Average cost to retore a mustang - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Average cost to retore a mustang

I realize this is a loaded question .
Restoring a 1969 BOSS Mustang more then likely costs more then restoring a 66 6 cyl. coupe.
Just trying to get an idea of how much YOU guys spent or would spend to restore your mustang .
Ok lets say no rust , and very little puckers or scratches.
How much is an average to very nice paint job.
I figure interior kits cost around $1,000.
Wheels, tires $1500. magnums or compatable.
Clean and paint engine bay,
Clean and paint engine and components
New weather stripping $300.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 01:07 AM
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..... Thats a who farted in church question.

You need to define Restore first. From just the short list you mentioned it still could make the 10k limit easy.
The little detail items will add up faster than you think.
Slap a tight dress and lipstick on any pig and it will look good till you get up close.

And just to compare notes, I have a 70 Mach1 351Cj 4sp Ac ps pdb.
She dawns 90% (I replaced the front and rear val) org metal rust free and still shows signs of factory sound deadener spray undercoating on the undercarrage.
The car has been worked over mechanicaly to like new factory with a few improvements.
Interior and seals replaced while the body/paints is a good 10'er and has a few battle scars its drivers condition.
So bean counting the cost of the car and just the materials used, I would say theres about 20k invested in her.
I turned down a cash offer when in vegas for 35k, Not that I didn't want to sell her. It would cost me that much to build another one like it.

If it's already broken....I can't hurt it.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 01:17 AM
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I replaced at least half the sheet metal on my car, interior is 90% new, new paint, all new electric, 4 wheel disk brakes, and new rear end. I say I have around 20k into the car including the initial purchase of 2k. Keep in mind I have done all the work, including body work and paint myself so there is no labor in that total. I am putting a new engine and transmission in the car so I say I will be close to 30k into the car by the time I am done.

66 Mustang Coupe
Interior Done.... Moving on to the Engine.

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 07:19 AM
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yep, those little things add up. when i plan on just getting a couple items like seals, rubber bumpers or bushings, it always turns out to a $300 plus order.

i've also noticed my tendency so far has been to upgrade parts (you know the since i have to replace it anyways, why not upgrade performance since it only costs just a little bit more).

with that, i now have around $18k just in the engine, transmission, driveshaft and rearend (about $2k of that is machine shop costs).

at the end of the day, i'm expecting the total to be around $35-40 (doesn't count my labor).
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 07:34 AM
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I thought there were no real price on restoring these. There like a saving acct you just keep putting in it and watch it grow.

1967 coupe I6,Dui dizzy,front disc,first car. 08/17/07-06/27/09 =(
1970 Fastback 5.0 efi hydr clutch.to be my DD. 8/9/10-11/26/13 =(
1969 Fastback project hardfind 12/14/13
08 focus 2dr coupe dd

If you can afford a new car you can afford a classic car.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 07:47 AM
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... more of a "spending" account....

IMO 20-60k is well within reason. As noted "restore" means slap on some paint over the old and a new interior to some, to others back to bare metal and making everything new... a wide range of interpretations.

Repaint, new interior, chrome and trim look a bit faded... $$$$. Now that that's done, maybe go over the suspension/steering, $$$$. Since I did that, take a look at the drive train and redo the diff, trans and engine.... $$$$$$$$...

Mission creep.

To do it right I reckon its 30-40k minimum... unless you have a lot of friends in the industry and get discounts and can do most of the labor yourself...

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
- Douglas Adams

8R03S : 76A I 2A 15M 72 5 U
8R01S : 65A B 2A 28M 72 7 5 - Factory GT
8R01C : 65A M 2A 01E 72 2 W - CS/GT
8F01X : 65A I 2G 20E 24 1 U - EXP500 repli-bute

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 07:51 AM
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I'll conservatively say when I'm done I should have spent roughly $35-$40k for a nut and bolt resto. Depends what level you are looking for. oh and thats doing a lot of the work yourself. If you factor in current labor rates for the work you do (your time is worth something, right?) your total then becomes something bordering on scary...

p.s.-I'm not totaling up my receipts on this one...
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 08:18 AM
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wow. You guys are in it deep. The last car I restored from a fairly rough condition, and even it didn't have any rust, was a 69 Mach 1 in the early 90s. I only had $6,000 in it, but it was a nice driver, not a show car, and my brother in law and I did nearly all the work. And yes, the price of these old cars and parts has risen exponentially since the early 90s.

