Automotive Restoration COst Calculator


“Restoration” has become a very loose term in the automotive industry over the last 10-15 years. Television shows, social media, and the internet have highlighted products or methods that down-play the reality of what a restoration really entails. As a result, those considering having their vehicle restored underestimate the time and the true cost of the restoration process as well as the long-term effects of the methods and materials used. While a restoration may be your short-term goal, our long term goal is the preservation of your vehicle.

Before going any further, we want to advise our readers that this cost calculator is for a full restoration – using our process. Many customers come into our shop looking for a “full restoration” only to find that their perception of a full restoration is one that is defined by a paint job and a new interior kit. To us, that is a partial restoration. If you are looking for a partial restoration, the form below does not apply. Please contact us instead at 772-334-2041. We will then be able to discuss the options available to you. If, however, you are serious about doing a full restoration, using our process, we urge you to call us prior to filling out the form below and let us walk you through the steps of this cost estimator. We hope to not only help you more accurately estimate the cost of your restoration project, but to help you better understand the processes and methods used. We can then work with you to set up a budget plan that will be the first step in bringing your project back to life.

At Kiddy’s Classics, we do not take deposits to begin work on a vehicle. Every week, our customers receive a detailed labor log, invoice, and photos documenting the progress made on their restoration project. As a result, our customers are in complete control of the restoration process and are aware of how every penny is spent from the beginning to the very end.

Our ultimate goal is to not only restore your vehicle to its original condition, but to build a lasting relationship based on trust, loyalty, and mutual respect.

Below is an estimate of what your project might cost. Be as honest as you can when answering the questions. Click each question for more information and a better understanding:


How large is the vehicle?

How much rust is there?

How popular is the vehicle?

How much chrome is there?

How many layers of paint are there?

What level of restoration do you want?
The level of restoration you wish to have done to your vehicle is important in order for us to determine a more accurate price. Do you plan to drive the car regularly or Do you plan to show the car at local events? Are you looking for something unique and custom or do you want a 100% original Concours Restoration?

Has the car been previously restored?
A restoration consist of more than a paint job. "Restore" has become a very loose term in the automotive restoration industry. For some, a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the car, a little rattle can paint on the engine, and cheap seat covers constitutes that the car has been restored. A well done restoration should last for many years. If the car has been previously restored, the level of the prior restoration could severally effect the cost. There is a reason the car is in need of another restoration. If the first restoration was not done correctly we often have to redo many of the previous repairs which are now in worse condition due to a bad repairs. We also find that when a car has been previously restored, many bolts are broken or snapped off and parts are missing thus adding to the time and cost.


Do you want to upgrade your engine?
Whether you want to stick to your original motor, need a new motor, or wish to upgrade to a higher performance motor, displaying a shiny engine at car shows is a plus for many classic car enthusiasts. Depending on the motor popularity, as well as how much you'd like to alter the motor - price will alter considerably. Be aware that upgrading to a higher level of performance is significantly more expensive than a rebuild or swap.

Please note that if choosing the High or Extreme performance option, additional bracing and upgrades to the rest of the driveline will be recommended and often needed. What is the point of having all that power if you can’t use it without breaking other parts or even twisting the body of the vehicle?

Do you want any transmission upgrades?
Most vehicles prior to 1980 have either manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions. The lack of overdrive on these vehicles wears out the motor very quickly and uses more fuel due to the high RPM, making it impossible to keep up with modern-day speed limits. An upgrade is necessary if you wish to restore your vehicle for driving purposes. If you plan to show your vehicle and wish to save a little on cost, consider using your stock transmission, or rebuilding it if it does not work.

Do you want to upgrade your suspension?
Suspension is an important aspect of any vehicle. Whether you wish to remain true-to-form and keep the stock suspension your vehicle already has or upgrade, the price will vary accordingly. A lowered suspension will bring your vehicle (of course) lower to the ground, but in doing so - the caster, camber angles and shock absorbers will need to be adjusted as well to align with the new, lower height - this adds to labor, and will cost much more than the stock suspension. The Suspension is paired with what you plan to do with the car. If you just want the lowered look this is simple. Where as if you are looking for a suspension that will handle that extra power you have added to the engine than all new components may be needed.

Do you want to upgrade your brakes?
Brakes are the most important part on any vehicle, and depending on the power of the engine you choose - it may be necessary to do a disc-brake conversion. Most cars today have disc brakes, and some have front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Both types of brakes have their pros and cons, but it really is what you prefer on your classic car. Be aware though, with heavy braking, drum brakes experience brake fade may fail or even pull hard to one side or the other, thus disc brakes are not only safer but they will stop your vehicle faster.

Do you want to upgrade your air or heating system?
Some classic car enthusiasts prefer to keep their vehicle as though it were "straight from the factory" disregarding the luxury of air conditioning. While that's perfectly fine if you have a show car, we suggest an upgrade, conversion or installation if you plan to drive the car regularly, especially in Florida.

Do you want power steering added?
If you're planning on using your vehicle as a daily driver, it might be a good option to convert to power steering. It's not a necessity, and your vehicle will drive fine without it, but it does make it much easier to turn if you have a heavy vehicle.


What would you like to do with the upholstery?
A lot of people who begin a restoration project under-value the cost of the restoration. Unfortunately, if there aren't enough funds after the mechanical aspects are complete, the upholstery is usually what ends up suffering. It's important to budget properly in order for the value of the exterior to match that of the interior.

What kind of paint job would you prefer?
The paint job is what most people will notice first. But a paint job is only as good as the prep work underneith. It's important to ensure that the paint job is done well to keep your vehicle looking fresher, longer. Depending on the paint style you choose, the cost will alter accordingly.

What do you want to do with your audio system?
Would you like to stick to the stock radio, or be able to use your MP3 player or iPod in your vehicle? Older systems' sound quality is not nearly as clear as those that are available now, but there are options in which you can keep your "Authentic Look" and still have an awesome quality sound, contact us to find out what your options are!


Below are some miscellaneous options available. Each option adds a certain amount to the total price, play around and see what options best suit your budget.
Add Power Brakes
Add Air Ride Suspension
Add Power Windows
Add Power Locks
Add Integrated Security System
Add Basic Roll Cage - Street Performance
Add Fuel Injection

Complete Total: