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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:54 pm 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:42 pm
Posts: 134
Car Model: Rat rod
Hi all,

Anyone have a ball park estimate of what it would cost just in parts to do a "ok" restore of a Dart or Valiant? Let's say it runs and drives but needs a new interior and paint. Just trying to ballpark what my costs would be. I want to get into something, but my budget for the car is only 4k and there are not many options right now that doesn't look like they shouldn't be in a junk yard.

Sincerely,

Paul


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:42 pm 
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Board Sponsor & Contributor

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:39 pm
Posts: 23615
Location: North America
Car Model:
There is no pat, set dollar amount that can be given in answer to a question like this. Every car is different enough in its needs, and every area is different enough in the resources available and going rates, that it's just not possible to say "Oh, it'll cost you between $X,000 and $Y,000" with any accuracy.

Less specific but maybe more helpful for your planning:

Restoring (rebuilding, building, etc) any car to any given level will cost you

• Multiple times more than you planned and budgeted—always, always, always, every single time, no matter what. In time, money, and effort alike

• Much more than buying a car already at that same condition.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:08 am
Posts: 14939
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Car Model:
Agree with Dan's thoughts...

If you just want to get a paint job and freshen the interior, you might be able to get half-decent jobs done for $4k. That assumes you are not in an expensive area and the shops exist (well recommended) that can do the work, or you want to do a lot of the work yourself. I think by "restore" maybe you mean that you want to have a nice looking and comfortable daily driver? When I did something like that in 1990 with my 68 Dart, it cost me around $3k plus maybe a hundred hours of my (semi skilled) work time. Everything is 2-3X more now, especially labor for bodywork or interior work.

If you like your car and want to keep appreciating it, I suggest picking some part of such a project and focusing on that first. Maybe redone seats, headliner, and carpet. That might run you $2-3k with the right shops and some of your labor. Your car will be way more comfortable and nicer to drive.

Want to post some pics so we can see your starting point?

Just trying to be realistic here... Happy motoring!

Lou

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 2:30 pm 
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Turbo EFI
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:00 pm
Posts: 2149
Location: kankakee IL
Car Model: 80 volare, 78 fury 2 dr, 85 D150
and 2 of the same year make model cars sent in for same work can vary widely.... how solid is the body, as is? how much metal work and replacement of panels is needed? How much Bondo are you willing to live with?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:22 pm 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:42 pm
Posts: 134
Car Model: Rat rod
Well Dart270, I currently have a 225 engine and a 4 speed A883 manual transmission. Unfortunately I do not have a car to put them in. Long story short, was going to build a rat rod but have decided to switch to restoring something for the long term.

But seriously, my reason for asking was to help me decide if I should up my budget and get something more intact, so thanks there Dan. My goal is to have an decent looking weekend driver. There are some options here in Phoenix, but they are in the 4500-6k range and have rust. The cheaper ones, 2-4k, are really beat. I'm trying to stay at 4k then am budgeting 2k for fixing things up. And I want to try doing as much as possible myself, I'm a pretty decent part swapper.

I will keep looking, worst thing that can happen is I hold onto my money!

Paul


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:07 am 
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Board Sponsor & SL6 Racer

Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:57 pm
Posts: 7015
Location: Waynesboro, Pa.
Car Model: 65 Valiant 2Dr Post
Buy the best body that you can afford and that will save you piles of money later. As already said, you are certainly farther ahead to buy one n the condition you want than trying to fix one yourself. Of course then you miss out on all the fun of doing it yourself! :D Good luck!

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