Socratic question of Pantera restoration.

OK, here is what makes no sense to me at all. You read all the time where a car says full rotiseerie restoration, over 100K dollars spent. And I can see that since they take three to five years to do and you have to put on bunches of new parts. So I am not questioning that at all. We tell newbies all the time if a Pantera is rusty to not buy it, and considering the above, it is sound advice. So wouldn't it make more sense to throw a rusty Pantera away than to get it fixed for a net 40K dollar loss? From a financial perspective a person would be a fool to repair a Pantera. So if a Pantera has rust, it has a negative dollar value and should be thrown away and perhaps written off on taxes as a total loss?????
Original Post
This is an easy one.

It's the same reason that anyone puts money into anything. Someone has an attachment to it, for whatever reason. Call it love, call it what you will, but it pretty much boils down to that. To some folks, value is subjective, to others, it's objective.

Why does someone like myself buy one of these things after 32 years? Surely, I could get a lot of new car for the money I just spent. In my case, I'm realizing a childhood dream and if I feel that the dream is worth the price that I pay for it, then so be it.

Just my 2-cents worth.....
I have to agree with Panterahunter here. A pantera is not a rational purchase. It depends on where you're at and what you're in it for. I know lots of guys who enjoy the rebuilding and as soon as their finished sell the car at a huge loss and then go buy another POS. I suppose it's better than dope, golf or a mistress. The other side of the coin is guys who drive the car 1 tank of gas a year and are afraid to wash the car with a hose because they think the car is going to disappear like the Wicked Witch of the West. I think there's room for eveyone here. That's what makes this whole thing fun.
"OK, here is what makes no sense to me at all. You read all the time where a car says full rotiseerie restoration, over 100K dollars spent..."

That's usually just parts and paint. Add a value of about $70/hr shop labor and most cars have a lot more invested than $100k. Most of the cars I know with that have another fifty grand in sweat and toil alone.
Owning cars is both a decision made of desire and money. Desire because you buy what you want. Money which is a balance between what you are willing to spend and what you want to get out of it financially in the end. The balance of these two is always a struggle.

If your interest is only money, you buy cars which can be bought and sold for profit. If your interest is only what you desire then profitability does not come into play. I think most of us fall some where in between.

It would be nice to buy cars you can put some money in, drive, sell and make money. That would be a perfect world. For many of us building and creating a car makes us feel like we have created something that is our own. If I go out to a golf course, at the end of a day, I feel it is a day wasted and I have nothing to show. If I go out and build on a car, at the end of the day, the week, the year, and eventually the end of the restoration, I have something tangible I have created, with my ideas, my desires and is mine.

Money well spent? Often no. At the end you have a car worth less then the $$ put into it even without the labor. Quite often, people either hate their car when done, are tired of their car, or are already dreaming of something else when done and sell the car at a loss.

Is the money spent that bad? It depends on your situation and your life interest or goals. Some one who just want's to keep it running has different goals then some one with grandiose ideas of creation. Me for example. I am finishing up a restoration of an MGB which will take me a total of 3 years and $30K when done (plus $5k prior value). What will it be worth? Probably $15-20K. If I sell it I am loosing say $15K. That comes up to about $400 per month. How much are green fees for golf? How much are movies and popcorn I missed? etc.

I don't ever plan on selling the MGB but it is my work, my idea of what I want and it's my creation. What is that worth. Here is the construction website:

http://www.rc-tech.net/MGB/



Gary
quote:
I am finishing up a restoration of an MGB which will take me a total of 3 years and $30K when done (plus $5k prior value). What will it be worth? Probably $15-20K.


That's it? I'll BUY it!! Big Grin

Your MG looks like an incredible car.

Josh
LOL, I didn't say I would sell it for that. I just know their not worth much; less then what I have put in it for sure.

Actually If I turned a blind eye to the fact that it is a "colectable car" I think I have turned it into a car that would be a great daily driver. Gm 3.4L V6,Camero T5, fuel injection, rear disc brake conversion, coil over front suspension, modern shocks, new everything from the gas tank to the trim screws, new updated servo controled watervalve, servo controled heater door, new aluminum radiator, New brake system with double flairs (not the bastard English bubble flair), Wilwood MC, and on and on. It should be a car I could put 100K miles on with minimal trouble and with good gas mielage, as well as good performance.

It is no Pantera though!

