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Hey u all, I need some advice.
I have an opportunity to buy a 67 Dan Gurney Special that is claimed to be (or at least was) show quality and has won some awards...asking price is $16K. It was restored in 1988 and has been a garage queen since. Its door plate does not match the color. It has the DGS sticker and chrome engine dressing. AC still works. 178K miles; transmission rebuilt in 1988. Seems very original expect the door. I have not examined the car in person yet nor spoken the owner...just communicated via email. Asked for VIN# but the owner wants me to either talk in person or come see it in person first.

The dilemma I have is this...I already have 2 Cougars both needing complete restoration. 1967 and 1968...both are regualr XR-7's. The 1968 is the one I would want to restore first. I don't need show quality and I am not a perfectionist...just need nice daily driver.
The work needed would be almost everything...moderate body work and paint, vinyl top, bumpers rechroming, all weather stripping, all interior (seats, carpet, headliner,door panels), front window, misc minor mechanical work etc. I've never done a project like this but came up with some rough guesses of cost...and came out to be $13,500

<TABLE style="WIDTH: 252pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=335 border=0 x:str><COLGROUP><COL style="WIDTH: 149pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 7241" width=198><COL style="WIDTH: 103pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 5010" width=137><TBODY><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; WIDTH: 149pt; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" width=198 height=17>Body Work and Paint</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; WIDTH: 103pt; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right width=137 x:num>5000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Vinyl Roof</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>500</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Rechroming</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>1000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Interior</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>2000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Mechanical</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>2000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Tires and Rims</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>2000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17>Windows</TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num>1000</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" height=17></TD><TD style="BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: #ebe9ed; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: #ebe9ed" align=right x:num x:fmla="=SUM(B1:B7)">13500

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

So back to the dilemma...seems easier to just go buy one that is already fixed up.
I don't think I am looking for the gratification or satisfaction of restoring something...so buying is not an issue for me...I think.

I would like to ask the folks here what drives them to take on a restoration project. Is it not true that the money put into a restoration is seldom recoverable..especially for those like me who will require paying someone to do almost all the work? Meaning do people restore something to try to sell it for a profit later or is it mainly for a sense of accomplishment? I am talking about people who do not own a shop.

If I choose the restore route, is there someone in Northern CA (Eastbay Area preferrable) who have restored a 67 or 68 Cougar before and who is willing to help me with advice, referrals to shop and service, parts etc?
 

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I am restoring mine. The lesson I have learned so far is patience. Life can get in the way of a project this large. I have piled up tons of parts and can't find the tons of time. So I will have to be patient. I am pot committed now. You will hear this a a lot from people far more experienced than I...double the budget triple the timeline. After tinkering for 3 years, and enjoying every minute, I am still a good ways off in time and $$$. That said, if there is any doubt, then there is no doubt. If you are not super committed and patient, then it is a daunting task to turn an average car into an enviable driver. This has been a major undertaking and I am not done yet. If I had it to do again, I would buy a car that was pretty far along and then refine it. Something mechanically very good with some upgrades in the 6-8k range and then spend another 8K making it better, making it yours. Just my two cents. I am in the East Bay too.
 

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I agree with Dan. Unless your car is a family heirloom like Mom, Dads or your first car ect. Buy one that is already a great driver and then add to it. That way you have the satisfaction of working on your car and also taking it to the next level. Doing it like this can let you enjoy driving it and working on it at the same time without a long wait.
Steven
 

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Disqualifying myself from providing any valuable or sane input to this discussion. :buck:
 

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A lot of different ways you can look at it, but this is the general rule I following for doing a full restore. The car has to be rare and desirable in order to make it woth your time money and effort to restore. It cost just as much an a little more to restore a rare desirable car as does to do a standard model. We will use your figures to restore a XR7 vs my figures to restore my G car assuming the owner does all the work on both except spraying the paint. You figured $13,500 in cost on the XR7 and I spent 20,000 on the G car for a differance of $6,500 more to restore the G car. You can buy a nice restored XR7 for $16,000 so for your time and effort you make $2,500. For argument lets figure it takes 2,000 hours to fully restore a car. Your $2,500 profit divided by 2,000 hrs = you were working for $1.25 an hour. Figure the G harder to determine market value is $80,000 minus the 20,000 to restore for the time and effort you would make $60,000. We'll add in another 200 hrs for the added G options on top of the 2,000 hrs to restore. $60,000 divided by 2,200 hrs = you working for $27 an hour.
This is the type of math I do before getting into a project. You have other factors as well such as a family car, your desire to own a certain model color combo etc.. I would say you are better off buying a already done or close to done XR7 then doing a full restore on one especially in this economy. The only other driver would be the sence of gratification or satisfaction of restoring something. I think this last sence is what was driving Bob to restore his convert and their is nothing wrong with that as long as you are aware of what your getting into and your happy with the results at the end.
 

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My opinion? If I could have bought one that was a daily driver or already close to finished I believe I would have. I also believe The personal value would have been cut in half. I am finding out the hard way how expensive a restoration project can be. I am sure a car could be restored to a daily driver for much much less. A resto modification for even less. Best thing about doing a restoration is you learn how the car was built. What is what under the hood and dash. I can now tell you what goes where and pretty much why. I know what is in the car and the quality of it. And after my restoration is complete the cat will definitely be coddeled. On the other had if I do this again I will do a modified restoration so that I can change some things, Beef up the engine, change the color and rag on the car when I want to. I like to turn wrenches. Once I have this car done and if my wife ever allows me to do another one it will be much simpler and cheaper. Personally I believe once I had one I would have to get my hands dirty on it and make it my own. Buying one already done would not satisfy me so much. Will I get my money back :) No I don't believe I ever will. No desire to sell though either.
 