Since that time, I've had plenty of other old cars, but I've bought them already in pretty good shape. That is definitely the most cost effective.

I bought this 66 FB about 4 yrs ago, and paid $12,500. I bought the 67 SS this past January and paid $23,000. They are both as nice as they look in the pictures. The SS ain't councours quality, but has been shown successfully. No offense, but you have to be a little savvy about shopping the market, especially in this poor economy. These old cars are fun, and they're beautiful, but they ain't made of gold.

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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oh,and the SS isn't a clone. It's a bona fide Super Sport, and for comparison, the market and book value for a SS Chevelle is more than a Mach 1 Mustang. That is not to say that I can go out today and find a nice 69 or 70 Mach 1 for $23,000, but given a few months I can. It took about 5 months to find the Chevelle.

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 4TRACKS View Post
Restoring a 1969 BOSS Mustang more then likely costs more then restoring a 66 6 cyl. coupe.
I can't see why, unless the BOSS is missing some BOSS parts. Then, cha-ching!

The real question, though, is what are you starting with, and how are you defining "restore". If you mean "get it safely back on the road", or "return to factory original condition", you're talking about a whole decimal place in the cost.

Consider this restoration, and you'll see it blows the top right out of the bell curve:

1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible

Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:11 AM
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Mine needed $25 K just for metal work - original rust free parts bought on fleabay (trunk lid, etc.) repairs to original vintage doors, hood, fenders, etc. then the new metal welded in....
Then interior... then rebuild repaint rear diffy/axle..engine work, restore carb... clutch... paint ($$$$ ouch), labour, parts, more parts... then more parts...etc. etc.
Oh, and figure Canadian exchange $$$ for all that stuff (I should've waited a few years until dollar acheived near parity on that one!) and tax/duty on said items (13-15% added onto it all) ... I'm around $68-70 or so now into it.
Well, it truly needed it all and being a family heirloom for me it's still worth it for me. But I only want to do it once!!

[/SIGPIC]67 Fastback GT -- original colour (Frost Turquoise), original 289 A code engine. Pic is of me and the Mustang taken in May of '67, with original F70-14 Wide Ovals. Same car is now restored to "as new" but 3 speed tranny swapped out for 4 speed back in the mid '80's, with tach dash, original Equalock rear, Koni's, Opentracker UCA, LCA, roller perches and idler arm, roller bearing pedal cluster, Cibie headlights, 4100 carb (old 4300 put in storage probably forever)

Last edited by jfstang; 09-11-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:31 AM
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You guys must have great jobs.

As others have said. it depends on what you want in the end. Do you want a jaw dropping show car, a concours car, a race car or a nice driver? Even then, there are different levels for each.

I would love to begin restoring my '65 6cyl coupe, but I am going to do it as cheaply as possible without making it an unsafe rolling pile of crap. I have abandoned plans of upgrading to a high HP 351 (or other V8) because I just want a nice car to cruise around in. I do not plan to race, so why do I need 400+ HP on the street?

I plan to do the work myself because I want to learn all that I can. I will paint it myself because there is no way to I am going to pay someone thousands of dollars to paint a car that is going to get chipped anyway. I would never put $40K or more into a car unless I could get it back if I sold it.

