It depends on what you are trying to justify. If you need to restore your pride and for safety you probably can justify that, but if you think you are going to restore your classic car because its worth more now than it ever has been and you are going to make some money, you had better think twice.

Nearly all our clients that have spent $100,000 or more on a restoration started the process with maybe a paint job or some kind of upgrade and one thing led to another, over time all those invoices come in $5k here, $8k there and in a little over a year you do the math and figure out you have spent over $100k on the project and it’s not even done.

The wife asks you when that car is going to be done and how much you have spent on it, you tell her its almost done and you seriously understate what you have spent, because her next question is going to be how much can you sell it for.

Unless you have a very special situation and an extremely rare car, the chances that you can sell the car for as much as it cost to have a professional restoration performed is pretty slim. As a rule of thumb it’s not unreasonable for a restoration to cost 2-3 times the fair market value of the car.

Well how can all these folks be loosing money on these high end restorations? It’s pure emotion. In high school what would you have done to go on a date with the most popular girl? What would you spend to have the coolest gadget available? When an individual has a vehicle restored they are doing it for themselves and they have specific requirements the finished vehicle may take them back to a time when they were younger or when they first met their spouse r that popular car they could never afford but now could have that car they had always wanted. It’s not an investment of money, it’s an investment that satisfies their emotion.

So if you think you are going to restore your dads old car and make some money, you had better first get a written estimate of the restoration cost, then do the math. If you are going to restore that old barn find for sentimental reasons, you had better first get a written estimate of the restoration cost and make a decision if it’s going to be worth it to you to have it done.