How To Choose The Right Restoration Shop
You’ve been dreaming of the day of purchasing that classic car for years. You finally saved all your pennies and bought that ride. Whether that’s a restored ride or basket case, at some point it’s going to need some help. Maybe you’ve got the skills to fix it but not enough time. Or maybe you just don’t want to mess with it. Here’s five tips on how to choose the right restoration shop!
How do you choose the right restoration shop for your precious ride? You’ve heard all the horror stories of shops that charge top dollar for bottom dollar work. They cut corners and do things that work, but they aren’t right. In any classic car restoration, there’s a right way and a wrong way with plenty of short cuts in between.
More than likely you’ve heard of “Paint Jail,” the place cars go for months or years before returning back. The amount of shady work at a paint shop can literally make or break your ride and your bank account. So how do you find a reputable restoration shop?
There’s something to be said about a clean shop. If the shop has pride and takes the time to clean their shop, they will take the time to fix your ride up too. Now this doesn’t mean a shop void of all “junk” but a general organization and cleanliness to the shop. We don’t know about you, but for us we can’t work in a clutter of tools and leftover parts. It’s not efficient and causes accidents or things being misplaced.
Put it this way – if you were going for open heart surgery, would you want to be in a clean room or in a dirty room with the last patients bloody tools laying around?
How knowledgeable are the people at the shop? There’s an old saying about asking for advice – don’t go to the meat man for advice on jewelry. The restoration shop is no different. If they are amazing at building engines, go there for that. Don’t ask them to paint your car.
Build a relationship with the shop you’re going to fork over thousands of dollars to. Does it seem like they’ve been doing this for years and know exactly what the issue is with your car and how to solve it? Don’t take your Chevy to a shop that specializes in Porches. Yeah a car is a car, but they won’t have that knowledge on the intricacies of that fire breathing LS under the hood.
The only way to gain that knowledge is with experience, and a lot of it. Before handing over the keys make sure the shop has experience. Check references and see what kind of work have they done in the past. Going back to the surgeon, do you want the guy that’s done this same procedure 1000 times or the guy that’s done it once?
Experienced crews can save you money in the long run too. Sure you pay for that experience up front, but the knowledge they possess can save you over time. For example if you ask them to build a powerhouse engine and trans but they neglect to upgrade the rearend, that’s going to cost you a repair bill down the road.
When a shop has knowledge and experience, well then they will have a proven track record. Are they cheap and do okay work or are they fairly priced and do great work? Even worse are they expensive and do junk work?
Talk to past clients and inspect their cars. See the proven track record of the restoration shop. Do they stand behind their work or are they always chasing that dollar instead? Taking the time to find a shop with a proven track record can save you literally thousands, if not ten’s of thousands of dollars.
Is the shop passionate about their work and the hobby? Sure they might be a good chassis builder, but if they aren’t participating in the hobby then there’s a few issues that arise. First is that they won’t be on top of current trends and technologies available.
Second is that they won’t have the same passion to have the best products and services like a shop that participates does. We all get busy and they might be slammed with work – but a shop that takes the time to participate in car shows shows they truly care about the hobby and their shop.
We here at Pro Touring Texas posses all of these qualities and we can prove them to you! Swing by our shop, give us a call, we are here to help!