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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2021, 06:28 PM
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Default Realistic paint cost

Hello all,

I need a little advice, direction, opinions, in general….help with the painting of my car. First off, it a 2019 Shell Valley and the body is gel coated fiberglass. I finished the build in December of 2020 and I have been driving it around proudly in its primered glory. I did a moderate amount of body work (sanded off the body mold lines, filled pin holes, adjusted some gap issues and filled in minor imperfections in the body) and used rattle can primer to at least clean up my work. I’m looking a getting it painted in October/November and plan on going Monza Red, no stripe.

I started calling around to various (some recommended) body and paint shops in the area to get estimates. Some painters gave me a “rough estimate” over the phone because they had painted Cobras in the past and a couple have given me estimates in person. So far the range is: a low of $18,000 (he said it was a family discount) and would take 11 months to complete, a mid estimate of $25,000 for a “decent” paint job, all the way to $50,000 for a “show quality” done in 4 months easy.

I know paint, supplies and time are expensive but are these costs out of whack ? I had budgeted about $10,000 for a good quality paint job and I know you get what you pay for but this is a head scratcher. I plan on driving it a lot (like I do now) so it’s not going into any car shows for awards.

Thanks for your help

John
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John248 View Post
So far the range is: a low of $18,000 (he said it was a family discount) and would take 11 months to complete, a mid estimate of $25,000 for a “decent” paint job, all the way to $50,000 for a “show quality” done in 4 months easy.
Just a tad, ever so slightly, bit high.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:46 PM
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I've been shopping around for a paint job and am also sticker shocked at the quotes I've gotten. After 14 years and close to 80,000 miles my car is looking pretty rough with lots of road rash and a few track scars. I obviously rather drive the car than let it sit in the garage. I'm sticking with the same color and I'm going to do all the Remove and Install the trim, windshield, roll bar, handles, lights and stuff. I did have one shop tell me $20K, without even looking at the car. The estimates you've received are certainly plenty high. I found several shops by looking on Yelp and will have one of them do the job for me for what I consider to be much more reasonable and gave me a 2-3 week time frame. I've heard of a couple painters in CA that have done lots of Cobras, but I can't remember their names. You could do a search on CC and I'm sure their names would pop up. Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:04 PM
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Somthing like the Street Rod Painter in Yuba City, CA
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:01 AM
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Wow - would be almost cheaper to ship it to South Africa and get an excellent paint job for $4000 plus shipping. Or, cheaper still, fly out a good South African painter for a working holiday.
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Old 06-03-2021, 04:44 AM
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I posted a similar reply to this question elsewhere recently...
Given that most of the prep work was already done, as my car's body was used to create a splash mould, my car was then painted by the painter at a local boat yard. Took a week in total, and cost such a relatively small amount that I don't recall what it was. The costs you are quoting are on a different planet to mine.
Good luck!

Here it is in the paint booth at the boat builder's...



More pics in one of my albums.


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Old 06-03-2021, 05:10 AM
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Your estimate of $10k should be on the high-end honestly. Especially a solid color w/ no stripes. Ask around if you have any car friends that do paint work.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:14 AM
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Sounds like you are getting hit with the West Coast price penalty. A friend had a custom shop do his 63 Galaxies which included a fair amount of metal work and straightening and he had about $16k in it at completion. But it’s a big, big car - probably twice the surface area as a Cobra. The shop owner would tell him he couldn’t believe how much paint it was taking for a complete pass.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:17 AM
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The gold car, however years ago, $3000
I recently painted an alloy 427 car at $15,500 including blocking so those prices you are quoted seem high to me. It would be cheaper to send it away as you live in a high rent district.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:23 AM
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This discussion comes up every so often. Factory 5 builders are the group who are always looking for painters as their cars are unfinished. They have found there are select painters throughout the country who specialize in painting these cars, give the best prices and have the best finished prices. What they also have found is that many painters will give purposely high estimates because they don't want to be bothered.
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Old 06-03-2021, 06:37 AM
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Part of the problem you ay be experiencing is that the EPA controls for painters in A have added a lot of costs to owning a paint booth. You ay want to look at shipping the car to another state to get it painted.

In SE Wisconsin I have a painter that has estimated my paint at $6k!

