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Concours Restoration success rates


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We see all these shop restored cars and tons of the home restored versions on the web, at the shows and other places..

  I know there are multiple levels of restoration. But what ... as far as true concours level.. are the chances of a fellow at home actually reaching the top level of concours vs. a shop restored car. 

 Do you feel that the limitations of a home shop are to difficult to overcome or has the hobby gotten to the point where a average capable fellow can truly build a top show winning car?

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It all comes down to that individual's skill level, access to proper tools and equipment, patience, attention to detail, research, and deep pockets. Several members here have completed concours level restorations that I would bet the majority of shops would not be able to compete with, as I don't think most shops would pay that level of attention to all of the little details.

73 Grande H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

 

- Jason

 

 

082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg

 

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I would agree with Jason. The big 3 are skillset, time and money. I have seen a lot of restored cars with bad paint jobs and incorrect details that where done by so called pros.  I think you can do a nice restoration your shelf has long as you have the money and a lot of  time.

 

 

John J

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To add to the previous posts which I totally agree with, with the passage of time good quality original or NOS parts are getting harder to find and very expensive. As a result, it's harder and more expensive to do a top quality street driven or trailered concourse restoration these days, than it was 10-15 years ago. It's not impossible if you have a good starting point and the budget and time to find those right parts. I have done two a 69 March 18 years ago, and more recently a 73 that I have been collecting parts for it for over 20 years. Given to scarcity and cost of parts today, I am not planning to do anohter one.

 

For example, I bought this pair of Ford convertible quarters and a front fender 20 years ago for $400 and used them on my 73 restorations, but before I did someone 2 years ago offered me $2,500 for them. Who can afford it at those prices? Furthermore, I love our 71-73 cars, but they don't command that kind of money, so you have to do it for the love of the car and the satisfaction of successfully completing a concourse quality restoration.

 

BTW: I had a shop do the sheet metal and paint. Machine shop do the short block and trans. The rest I did.

 

Just my two cents...

 

20150109_094718_NOS_Quarters_and_Fender.jpg

1973 H Code Convertible - Medium Copper Metallic - June 8, 1973, Built Ford Marketing Sales Vehicle

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I hope you are seeing "great answers" (all above) !!! I will add, you need to start with a car that is both worthy of the effort/money and rare to protect your investment. RESTORING your aunt grande won't be worth the time , just because it was free !'

 

I would look at the threads of https://www.428cobrajet.org/forum/index.php?topic=2547.0 etc etc

 

Mark

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I hear you about the NOS sheet metal. Before I started the bodywork on my car, I found an early (like 1974 date code) left rear quarter for my '71 convertible, for about $800 as I recall. The shipping company folded it in half. I hauled my NOS ram air hood (still in the box!) back myself.

 

Fortunately I got all my money back and when we got into the rear of the car, there wasn't enough rust damage to require a complete quarter panel.

---

Mike

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To add to the prior posters.  First you need to know your skill levels in all of the required areas of doing a true restoration.  Basically, can you build a car?  I will say I cannot do paint & body and truly know that is a skill I will never poses.  I farmed out my paint and body to a shop I heavily researched before dropping the car off.  The search for parts can be daunting but very rewarding when you find that NOS part and get a reasonable price.  Those days are starting to slip away quickly as the 71-73 models come more into the light of appreciation in the marketplace.  I was comfortable moving forward from the completed shell to finish the build and outsourced the engine machining.  A close friend very skilled at engine assembly assisted with the engine build.  

 

I have been very honored to achieve 4 of 4 MCA Golds in class CDE (Driven Concourse).  Each time I have been judged I took their feedback and made improvements in the areas of note.  This was my first and final concourse build (i think). I always knew in my heart and soul I would restore this car to concourse.  Having accomplished that it is now time to move on to enjoy builds and restorations to the degree I want.

 

Some pictures to back up my story.

