.
Some estimates were as low as 5k, others as high as 50k.

I have two questions for you gents today.
1.) What would the cost of a Corvette restoration be excluding all labour costs.
1a.) The condition of the car at it's worst state would be from show room quality to totalled in one crash. For arguments sake, the engine needed replaced, the entire front half of the body had to be redone, windows replaced, etc.
2.) What kind of details would be important/integral for a short story about a restoration. What gems would delight car fanatics, and what pitfalls should I avoid that would demonstrate how little I know about restoration?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. If you guys like, I can post the finished short story when it is complete.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:38 PM
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gbvette62
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For a professional, show quality paint job on a Corvette today, prices start around $10,000. It is possible to get a paint job for less, but $10K is about where quality restoration shop paint jobs start.

Parts to restore a "totaled" 78 Corvette, are going to depend on the level of damage. Assuming the car needs a nose, a good used one is $1000-$2000, depending on it's condition and how complete it is. If the frame is bent, a good used frame is probably $1000. A basic engine rebuild is $2500-$3000, a new engine can run $2000-$15000, or more, depending on the level of performance desired. A radiator is $300, windshield $250, door glass $100 each, wheels $100 each, headlight assemblies $400 each, the list goes on.

You may want to check the C1/C2 General Section, and C3 General and Technical Sections of the Forum, about peoples experiences while doing repairs and restorations. The C1/C2 Section covers 53-67 Corvettes and the C3 Section covers 68-82's. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of posts about what people have run into while working on their Corvettes. You may even want to ask the same questions in either of the Forums, as those Forums are followed by a lot more people that the Factory Correct Restoration Forum.

Good luck with your story!
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:20 PM
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Johnmstoryteller
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Originally Posted by gbvette62 View Post
For a professional, show quality paint job on a Corvette today, prices start around $10,000. It is possible to get a paint job for less, but $10K is about where quality restoration shop paint jobs start.

Parts to restore a "totaled" 78 Corvette, are going to depend on the level of damage. Assuming the car needs a nose, a good used one is $1000-$2000, depending on it's condition and how complete it is. If the frame is bent, a good used frame is probably $1000. A basic engine rebuild is $2500-$3000, a new engine can run $2000-$15000, or more, depending on the level of performance desired. A radiator is $300, windshield $250, door glass $100 each, wheels $100 each, headlight assemblies $400 each, the list goes on.

You may want to check the C1/C2 General Section, and C3 General and Technical Sections of the Forum, about peoples experiences while doing repairs and restorations. The C1/C2 Section covers 53-67 Corvettes and the C3 Section covers 68-82's. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of posts about what people have run into while working on their Corvettes. You may even want to ask the same questions in either of the Forums, as those Forums are followed by a lot more people that the Factory Correct Restoration Forum.

Good luck with your story!
Thank you very much for your comment. I will definitely take these numbers into account, and I'll check out the other sections too. Thanks again for your time
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