How much does it cost?:
The average vehicle has over 4,000 parts. Most of our projects include complete disassembly: removal of every nut, bolt, and washer, down to the bare body and frame. This is the only way to ensure 100% removal of all rust. All parts are carefully bagged and tagged, and stored in labeled bins, grouped by section, organized meticulously in a closed room designated for the vehicle.
A minimum of three videos and usually several hundred photos are taken during disassembly, for reference during reassembly later. This phase and all future phases of the project are directed in detail, by our 65-page industry-leading procedural manual, developed right here at Evolve. The average time taken to disassemble and accurately bag and tag, organize and document an entire car is 102 hours, for a total cost of $17,850.
At Evolve, we strongly recommend acid dipping as a superior alternative to sandblasting. Acid dipping is the way to preserve the integrity of the metal, while removing rust from every crevice and cavity, which blasting could never reach. The dipping consists of three tanks.
The first tank removes the previous coatings of paints, primers, and fillers. Then, after pressure washing, the second tank removes the rust with acid while leaving the steel untouched. The third and final tank neutralizes the acid, to prevent the possibility of future reactions with paint, in addition to leaving a layer of rust inhibitor. The average cost for the dipping is $7,500. This includes transportation to/from the facility where the dipping is done, in Oregon.
This service varies greatly by vehicle, depending on the extent of rust and the quality of previous metal repairs. After decades of history, a vehicle often has hidden deficiencies, such as rust holes covered up with body filler, which will break at an unknown future time if they’re not dealt with properly.
At Evolve, we’ve seen all manner of sins against vehicles, including inch-thick flooring adhesive covering rusted floor pans, a layered cake under the carpet made of newspaper-flashing-cardboard, a soda can filling a rust hole, and even half a volleyball covered in undercoating that served as a fender liner. After the metal has been exposed by acid dipping, we’re able to provide a specific estimate for the metal work needed on a car.
After the dipping, and either just before or just after the metal work depending on the project, we wash and coat cars in epoxy, and bake frames and suspension components with powder coating, for ultimate durability. We also apply cavity wax to the insides of enclosed cavities like rocker panels and doors, for rust prevention.
Many of the cars we complete go to humid climates, so we prepare the cars to withstand these conditions for future generations. On average, a car takes 70 hours to properly seal and straighten in preparation for final surfacing, at a total cost of $12,250.
To ensure every panel of a car is straight and will reflect paint beautifully, each car gets multiple rounds of polyester primer, block-sanding down to fine grits, and quality checks. We inspect each panel with a reflective liquid applied under fluorescent lighting, to simulate the most demanding circumstances and show any flaws in the surface prior to painting.
Door alignment and gaps are checked and adjusted properly. Finally, each car is declared ready for paint. This entire process takes an average of 60 hours, at a total cost of $10,500.
Once in our state-of-the-art paint booth, each car is carefully washed with two different types of residue-free cleaning agents, and completely brushed with tack cloth to remove any fragments of lint. Then a final round of sealer is sprayed – this time urethane sealer, for ultimate moisture and chemical barrier and a foundation for the paint. Then the industry’s best paint is sprayed – even paints that are illegal for other shops to spray.
To maintain its exemption from the regulatory requirements that body shops are made to comply with, Evolve maintains meticulous records as a restoration shop, to ensure that whatever product is most durable can be sprayed.
While spraying the highest quality paints, sourced from Glasurit and PPG, we use booth filtration to limit emissions into the air. After the paint has cured, we sand various surfaces of the car with extremely fine grits, then buff and polish to obtain an absolute mirror finish. The result is award-winning. The total hours put into the average paint and finish job is 75, for a total cost of $13,125.
The average car has over 4,000 parts. Evolve carefully sorts through these parts, and groups them to be either replaced, restored, or obsolete due to customizations. The parts that are restored are tested for functionality – such as radios, heater fans, lighting assemblies, etc, and repaired and lubricated as needed.
Every part that passes through the component restoration process at Evolve is certified as functioning properly. In addition to functionality, parts are treated aesthetically as appropriate for the project, often by cleaning and polishing or sanding and painting.
In concours-level projects, great care is taken to ensure every piece down to the smallest hardware markings is accurate for originality. The average number of hours it takes for component restoration on a whole car is 120, at a total cost of $21,000.
The brightwork on a car can consist of chrome, stainless steel, anodized aluminum, zinc or cadmium plating, and brass. Mostly when the phrase “re-chrome” is used, it refers to plating and polishing of a combination of decorative metals, called “brightwork”. Depending on the amount of brightwork and the condition (dings and pitting), the cost of metal finishing can vary greatly.
As one could imagine, a 1950’s American car could have many times as much brightwork as a European car of the same era. One consideration in metal finishing is whether or not to replace parts.
For example, the entire brightwork on a Mustang could be replaced for less than $2,000, and the cost to refinish the original brightwork might be closer to $15,000. However, originality is often an important consideration, depending on the particular project. Evolve uses the top chrome plating vendor, for a high-quality triple plating process.
Evolve offers a variety of interior options, from stock interiors, to custom seat mounts, to custom-designed consoles and panels, to modern electronics and lighting, etc. Regardless of your desires for the project, we can make your imagination reality. Stock interiors generally start around $6,000 to include seat skins, carpet, door panels, and headliner. Custom options can go into the tens of thousands.
Evolve is licensed for all aspects of mechanical repair. Most complete projects include engine rebuild, transmission rebuild, rear axle rebuild, brake system rebuild, suspension rebuild, fuel system rebuild, and ignition tuning. The costs vary greatly, depending on the specifics of the project. We provide a list of recommendations, customized for the owner’s intentions for the project and our inspection.
The reassembly phase is when the several independent processes combine into a single line of progress, bringing together the body, the mechanical assemblies, the restored components, and the new parts. All the carefully bagged and tagged parts, labeled, photographed, and stamped “ready to install” are organized by system and laid out for assembly.
A lead technician supervises the order of operations, which is followed according to a proprietary numbering system developed at Evolve. All of this is to maximize efficiency, accuracy and quality, in a built-by-hand environment that’s not anything like the mass-production factories many of these cars were built in.
We start with the inner-most portions of the car, such as the brake lines (on the body) and the window mechanisms (in the doors), and work outwards to avoid any missteps and rework. All our procedures from the very beginning to the end of the project are managed through work orders, written action plans, and quality control sign-offs. The time to completely assemble a car from scratch averages 240 hours, for a total cost of $42,000.
Following reassembly of the car, Evolve manages outside professional services such as alignment, air conditioning, stereo system and electronics modernization (if desired), and dyno tuning (if needed, as in the case of new engine break-ins). The costs vary according to the specific project, and a customized estimate can be created following the initial discovery phase.
Every car at Evolve receives an extensive series of inspection and road-test procedures for functionality before being declared complete. This includes a systems test checklist that matches the one initially run when the car arrived at Evolve. Any little details not properly like new are addressed.
After every work order on the project has individually been signed off by the Project Manager, and in summary signed off by the General Manager, the President personally drives each car 50 miles, and creates a punch list of imperfections that are then addressed. Then, and only then, is the car’s owner notified the car is complete and ready for enjoyment.