 

This is was the low point of the build

1561525869_1972mustangaftermedia4.JPG.816a421455bff376a67fc5f2fd26121c.JPG

 

This is what I started with to work on in my garage

P2280352.thumb.JPG.54feced421d00adf9471bf0f3bc52e69.JPG

 

This is the built car, but they are never done

1639394248_19723.thumb.jpg.1630ba970d14dc54b49c20fb74ebce61.jpg

 

 

Always remember to do the build as you want to do it after knowing and understanding what is involved to get it to that level.  Once you set your goal write it down and post a sign with it in your garage.  You will be tempted many times to veer from your goal as the build progresses.

 

Finally, HAVE FUN!   If you are not enjoying the overall process you are doing it for the wrong reasons!

BKDunha

72 Mach 1 H-Code (Concourse driven restoration)

67 S-Code Factory GT with 4-Spd

68 Mercury Cyclone (Pro-Street project)

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I agree with all that has been said. A devoted amateur can do a great concours restoration. I've done a few total restorations but, only one concours restoration. The research time was enormous and at the 90% completed point became annoyingly tedious. Add to that, once it was done and the MCA concours driven Gold was awarded, I just haven't driven it enough to be rewarding because I've spent more time cleaning it after I drive it than enjoying the ride. For those reasons, I will sell the car if and when the market gets a bit stronger. In the end I think I did it just to prove to myself and others that a Gold car could also be fast. Chuck

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For us on the wrong side of the pool, unless you'd have very very deep pockets and someone on the other side looking for parts its not really doable.

Plus that would be really overkill if goal is simply to get some cup unless its really a passion. I mean when I see (read amazed) how @rackerm restored his trans shaft (and other many details), you have little to zero chance to be judged over here by someone even knowing these kind of details. Say caviar for the pigs :)

 

At TMCM (Dutch Mustang Club) The few 7173 that were showing up at the meetings for the concourse category, were judged with a list, and it was a list that was not considering the level of details expected in the states for the same category. You would check if a part would be motorcraft or whatever for that year/model and get points for having it and some points for its state if present. In the end, a car that was well maintained using repro's or clean original parts had a great chance of success. Which is already expensive and time consuming thing over here. But this make the hobby still accessible to a broader range of people (and wallets).

 

I can really value the work involved to maintain/detail a car already in a perfect condition, its a hobby demanding lots of research and detailing work.

Letting all the work done by a shop, pay a big check and go get some cups is not really the hobby to me. Guys like Jay Leno being the exception.

 

@soonerbillz, if you restore that grandé the best you can in its original glory, have fun doing it and eventually enjoy driving it, you'll get my points! :)

73 modified Grande 351C. Almost done. 

71 429CJ. In progress

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I will add another two cents worth.

You will need a tremendous amount of room. You have to take the entire car apart and usually the cowl, floors and trunk out.

Your money and time is better spent finding a rust free car to start with. They are out there and are way cheaper than a pile of rust that takes forever to fix. You do need to invest in equipment for sure. Rotisserie is a must. You will need to spend days and weeks working on the bottom of the car and is much better done standing with good light.

Also take the car to frame shop before you do anything and have them put back to spec.

When replacing floors and such the car cannot be on the rotisserie needs to be on a floor cart or some kind of rack to keep the body square.

You should also have a separate room that you weld and grind in so sparks do not burn down garage or home.

I have a good friend that does usually 3 ground up restorations a year and works by himself most of the time. He does bring someone in for tear down and some lifting. For just the materials to do a full ground up it is in the $6,000 to $7,000 range. That is sand paper, filler, primer,  paint, detail paint, etc, etc. He tells the customer it is a time + material cost and will not do a firm up front quote. Usually between $60,000 and $100,000 for one car. I do not think any have ever sold for what is in them but his cars always win best paint and best at shows even on the national level.

He has had cars go to National shows and have zero points deducted on the car except for radial tires and Interstate battery.

You will also have to make yourself not do some areas too good, lol. Yes spending hundreds of hour on the inside of the floor pan to get perfect will never score you any points. Things that are seen or can be seen need your attention.