Gary
quote:
Originally posted by DeTom:
Well good then. We are all in complete agreement. We are all irrational fools who are ruled by lust rather than logic. I was beginning to think it was just me. Big Grin


Kepp in mind detom, THAT"S OK! There is nothing wrong with that. I have seen guys in other hobbies trying to justify different more expensive equipment. In each point they made I pointed that the cheaper one does that..and more. They were so dissapointed. I said wait a minut, it's a hobbie, disposable income, not a business. Do what you want to do. It doesn't always have to be the most logical choice. There is a "fun value" in there somewhere.
Also, keep in mind I think some one can take a $15k Pantera, restore it with minimal upgrades and make a little money (or at least not loose their shirt). There is a difference between a restoration and restoration with "CRAZY" and "Awsome" upgrades. You can re-build a cleveland for $3-5K or you can drop in a $25K Jaw dropper, add some turbos and another $15K in shop labor to make it all work.

Second, when I was looking for a car to restore, I was looking for a $15k car wrather then a $25K car. If you are going to do a total restoration, the amount of work and money involved is pretty much the same.
quote:
Originally posted by DeTom:
Well good then. We are all in complete agreement. We are all irrational fools who are ruled by lust rather than logic. I was beginning to think it was just me. Big Grin


DeTom it IS just you Big Grin
Personally, I feel the time money and effort spent on my Pantera is better spent, then let's say, spending a $150 a hour for a shrink Wink It keeps me from going postal.
My 2 cents
quote:
Originally posted by jeff6559:
Comp2 ... him or DeTom for best post of the month. ...


I like both Gary & DeTom, however, with all due respect to Gary, anybody who admits to having his way with his Pantera, like a scene from Deliverance, has to get the votes, not just for the month, but perhaps the entire decade.
Thanks Gary. It is also important to never make your hobby your source of a living. You will come to hate your hobby once you turn pro. I found that the hard way on a couple of hobbies of mine. Completely ruined it for me.
There is an old alpha remeo volarcia for free to a good home. I see it everyday twice, on my way to work and the way home. I have been really good so far and have not stopped the car to write down the phone number, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out.
quote:
I feel the time money and effort spent on my Pantera is better spent, then let's say

Sorry Mark, tried using that "Sure keeps me out of the strip bars" argument with my wife. It doesn't buy me any brownie points at all. Frowner
quote:
Originally posted by DeTom:
Thanks Gary. It is also important to never make your hobby your source of a living. You will come to hate your hobby once you turn pro.


Agreed! Also, as far as having you way with a piece of equipment, I would wrather have my way with a piece of equipment then for the piece of equipment to have it's way with me. That's when it gets bad.

G
quote:
Originally posted by comp2:
...as far as having you way with a piece of equipment, I would wrather have my way with a piece of equipment then for the piece of equipment to have it's way with me...


I take my last comment back Jeff, it IS a toss up between the two of them! eek! lol......

too much Gary! that was a good one.
Makes me think of being 16 and being much dumber then I am now (Oh yes, it's possible). The shop teacher let me come in and play with the mill even though I was not in shop class. I think that was the last time they ever let that happen. I was by myself working on the mill...never used one before.....16.....WEARING COTTON GLOVES>>>>>>>Wasn't long before I was stumbling back through the hallways trying to find the nurses station with a finger pointing a complete different direction then all the rest.

I don't like it when machines have their way with me!
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
That all depends. What does this piece of equipment look like?
.....................It is very tight machine with a slight vacuum, well lubricated. without a concience.
I just found this thread and thought I would post a couple of comments. Not on the machinery intimacy angle but on the Restoration angle.

I am a professional Auto Restorer and have been making my living this way for 17 years. I am 37.
In the early years I worked at a shop that specialized in Mustang restorations and we were able to do them cookie cutter style fairly cheaply. It was rare that a customer worried about the end value, they just wanted the car the way they wanted it. As time went on everything became more expensive and the cost to build the cars rose sharply. People still wanted what they wanted and the work continued but the customer demographic changed.

I currently work in a shop that deals in expensive show type restorations where the cost to restore the cars exceeds the value 10 times over in many cases. People still want what they want regardless. I have never had a customer that wanted a car built to sell it. If I get asked to do so I tell them that with few exceptions they will not make money. I believe a person would have to do their own work and not hire a professional shop in order to make money on a car. Restorations can often take 1100-1500 hours depending on the condition of the car. Times this by the labor rate of your choice and you can see the additonal cost from labor.

Take Comp2's MGB as an example, a couple of years ago a fellow in our shop restored a MGB for a customer. As a side note my specialty is certain types of musclecars so I did not work on this car. The cost to restore this car was just over 60K. The car was very rough and required a lot of sheet metal work. The customer also wanted a lot of power train and suspension/brake upgrades. The car was painted the color of his choice and not its original color. The customer is 6'4" so special floor and seat mods were done and the interior was done in leather etc. The car was essentially custom built to his taste and requirements. I am not aware of any MGB on the planet worth 60K but this guy loves the car and would not change anything that was done. I asked him if the cost bothered him and he said that he wasn't bothered because the car was exactly what he wanted in every way.

