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Who is going to fix it?



  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    edited March 2010
    Very good. 1960 Valiant it was!

    That 1960 Valiant competed against the Corvair and the Falcons and it was SO much better of a car! Slant six and that tough little Torqueflight.

    Andre you are right too and this was a tricky one.

    The Impalas with Airconditioning came with alternators if they had the 327 or 409 engines. I'm almost sure the 283's still had generators.

    A one year only design that are near impossible to find now along with the voltage regulators. In 1963, they all had alternators with the regulators built in.

    I don't think Ford went to alternators until 1965.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    Such stories in the collectible car world are all too common. To run a restoration shop, or even an "old car repair shop" you have to be a *very* astute business person. Aside from parts supply problems and storage issues, you need a pretty impressive reference library as well as the tools and machines that can speak to old cars.

    Also you are battling rust, poor aftermarket quality control and cheapskate owners.

    F'rinstance---I know a guy who just bought a 59 Cadillac 4-door sedan. Brakes are shot, completely gone all around, including the master cylinder. Now you know that by the time the shop is done repairing this problem, at $135 an hour + parts, the bill is going to be about 25% the value of the car---and it will still LOOK exactly the same as when he brought it in -- tired old paint, rust spots, balding tires, ripped upholstery. So you know there's potential for bad feelings, from the get-go.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    This is why a person is ALWAYS better off buying a car that is already "done".

    In another forum I told about a friend who has a restoration shop about halfway through a frame off total restoration on his 1953 Mercury Convertable. It will be a two year project.

    It's a pay as you go thing (as it should be). Every month he get's a bill for anywhere between 1500.00 and 5000.00! he told me what the chrome alone cost and I couldn't believe it!

    When it's done, I doubt if he would be able to sell it for anything close to what he will have in it. he knows this but he doesn't care.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    Well at least when he's done he'll have a car worth considerable money, maybe $50K. The person with the '59 Caddy 4-door will never see a fraction of his restoration costs returning back to him, should he be so foolish as to restore it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575
    I'm sure I'm going to be buried in my '57 DeSoto by the time it comes back from the mechanic. I'm not THAT worried about it, as I have no intention of ever selling the car, but I'm sure I would've been better off if I just sold mine and went and found one that was already done.

    Just out of curiosity, what would a really nice #2 '57 DeSoto Firedome hardtop coupe go for these days, anyway?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    edited March 2010
    I'd guess low $20Ks if it were really a sharp car--#2 being local show quality. If it were a "clean driver" with shiny paint, tidy engine but you know, a little wear and tear, maybe $15K is the active range for good-lookers.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575
    edited April 2010
    Oh yeah, I'm pretty buried then. I am having some body work done, and he's going to do enough stuff underneath that the thing will probably be more rust-resistant than most modern cars. But it's still going to have 53 year old paint. It does shine up fairly well, so it looks great at a distance, but get close and it'll be showing its age.

    One thing that really ran my price up though was that I let him talk me into getting the seats and door panels re-done. Just the door panels are something like $1200 for the pair. And I would LOVE to know where he found a place that could replicate a 1957 DeSoto Firedome door panel. That's not really an everyday piece, y'know!

    And having the thing converted to disc brakes up front and a more modern drum setup in the back ran some big bucks. Would've been cheaper to just have the brakes re-built to their original spec. Although those OEM brakes usually needed to be adjusted pretty often, so this is probably a change for the better. And a dual master cylinder will be nice. I've driven this car with no brakes before. It ain't fun.
  • otto8otto8 Posts: 116
    The name Alternator is/was the Chrysler Corps. trade name for a Generator.

    GM had a better idea with the internal regulator on its line of Delcotron
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    This is why you join a club so you can network with others to locate specialists who are willing and able to work on your old car.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    I'll never get back any money I'd put into my 1989 Cadillac Brougham, but I don't care. If anything happens to the car, I have them take care of it and don't worry about the cost. I could probably get another nice 1989 Cadillac Brougham like that 17K mile one that showed up on Craigslist, but it won't be MY car.

    Can't wait to see that DeSoto! Look at it this way, at least there will be another nice one on the road after you're done. Would you like to see your DeSoto in the hands of some knucklehead who promises to restore it and instead lets it rot, or worse yet, tries to "donk" it?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    It must really be hard to find a place that replicates Firedome door panels, hence the price. You can practically build an entire 1957 Chevy out of aftermarket parts.

    How's the chrome on the car? That and the paint will probably be the really big ticket items if you want a show winner at Hershey. I wouldn't even blink at $10K for a top-flight paint job.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    My friend with the 53 Merc said it was close to 3000.00 just to rechrome the grill!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346

    I thaked to my buddy with the '53 Merc last night.

    Total chrome bill for everything should be 4500.00.

    Two years left on the restoration.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I've seen chrome bills as high as $12,000, so he got off light.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575
    How's the chrome on the car? That and the paint will probably be the really big ticket items if you want a show winner at Hershey. I wouldn't even blink at $10K for a top-flight paint job.

    The chrome's actually pretty good for the most part. However, there is a dent in the rear bumper where the previous owner said a pole jumped out in her path as she was backing up! :P

    Oh, and one of the taillight surrounds is cracked on the bottom.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,885
    I know a guy who restored a MB W112 300SE coupe...he blew 5 grand on the interior wood alone, and that was 15 years ago.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I met a guy last year who spent $75,000 on an MG TC! And that's a tiny car.

    If you want to do it right, and you want the best, these are the numbers (or more). And the more complex the car, the worse it gets.

    If you wanted a show winning Pebble Beach Bugatti, it could run 1/2 mil, no problem. Or higher if you needed to crush the competition.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    The chrome's actually pretty good for the most part. However, there is a dent in the rear bumper where the previous owner said a pole jumped out in her path as she was backing up!

    Pontiacs of that era must be prone to that. That old Tempest that I learned to drive on had a dent like that. Couldn't have anything to do with me being at the wheel and catching this thud from behind. My girlfriend back then found it highly amusing. I didn't which might explain why that one fell apart....
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,885
    But for that Pebble Beach Bugatti, you can get your money back. Sinking 75K into an MG or 50K into a non-sporting MB is a different story.

    That being said, if I came into a real fortune, I'd have the fintail done up properly...probably have to sink 30K into it, but I'd be so rich I wouldn't care :shades:
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    "but I'd be so rich I wouldn't care "

    Isn't that the fuel behind all the nuttiness at auctions? $$ don't really matter at those levels. When watch auctions attract tens of thousands of dollars for what is just a watch (however nice), you know no logic applies...
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