You will never be able to get 50% of what you put in the car back out unless a very special model.

I actually quit going to MCA shows years ago because they said lots of things on my original one owner 73 Mustang would have to be changed to do any better. They are a click that sets the rules and if you want to play their game you use their rules right or wrong.

Can be fun or can make you crazy.

I got my shop all done and ready and then my body is falling apart and cannot do anything.

David

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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+1 on everything David said. Chuck

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Thanks so much for the great responses! ..

My reasoning for the original post was to extract a consensus on how ya'll feel on the subject. After much reading of various threads on the forum I have become convinced of the high level of knowledge and experience many of you have concerning not just the car but also in the hobby as a whole.

While I do know my own capabilities as I have worked on cars for many years.. built many motorcycles, restorations were never a giant part of the deal. Hot rodding and racing mostly stock rides was the level I was most accustomed to. So in my limited experience I can only assume the gap between a restored driver of average results and a concours restoration is extremely wide. I just want to understand how much more difficult it really is and whether you all felt confident a home shop could actually pull it off.  

To what degree I can restore my car remains to be seen. Of course as you have made clear. the $$ involved is a huge limiting factor. To what level I am willing to go on that depends on a lot of factors personally. Time will tell. Capability wise, I am confident of my skill sets, and of my ability to learn new methods and skills. But more importantly my age and grudgingly learned experience allows me to see a little more clearly of the things I may not be capable of too...  ..  For myself I am trying to learn as much as possible so I don't make any major mistakes and make the restoration any more difficult that it appears it already is.

Your answers to my questions is a huge part of that and I appreciate the fact.  In my opinion this forum is a much a great asset in the endeavor as any other resource. Thanks!

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Soonerbilz, glad you found the information you needed. Learning is always a key aspect to these endeavors. It sounds like you have a solid foundation of knowledge and experience turning wrenches. Money is a big factor no doubt. Keep in mind that you can still compete at a very high level in showing without having a six figure income. To also help in consideration concourse MCA judging does not focus on part numbers and look for OE sheet metal. With those considerations you are in the Thoroughbred category which in my opinion does requires significant money. Congrats to you for doing your homework first. Do the restoration to the degree you would like and always know this group is here to help out in any way we can.

BKDunha

72 Mach 1 H-Code (Concourse driven restoration)

67 S-Code Factory GT with 4-Spd

68 Mercury Cyclone (Pro-Street project)

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It really comes down to how fussy you want to be and how well you take nitpicky criticism. Concours restorations are all about how the factory put things together - not how well you can refinish parts and assemble them. A couple of high volume factories with somewhat loose quality metrics, hundreds of inconsistent suppliers and a wide variety of finishes on what are supposed to be identical parts is what went into these cars at the beginning - that's what you are aiming for. Not the miles deep paint with flawless color matched engine compartment brackets.

 

Fussy starts at disassembly - note things like markings on bolt heads, bolt finishes, paint colors, shine, are there any markings on it, can you see any tooling marks, just everything. Where is there overspray, where does body color stop and black or slop grey begin? Date codes - oh my god date codes. You can have a new old stock wiper motor that is perfect in every way except for the (*&(^ date code stamped on the side. That's picking nits. Most smaller parts in the engine compartment, like brackets weren't spray painted, they were dipped. So you either need to learn how to make sprayed paint run juuuust right or have a couple of buckets of different shades and finishes of black paint to replicate what was done by the suppliers. Tags, labels, casting numbers, inspection markings, assembly markings, paint codes - it's endless.

 

So you really need to decide what you want, how you want to use it, and how hard you are willing to work for it. This is one of the reasons you hardly ever see plain Jane 6 cylinder 3 speeds with radio delete and dog dish hubcaps in concours competitions. It's so ungodly expensive and intense to take a 45 year old car to that level that any sane person would want to start with something special or rare. It's also why 118% of all Mustang Mach 1's and Boss Mustangs are still on the road - there is incentive to make something special out of what you are actually starting with (please don't do that by the way... at least not without being Very Up Front about the origin of the restoration). Concours cars are rarely driven, if ever. They get detailed, trailered, judged, trailered back and stowed in a cool, dark place until the next show.