It is the same decision that Pantera owners make. Do you pay a shop for exactly what you want or do you build it yourself? You can save money on labor building your self but you need to aquire some skills and equipment. Comp2 is a good example of this. He has the facility and ability to achieve his goals. This might not be practical for doing just one car as purchasing and storing all of the equipment you wouldn't use again might not be for you. If you are doing multiple cars and doing it for the enjoyment then that is what is important. All of the customers that I have dealt with do not have the skills or equipment to build cars. This is why people like me are able to make a living. As for customers who take credit for your work, this usually is short lived. I had a customer at a show who went on to tell someone that he made certain parts on his car and when asked how he did it he was not able to say and made himself look kind of foolish.
As an example, ask a guy like this what size tip he used in his paint gun to paint his car...

In regard to DeTom's comment on not making your hobby your job. In my experience, doing this for a living has changed my outlook for sure but I still build my own cars. At work I get paid to build what the customer brings in if I like that type of car or not. On my own time I get to work on my Pantera and how cool it that! On my Pantera project I dont have to fill out time sheets, do invoices, worry about deadlines and the only person that has to be happy is me! (no offence to anyone currently having a car restored) This changes the whole tone of the project from "I have to" to "I want to". I might have a different attitude to work on my car compared to someone with a non-related occupation might have when working on theirs but the excitement is there just the same. I do know people in the business who got out after making it there profession but it had nothing to do with the work it was always politics, finances or a bad customer(again no offence to any having cars done).

Personally, when I buy a car it is a keeper so I do not worry about value and investment. My previous projects have been Mustang Drag race cars and they are probably worth 30cents on the dollar if that and continue to consume lots of money in maintenance and rebuilding costs as long as they are used. Its all a labor of love.

Sorry to go on for so long
Brooke, if I ever do have the money to get doen on my car what I want I will hire a pro. Heck I may even audition folks by looking at their previous works. But until the lottery ticket comes through for me, I will have to muddle through doing what I can, and find the lowest price possible on the stuff I can't and learn to live with it. Frowner
The Coronet is a customers car. The owner lives out of state so a transport will be picking it up next week and dropping off another one. It is also a 69 Coronet 426 car that has been restored but not finished.
I will find some more pics of work done. I have done a lot of partial work where a customer wanted only the rust repair or paint work done.
I will find some pics.
Future work I have scheduled for total restoration includes: 2 1970 AMC T/A Javelins, 1970 AMC AMX, 1970 AMC Rebel Machine, 1968 GT500KR Convertible, 1970 Plymouth Superbird, 1970 440+6 Fury and a lot of maintenance and detail work to other cars.
I am currently doing some maintenance and upgrade work to a 71 Pantera that is turning out to be a nightmare. I will post on that later. It has to do with the exhaust coating company accidentally blasting the chrome off of the GTS Ansa mufflers.....
I know several people who have day jobs who have taken night school courses on mechanics and body shop techniques just for fun.

I have trouble understanding why you see cars on ebay that have just been restored. Why would you restore it then almost immediately sell it? Trying to hide something? Got in over your head? What? Makes no sense to me.
Jeff,
I have observed several cases where a car has been done and then sold. I have customers that buy these cars and the reasons they have told me the cars were sold are:

Restoration took to long and the owner is not interested in the car any longer. There is another shop in this area that has several cars that have been in process for over 10years. I know the customers of these cars and they are all going to sell if they ever get their cars.

Speculation in the market. The next Coronet coming in was owner restored a few years ago and he sold it when the Hemi boom started. The car has been in magazines but has never had a front end alignment and a lot of things don't work.

Family problems. Divorce is the most common domestic reason I see for selling cars. Sometimes the cost puts a financial strain on the people involved and I know guys that now have no wife and no car. Its better to pull a car out of a shop than to cash in all your IRA's especially if your going to need them soon.

I dont want what I have now that I have it. Years ago we did a Black 68 Mustang Convertible for a customer and when it was done he was so scared of getting the car dirty or wrecking it that he only drove it once after completion. He sold it after 5 years of storage. I also see guys that realize having a concours car is a lot of work to keep them looking their best and tire of the constant upkeep.

Unfortunately there are cars that are slapped together to make a quick buck and ultimately someone has to sort it out. The MGB I talked about previously was a shiney red e-bay car that after purchased and stripped it found out to be made out of filler and rust. Its definately a buyer beware thing.
Jeff,
I forgot to mention that I also took a auto body class at a local tech collage right out of highschool and I am now 18 years later almost finished with the Welding technology program there as well. After that I might take some machining classes. Learning never stops. I highly recommend anyone to take classes to upgrade or learn new skills.
A lot of guys in my welding class were older guys(50's) that wanted to learn how to tig weld so they could build their own custom choppers.
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