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I believe this decision comes down to what you can afford to do. Many of us do projects because we can afford to do things over time (and spend a bit more as a result) but don't have the chunk of change on hand to buy a finished car. If you can afford to buy one that's been done, that's the best financial decision and it gets you to a nice car faster. On the other hand, if you enjoy the journey, it may not be as satisfying to just buy what someone else has already done.

I will say that your numbers are probably low. What looks acceptable on a project car will look unacceptable once the paint has been done and other parts have been replaced or refurbished. So be prepared to see the numbers end up being higher than expected.
 

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My wife of 51 years says, DOUBLE YOUR ESTIMATE, she knows, she pays the bills. Lucky for me though I do ALL the work, and LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

I balance my time between stuff for HER, and my stuff. I feel much better for doing such, as I enjoy working along side her. It's a TEAM thing here, we are BOTH spoiled.

With that said, we have worked for everything we have, NO COMPLAINTS EITHER.

Dale in Indy
 

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yes, i would agree. your numbers are way to conservative.

buy it now if u want to just have a classic to say you have one. restore one u have if u want to be able to have the pride and joy in driving one you actually brought back and put on the road.
 

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I remember seeing a post on here a long time ago about costs and doing it yourself. It said something like you need an equal amount of time and talent and money. If your short in either 1 of those you need to have more of the other 2. If your short in 2 areas you need to be able to make it up in the 3rd.

Correct you are, young Rookie......and I believe, it was said by Mark, AKA, Local Hero, who I think you mentioned elsewhere you had seen a feature article on.....
 

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For me it's all about the restoration and doing the work myself. I don't understand buying a project then sending it to the mechanic and the body shop and $25,000 later getting a finished car back. To me it makes far more sense to buy a car that's already done.
 

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Things can, and OFTEN DO, get out of hand when having someone build a car for you........

Recently I did the bed of a ONE OF A KIND truck, Lace wood, hand rubbed, and I also did some aluminum pieces for this truck.

Hang on now............$400,000.00, actually would you believe $440,000.00, well that's GOSPEL. I don't know what the owner originally thought the build was going to cost, but just shows how things can get out of hand. Lots, and lots of cars and trucks have been hand made to the tune of nearly 1/2 million dollars over the past 5 years. There are MORE deep pockets out there than I could have ever believed.

I wish you well my friend,

Dale in Indy

P.S. Oh by the way, the truck was named, TRUCK OF THE YEAR within the show circuit for 2010. Not a surprise to me, and you can't drive it, well maybe..........
 

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Thanks Mo. Your probably right. I haven't seen him post in a long time. I hope he's still around
No problem, Rookie. He's around. Got two young boys, so he's a busy man. Catch him Curbside, on occasion. Next time I see him on there, I'll let him know you were asking after him.

For me it's all about the restoration and doing the work myself. I don't understand buying a project then sending it to the mechanic and the body shop and $25,000 later getting a finished car back. To me it makes far more sense to buy a car that's already done.
Preach it, Al!!! Next one, I'm doing it all, metal work included. Didn't own a welder for this one, or I'd have probably given it a go this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for the valuable input and enlightenment.
I have decided to go (or least attempt) the "buy" route.
I have put my 2 mangy Cougars up for sale in attempt to buy that restored Dan Gurney Special.
I hope I can sell them before the one I am trying to buy gets sold.
Wish me luck.
Here are some pic of the 68.
Runs and has current registration.
Asking $2500. Location Alameda, CA
 

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imo the 67 looks like an easy restore.
 

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I'm in San Ramon, I might be able to help you with a good deal of your project if you get in a pinch. PM when you need info, advice, or lead on a good shop.


PB
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
imo the 67 looks like an easy restore.
jk69cat
jk69cat, how did u form your opinion? You give me seller's remorse now :=) cause I just sold the darn thing over the weekend. The guy who came with a flatbed showed me all the flaws...he pointed out rust from inside rear quarter panel and showed me from outside the little holes the rust was causing. Before he came, he asked me to look and take pictures of the inside lip of the trunk lid and sure enough there were rust. He pointed out the little spots where bondo work has been done. Then he lifted up that stuff that covers the trunk and there were rust eating thru this little spot where this gourmet was on each side of the gas tank. Not sure if it was his ploy but he seemed willing to leave without making an offer. I went from 1,750 to 1,500 and he offered 1,000. I asked for 1,200 but he would not budge...he acted unsure whether he wanted it even for 1,000. This guy traveled 2 hours to come see my car and he was willing to leave and possible come back for it if I wanted to sell it for 1,000...this was after me telling him I wanted to see what other offers I can get first. Well, I succumbed as I thought of the hassle to have to deal and schedule meeting with other potential buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm in San Ramon, I might be able to help you with a good deal of your project if you get in a pinch. PM when you need info, advice, or lead on a good shop.

PB
PB, thanks for the offer. Just my luck...I just got rid of the 67 at fire sale price. Part of the reason for my decision to "buy already restored" was because there were no offer of help until now from you. I still have the 68 up for sale...people calling but have not shown it to any potential buyers yet. So what do u think? Should I restore the 68 or buy this one I have my eye on. Its on SF bay area craigslist asking 16,000 for 67 Dan Gurney Special...same color as my mangy one. If I buy this guys DGS, I plan to put air shocks and those leaf spring shackles to lift the rear...I like that look. Then I would want to put some cragars SS on it.
 
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