 

I don't want to sound like I don't like concours restorations - I think they are amazing and they make great points of reference for the rest of us. I am in the middle of something near to that myself. I actually started with a plain Jane 6 cylinder, 3 speed '71 convertible that I bought back in 1980. I'm not restoring that car - I am building the car I want, which happens to be a car that Ford never actually sold. I am trying to make it as concours correct as I possibly can, which means I am trying to use proper finishes, but if I can't find exactly the right part with exactly the right date codes, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I don't plan to have the car formally judged when it is finished, but I would like to have some qualified judges take a look and tell me how I did. Then I'm gonna drive the piss out of it.

---

Mike

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There's a really good forum devoted to concours-level restorations of Mustangs, although the 7123's don't get a lot of mention.  However, the details of how to refurbish, parts finish, painting and sealant applications are amazing...check it out:  www.concoursmustang.com

Let me check your shorts!

http://midlifeharness.com

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You can build a Resto Mod for half what a perfect restore costs and 99.9% of the people that look at it will not know the difference. It is an OCD thing to do a concourse correct car, lol. Those people need help and stay away from them, lol.

BTW who cares what the paint splotch colors were on the rods, valve springs and such adds no value just history. The only cars that should be there are originals. Only original once can never go back.

Good luck,

David

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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It has been posted on the site before.  For those interested here are the MCA 71-73 Mustang Occasionally/Daily Driven and Concourse Driven and Trailered rules. It will give you an idea on what MCA considers "correct" when judged at an MCA sponsored show. Keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rules.

MCAMustangRules-Occasional-DailyDriven.2016.pdf

MCAMustangConcourse Trailered-Driven Rules71-73.2016.pdf

1973 H Code Convertible - Medium Copper Metallic - June 8, 1973, Built Ford Marketing Sales Vehicle

DSC_0266xsm.jpg

satellite.png Proud Space Junk Award Winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It has been posted on the site before.  For those interested here are the MCA 71-73 Mustang Occasionally/Daily Driven and Concourse Driven and Trailered rules. It will give you an idea on what MCA considers "correct" when judged at an MCA sponsored show. Keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rules.

 

Wow! That's a wide selection of possible check point levels between the classes!

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My dad sold a Boss 429 service block and heads to a customer doing a concourse restoration.

 

The car is a 100 percent / perfect / trophy winning / down to the smallest paint dab and is the most correct Boss 429 in existence.

 

No pistons in it.  No valves or valve springs. No clutch or pressure plate. No guts in the 4 speed.  No acid in the NOS - date correct battery  No fluids.........

 

It gets pushed out of it's heated and air conditioned trailer - gets a trophy - and gets push back on.  

 

We fooled around with MCA in Florida and just got tired of it.   20 years ago 71 - 73 got even less respect than they do now.

 

They used to have a big show at Cypress Gardens each year that my dad would take me to.

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My dad sold a Boss 429 service block and heads to a customer doing a concourse restoration.

 

The car is a 100 percent / perfect / trophy winning / down to the smallest paint dab and is the most correct Boss 429 in existence.

 

No pistons in it.  No valves or valve springs. No clutch or pressure plate. No guts in the 4 speed.  No acid in the NOS - date correct battery  No fluids.........

 

It gets pushed out of it's heated and air conditioned trailer - gets a trophy - and gets push back on.  

 

We fooled around with MCA in Florida and just got tired of it.   20 years ago 71 - 73 got even less respect than they do now.

 

They used to have a big show at Cypress Gardens each year that my dad would take me to.

 

Wow, that's sad.  The point of owning the car (for me anyhow) is to DRIVE it.  No pistons?  Nuts!  I took my 'stang to a small show today, and it sure gets a lot of attention.  Drove it there and back, that's the FUN of owning these rides!

Mach_One

1971 J-Code Owner

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