FAQs on Muscle Car,
Classic Car Restoration

What would you like to know about RJ CARS and restoration?

  • 01. What types of restorations do you offer?

    RJ CARS restores vehicles to the restoration level you choose. These include:

    • Concours. The highest level of restoration. On a 100-point judging scale, this level hits the 100-mark of complete and pristine restoration. A car restored to this level can be deemed perfect in every discernible way. Cars at this level are show candidates and are never driven. Achieving this level of restoration is a highly challenging and expensive undertaking.
    • Show. At the show level, the vehicle has been professionally restored and has no major flaws. These restorations fall within the 90 to 95-point range on the 100-point scale.
    • Street Show. At this level, older cars may show some slight wear, but are still highly presentable. These fall into the 80 to 89-point range. 


  • 02. How much does restoration cost?

    Here are the major steps of muscle and classic vehicle restoration. The total cost will depend on the initial condition of the vehicle and the level of quality you want in the final vehicle such as concours, show, or street show. Partial restoration can cost $50 to $100K or more. Complete restoration can cost $150 to $200K or more. Contact us to discuss your vehicle restoration goals.

    1. PreparationClassic cars by definition are several decades old. To properly restore them, everything on the car that can be removed must come off the frame and chassis. The body and frame have to be sandblasted to remove paint, rust, dirt, etc. Every piece, nut, and bolt must be cleaned and possibly re-plated.
    2. PartsDepending on the condition of your vehicle, new parts may be needed to make the car function again. If seek "matching numbers" level, the cost may be higher due to their limited availability. You will also pay shipping and expediting fees. There may be additional cleaning needed because most parts are sold as-is.
    3. Labor CostsDespite high tech tools such as state-of-the-art paint booths, this is still very much a hands-on process requiring highly skilled people. A full restoration may require hundreds of hours of work by several technicians. The shop you choose may outsource specialty work to other companies, and those costs will also be included.
    4. Finishing CostsPainting, welding, and body work is always needed in restoration. Painting costs will depend on the type and quality of paint, the number of coats needed, and the level of restoration.
    5. Vehicle shippingThe car will need to be shipped to the shop and then returned to you. The cost will likely include insurance of the vehicle during transit. You may make the arrangements or the shop you choose may handle that for you.
  • 03. How long does car restoration take?

    Completion times vary depending on the condition of the car, type of restoration desired, availability of parts, and cash flow for the project. We can provide a relatively accurate estimate upon visual inspection of the car.

  • 04. Do you offer free estimates?

    Full Restorations: Developing the rebuild plan to fully restore a vehicle is a very involved process that depends on many factors. Please contact us to discuss your particular situation.

    Collision Work and Repairs. We provide free estimates for these services.

  • 05. Do you handle getting the necessary parts for my car's restoration?

    Yes. We have an extensive list of trusted resources for parts and information.

  • 06. How much experience does RJ CARS have with classic car restorations?

    Please see our About page for an overview of our experience. To summarize:

    • RJ CARS has been in business since 1989. Russell Jacobs, the owner, began his career remodeling classic cars when he was 14.
    • Added together, our team has well over 75 years of experience in vehicle remodeling.
    • We have repaired and/or restored hundreds of vehicles. Our photo gallery features over 80 of our restoration projects organized by make, model and year.
    • Please read our client testimonials will give you an idea of how well we satisfy our customers' expectations for their vehicles.
    • Please review our RJ CARS in the Press page to learn more about us, how we work, our clients, and their cars.
  • 07. What is rotisserie restoration?

    A rotisserie restoration is when the car is completely disassembled and the body is taken off the frame. The body is then placed on a rotisserie, which can be turned to show any space on the car. From there it can be sandblasted to bare metal. Body work is done to repair gaps, holes, and dents. The entire vehicle is then primed, painted, and reassembled the same way the factory did it.

    For another perspective, visit Hagerty's article on "Rotisserie Restoration."

  • 08. Where is RJ CARS located?

    We are located in the Finger Lakes region south of Rochester NY near Dansville and Hornell NY.

    Our address information is at the bottom of every page of this site and on the Contact page.

    Use this Google Map to find us instead of entering our address in Google. Entering it by hand tends to provide the wrong directions. Also, your GPS software may also give you the wrong directions.

    Download our printable driving directions.

  • 09. What are some good sources of information about car restoration?

    Here are some we like. These go to external sites and will open in a new tab in your browser window:

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