Justin Nast Acoustic

1965 Six Cylinder Coupe
1953 Buick Super

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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 10:02 AM
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My experience is $100 every time you want to work on something. I have had my 66 for 15+ years. I do a little here and there to keep it from rusting apart. I like to drive my Mustang. Some parts I am replacing for the second or third time. Good thing is that parts are mostly cheap and available.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 10:48 AM
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Instead of an estimate, here are the actuals on the car I recently completed. I kept track of every penny. I also got the best pricing that anyone could have. I made a few bad buys, but for the most part I did a really good job of getting the right part for the best price and having it look and work just right. A lot of items were bought from other mustang owners, like the non-reproduced SS pieces, visors etc. The only things I did not do myself was body/paint, engine machining, trans bearings/seals. My total, to restore the car, with body and paint (base coat, clear coat, cut and polished) having a shop do the machine work an engine rebuild, having the bearings/seals replaced on the toploader was $13K, when I net the parts that I sold off the car, I was at $12K.

p.s. I went to the national shelby convention a few weeks ago, which was close by to me. From a purely cosmetic standpoint, this car would have been right there with most any car there. There were some trailer queens that were incredible and of course, this car is worth 10% of some of the cars there, but my point is that restoring these cars do not have to cost an arm and a leg if you are willing to really research, shop and do everything possible yourself.

Me dragging it home. Iinterior rough, body rougher than it looks, mechanically it started, but was undriveable.


Picture of camera mount I made, you can see the interior.

Item Amount
Body and paint $5,850.00
Engine machine shop $1,110.00
purchase new wheels $865.00
weatherstrip, molding, seals $367.24
bought tires $319.00
Radiator, shroud, bracket $280.49
carb $269.95
bought exhaust $256.00 note: this was the worst buy I made
Muffler install $230.00
trans bearing and seals $200.00
pass side molding and other 2 set of trim $190.00
Clutch and pressure plate $163.07
heater core, instument cover, pedal covers $128.87
arm rest, window handles, glove box $126.70
Seat belts $120.00 (shoulder harness from FFR Cobra kit car)
headlight bucket $119.57 (ended up not using)
metal for rear tray and roll bar $107.99 (made my own rear package tray)
Hardened push rods $104.00 (add to engine cost)
battery tray, pullies, timer pointer $97.85
gas cap, miscell $85.15 (gt350 bling)
Air cleaner, shift knob, rear valence $84.96 (another trip to mustang store)
driver side molding (fran) $80.00 (non reproduced fastback parts)
bumper $80.00 (craigslist guy down the street)
battery $74.41
from internet, fastback miscell interior parts $69.25 (more non reproduced parts)
mirror and grill emblem $65.80
side scoops $65.08
high torque starter $64.20
front floor for rust replacement $56.30 (I did the patch panel for rust repair)
Felt fuzzy $50.00 (craigs list...good buy)
trailer rental $49.99
tachometer $48.25 (exact size and look of a 66 GT350 tach)
17 inch 6 blade fan $43.49
shift boot and ring, interior spray paint $41.91
oil change $41.42
oil, antifreeze $37.96
cam bolt, pressure plate bolt $36.43 (some things you don't take a chance with)
gasket $34.83
radio delete cover $34.75
drill bits, gloves, sand paper $34.58
grommet kit, spare tire hold down $34.32
from internet, fastback interior trim $33.20 (more non reproduced stuff)
goodyear tire mounting $30.23
goodyear tire mounting $30.23
Mirror (check) $30.00 (internet)
bending rear tray $30.00 (local machine shop bent my package tray for me)
choke, heater hose $29.77
turnsignal switch $29.32
valve cover bolts, dip stick tube $28.22
header reducers $26.90
timing cover gasket and goo $25.96
speedo cable $24.43
oil pan gasket $23.88
alternator unique bracket $23.00 (for my 351W using 289 accessories)
Visors $22.00
dip stick, permatex $20.68
Seat fixed and edging $20.00 (local upolstry shop fixed a seat for me)
all items under $20 $470.00
total $13,006.63

Last edited by GT350R Klone; 09-11-2010 at 11:01 AM.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 11:00 AM
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Briefly, broad estimates that I use:

Engine 4-6k
Trans 1K
Rear end/suspension 1K
Front end 1.5K-2K
Paint/body 3K-8K
Interior 1K-2K
Brakes/steering 1K-2K
Tires / wheels 750-2K
Misc Addl 1K-3K

Lower range is DIY and higher range includes vendors. There are a ton of ways you can shave your budget. Buying parts at swaps, Craigslist..etc.

My friend is restoring a 67 Chevelle and he jokes that every time he touches the car, it costs at least $300.

Early 65, 5sp, GT Clone, Nightmist Blue
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