What Does Car Restoration Really Cost?

1957 Ford Restoration Project
What Does Car Restoration Really Cost?
Ethan and Kristin Cline

Many people underestimate the cost and work it takes to restore a classic car. We’ve done it ourselves, more than once. You may think you’re embarking on a budget car restoration and end up spending way more money than expected. So what should you budget if you’re restoring an old car?

Part of that depends on the type of build you’re doing and how much of the work you’ll do on your own. Of course, if you want a wazoo custom build that you’re paying someone else to do — that’s a different story that can get you into the more-expensive-than-a-nice-house territory.

But if you’re planning on doing a DIY classic car restoration, Ethan and Kristin from Driving Line walk you through the mild restomod build of Ethan’s 1957 Ford restoration they did a few years back in each of the following sections:

  • 0:00 Introduction to Ethan’s 1957 Ford Build
  • 1:52 Brakes & Wheels
  • 3:57 Suspension & Steering
  • 6:27 Engine & Exhaust
  • 8:48 Drivetrain
  • 11:30 Interior & Exterior
  • 15:27 Expendables (Cleaning & Paint materials, Car Fluids, etc.)
  • 20:43 BONUS – Ethan & Kristin have a drag race face-off

Budget Summary by Restoration Section

Brakes and Wheels$2,900
Suspension and Steering$1,740
Engine and Exhaust$2355
Interior and Exterior$930