Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently having a shop complete my project car. The job is extensive, but they have taken an excessive amount of time to do the work. They charge by the hour; seem to take more hrs. than necessary; charge for incidentals like brushes,welding wire & gases, throw-away gloves,etc; They have placed other cars "in front of mine" to be worked upon. In short, it seems they have relied on me ( & possibly others) to maintain a steady + cash flow. (versus "get 'em done & out") This is a well-known rod builder. Is it routine for a shop to proceed this way ? Of course, there is no agreed-upon "package" price. Your comments/ experiences please.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,563 Posts
It is routine, but you need not stand for it. My experiences haven't been with hot rod shops but rather with bodywork establishments. It's routine, especially with something older or a long term project, to have it put on the back burner. There's little evidence that it's been touched but charges are incurred nonetheless. To me, it's a huge red flag, and I would pull the car if I didn't see progress commensurate with the charges that month.

The two Novas I have had the body and paint done went differently. One had an open-ended timeline and no set final fee based on estimates; the other had a firm estimate and projected finish date. The first car cost way more than it should have, and the second car had a document I could always return to to refer to costs and timeline.

I think you should get an estimate in writing for specific work to be done, and with a specific timeline. If the shop won't do that, then I'd get another shop, or understand that you will be at their mercy until it's finished. As far as materials goes, other than paint, that seems a little nickel and dimey to me, especially if there is little progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
I know a couple of guys who build cars and they usually charge in blocks. One guy gets paid when he reaches 100 hours. The other guy gets paid in less. These are total builds. I knew a guy once who had more business than he could handle. When people would take him a car he would take the first 100 hours payment up front and have his guys take the car apart. The reason he would do this is that once the car was apart the odds of the owner coming to get it was very slim. I counted 28 cars on his board one time. He charged 80 dollars a hour. 28 times 8 grand is 224,000. There was no way he could build the cars he already had apart. Eventually it overwhelmed him and he ended things permanently. There were a lot of guys who lost everything they had paid him.

You have to realize that it would be impossible for a shop to get on one car and finish it. The cost would be unreal. Things such as the light bill, water bill, insurance, materials and shop labor to run a shop for one week would add up fast. That's why they jump on different cars especially if they are a quick in and out or insurance job. In the end the shop has to make money or it won't survive.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top