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I thought I would post a pic of 6661. The restoration took a year, and I'm pretty happy with the results. If this works, I'll post more pics of the interior and engine. The interior is custom black leather. The trans is now polished and a 351C stroker engine with aluminum heads. The paint is Ferrari fly yellow, and it came out better than I had hoped. Steve


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I'm glad when some of these posts make it back to the top because it makes me realize how much I miss sometime. Steve, your car looks fantastic and I too would love to see some more photos.

Any tips and advice you can share about the resto process are always welcomed. I'm not asking for specifics about any shops you had bad experiences with as I'm thousands of miles away, but general tips will help any of us.

Here are my thoughts on managing a car restoration if such a thing is really possible. This may not be the proper forum area, so George may want to move it to a more appropriate place.

1. A restoration is a business arrangement, and therefore should be appraoched and operated as one. The restoration will probably be a very expensive undertaking. Many restorers are hobbiests who turned their hobby into a business but are not business people and still approach projects in an informal manner. This car is your baby and in all the excitement of finally doing the restoration you have dreamed of, you forget to get a specific quote and define project rules and expectations. Explore, a retention arrangement which is common practice in the construction business. I doubt the shop owner will go for it, but it does give you some leverage after you get your car back, and the inevitable ommisions, mistakes, and other post restore problems occur.

2. Have a clear view of what you want. I think the reason I was pretty satisfied with 6661's result was I pretty much knew what color I wanted and how the interior was to look. Some of the ideas for the interior came from the shop people, but the basic approach and theme came from me. You can't communicate/manage with the shop people or get a biginning quote without knowing what you want.

3. Make it clear to the shop that all parts removed from your car are to be clearly tagged as yours and kept separately, not merged into their inventory or mixed in with anyone else's parts. Certainly not sold and then replaced in your car with other parts (probably used), but how would you know. At the end of the process, any excess parts you want to sell and the shop wants to buy can be credited to your account

4. Be able to visit the shop at least once a month(more often if possible)during the restoration or else it will get away from you. This is very importat to managing the process and the costs. If you can't or don't do this be prepared to be surprised.

5. Insist the shop inform you before proceeding with doing something like replacing wheel bearings. I have now had my left rear bearings replaced twice in the last 3 years and was charged for it, of course.

6. Think through any seemingly neat deals the shop may have for you. Be sure the deal is to your advantage, and not just a way for the shop to unload something. For instance, an engine the shop just happens to have that a previous customer didn't want for some reason. They'll give you a killer price for your old engine, and this one will put out big horsepower. First, do want to go faster, and nothig comes for free. Any high performance engine will be more expensive to run and require more care and feeding.

7. Insist the shop replace parts like brake caliper bolts and lock tabs with new preferably aircraft quality parts. Rebuilding/upgrading you master cylinder, calipers, disks, etc. then reassembling them with 35 year old bolts and your old lock tabs is a receipe for disaster. Just ask me.

8. Expect the cost of the restoration to exceed the initial quote by a substantial amout. Mine went over by 50%. But, if you are invovlved and track each charge, you will know why the price went up, and you will have approved it. Not just a call from the shop, saying send money.

9. Last for now, my typing fingers are getting tired. Make sure you and the shop owner agree on what you expect as far warranties and guarentees on which parts and for how long. Again manageing expectations is very important. Getting into a pissing contest with the shop is not productive at this point, as you're probably still somewhat dependent on them to fix problems or supply tech support.

Hope this helps a little. I'm sure some of you out there have experiences that would add to these points. Any questions, please don't hesitate to email me.
Last edited by mblotus
Great looking interior Steve, and very good tips. Sounds like a few too many were learned the hard way, but the results speak for themselves and, like Robert who has also had a few bumps along the way, after enjoying the car a while the pain of the process fades.

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