Thom
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Old 06-03-2021, 07:49 AM
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These are tough to answer but I have first hand personal experience. In 2015 my car was painted and included a hard top and stripes. This included sanding the whole car down past prior primer application in the 90’s. My Cobra body was molded in the 80’s. I had so many other items done on the car due to my own project scope creep. But just body work and paint was about $18k including the hard top which really blew my budget. My guess is the reshaping ( cutting and glassing )and prep and paint for hardtop alone was over $2k. And the target was a “driver” not a show car paint job.
The job was performed by a Vette specialist who has painted hundreds of cars.
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:49 AM
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Is Jeff Miller still painting cars in San Diego? He has a lot of experience with fiberglass cars like these and his work is outstanding.
Larry
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:15 AM
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Hi John248, Take a look at Ken’s custom auto body in Yuba City. 530-671-7250. They have lots of experience with Cobra kits. I know the importance of not only getting someone with fiberglass experience, but also with these awesome cars and knowing their way around the cobras. Good luck!!!
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:36 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I did some more research and and it definitely sounds like some, if not all, of the painters I talked with are trying to fund their post COVID vacation through me.
I forgot to add to my original post that I planned on taking everything off the car (windshield, roll bars, all lights, latches, etc), the seats and steering column out. Basically haul it in on a trailer and roll it into the shop. Reassembly would be done by me.
I have two more local painters to talk with and then may start my search outside of Central California. I have heard of several painters in Southern Cali that are very good at their craft and may reach out to them.
OR as one cobra owner put at a local car gathering….the primer brings back a look of “build in progress”…not for show, but for go !

Thank you again
John
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:39 AM
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To repaint my CSX to a different color the numbers were 20-50K. McClusky was 50K and I suspect to get the quality of work from the others they would have been the same. He also would remove all the old paint and he might have even been going to take the body off the frame. This was in 2009 so no doubt it's gone up.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:26 PM
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Wow I'm glad this thread came up. Upon completion my car will need to be painted.
My BIL who use to be an auto body guy and his work is meticulous. He has said he would love to work on my car. The problem is he lives 1100 miles away. I better start looking for a trailer.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobjshelbys View Post
To repaint my CSX to a different color the numbers were 20-50K. McClusky was 50K and I suspect to get the quality of work from the others they would have been the same. He also would remove all the old paint and he might have even been going to take the body off the frame. This was in 2009 so no doubt it's gone up.
Well maybe this is CA regulations?
The regulatory situation in CA is insane with prop65 etc... Kamala Harris...
McClusky is in CA and is also not a general shop thus elite $. The car I had painted was at the east coast equivalent of Mike however the car was bare metal and no trim so it was really body and paint.

I would shop around, again maybe look at AZ or NV shops as they will have less regulations which we all know costs us all $$.
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:35 PM
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I'm in New York (upstate) and my CMC kit went in for paint and glass work in April. Shop told me it would be done in July. I also shopped all over and got prices from $6000 to 25K+. The shop I chose told me $13,000 for the labor (250 hour estimate) to get gaps even, fix imperfections and glass together inner fenders and panels under doors. He said body was one of the worst he'd seen. At this point he's got 80 hrs in and its in primer and been blocked. I'm not sure how long it'll take to lay on 2-3 coats of paint and wet sand and then buff but it looks like he may have estimated high (at least for my checkbooks sake). He also figured materials at about 3K so $16,000 total. I also had figured 10 grand so past couple months I've been scraping up every spare nickel I can find to make sure I can get it finished. I did do a lot of pre-order by stripping off everything before delivering to keep costs low as well. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John248 View Post
.....So far the range is: a low of $18,000.... a mid estimate of $25,000 for a “decent” paint job, all the way to $50,000 for a “show quality” ....
I know things are different now, but back in the '60s, there is no way that Shelby would have been spending the '60s equivalent of $18k, let alone $50k, on the paintwork for a new Cobra.

If we want to enjoy our cars, they need to be driven. OK we are careful where we park them in public places, but no one can avoid the stone chips on the nose or the rear fenders. What I'm saying is shop around, pay for a reasonably good job, and then enjoy it, stone chips and all

Cheers,
Glen
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