Cost of Paint and Body Work?

easy calculation that works most time

demaget or new, Blisters or perfekt , different could be 40 to 80 hours
normal time for good or new Body to bring it ready for paint,....40 to 60 hours
paint Job,...24 to 40 hours
sanding and perfekt polishing if wanted,....40 hours
Quality material like standox 4000 to 8000 €
work-hour around 100€ each

best could be 14.000€
highest could be 30.000€
so the way to have it verry good could be the middle with 20.000€

a paintjob on such a car for less than 5000€,...look imposible, because materialcost is higher for quality materials,....where is working time and quality??, wich paint is on the car??,...after one year you will see the bad result for this cheep,....

other way,....a perfekt, showpaint, for such a car that should be hard ride,..??, 30.000€,...??, this is if you have it alltimes at the shop or exhebition,...not to use it, so it makes no sense, pain could be like Gold, but must not

ernst,... a longtime-painter
...$30,000 to paint a replica of a GT40 or for that matter ANY car is beyond my comprehension unless you have unlimited money, are unsuspecting and have unlimited money, or want only the best and be able to brag about it. Nobody in the general public could tell the difference between a $3K and $30K paint job...

Yessir, that is a lot of money but most of the guys here choose not to do the bodywork, body fitment, priming, endless sanding, more priming, taping, and the easier part, spraying the topcoat, so they are left with few choices.

I had to decide at what point to leave things alone and in a few cases bring the quality back down to a more realistic effect (patina). That took even more time, looking at old pictures, then deciding how to get it "period correct", or trying to duplicate how someone might have quickly fabricated a part back then. The endless battle (for me) is where to leave something at 80-90% vs at what point will some dumbass make a comment about a gap or paint finish. I even played with matte additives to gloss down the paint and make it look more period correct (lacquer), but for the sake of matching and touchup, I didn't! Luckily for me, I'm a driver and not much of a show car guy, so I don't have to deal with the uninformed/clueless people as often. I built the car for me, myself and I. ;-)

Oh, and my paint, clear, primers, sealers, fillers, sandpaper, and all the supporting chemicals were easily $2800 plus. My FFR Cobra's paint and clear alone were over $1200....14 yrs ago. Now what about the fiberglass/composite body prep work, fill n sand, and labor?? I think most here can tell the difference between your $3k and $30k comparison, but I agree I wouldn't pay $30k either, I'd do it myself.

I feel for Don as we are building a mk-4 right now. We are fortunate to have the equipment and facility's to do it right and we are headed to show quality. The reality of that is its only at its best when we first get done because its a trailer queen right to the track! The intent is to run the piss out of it as usual patina come fast. If I paid someone to build one of these for me at the level I expect I would lock it away with a guard posted so no one could touch it, that's crazy because in my mind they are meant to be driven! We own cobras mustangs and gt-40's and the gt's are by far the most difficult to finish comparing it to a cobra isn't close because we can do one in 1/3 the time. I have talked to Don on many occasions he is a great guy and has done a great job on his car I think the body on his mk-4 is far nicer then ours. We are doing work on ours as we continue with the build but even for me its mind blowing on how much that is. I hope Don can find a happy median for his body/paint but looking at his build I am sure he wont settle on something mediocre. If It where being built in Africa or somewhere else I am sure the labor costs would be cheaper but for Don I don't think its reality I wish him well and know he will keep us posted....m
5k sterling at the most for a 40. I rented a workshop out to a bunch of lads that did bodywork, the three of them prepped the last 40 in a week and sprayed it. They put the car in the oven and cooked it to get the air in the gelcoat to pop , the rest of the week was spent filling, priming , shaping and guide coats. The final paint job only took a morning. They earned well out of it and they produced a show winning finish which in turn got them more work.


D. Nye

Lifetime Supporter
After discussing the scope of work I wanted done and/or not done to the body, the shop and I are back to where we were at when I dropped the car off. There is two places on the body where the fiberglass panels flex a lot. The top of the spider and the large flat section just in front of the rear spoiler which need reinforcement but no large weight additions.
They have been setting the car in the sun and baking it which is a good thing to find all those nasty air bubbles.
The directions I gave the painter when dropping it off was this needs to be a top show quality paint job and he gives me a life time guarantee on the paint and body work.
I understand that both of those items cost money.
This has been an interesting subject and want to thank everyone for their input. To the first time car builders or future car builders the information should be helpful which is why we all come to this site.

Now I'm back to waiting for the car to be picked up.
Did you relax your requirement of a lifetime warranty on the fiberglass body work and paint? Fiberglass is always moving so I'd be impressed if they can truly offer that.

Fixing the obvious flex or weak areas is a good idea but be aware that new areas will crop up after you put some miles on the car. I know there are few MK-IVs out there you can study and look for other weak areas so that will be an unknown at this point in time. If you plan to track the car, those areas will surface rather quickly...


Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
My rear deck on the Mk1 in front of the spoiler was almost impossible to get and keep flat. Until I copied how Dwight had solved a similar problem with his Mk1.
I built an oak support structure from clear-oak 1x1's and fiberglassed it to the bottom side of the deck.
At 215#, I won't claim that I can dance on it without it moving, but pretty darned close..
My stainless steel heat shield will screw to this structure and add even more strength.. :thumbsup:


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Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Another pic..


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When I was younger (before having kids) I did all my own body and paint work so I have a keen appreciation for the hours of prep time involved in a high quality job. With attention to detail, and clean conditions for painting, a near-show quality body/paint job is quite achievable. However, a show quality job requires a lot of expensive facilities (booth with proper HVAC) and skill, and a lot more prep time.

So, if you're asking for a show quality job, and with a guarantee, you're setting the bar pretty high....particularly for a body in fiberglass. Fiberglass tends to shrink over time and continue to release volatiles.....which makes it hard to keep a show quality finish. It can be done, it's just not easy.

What I can say is that the last 2% getting to a show quality job is where the work lies. If you were OK with a nice driver quality job, or a near-show quality job, there's a bunch less prep time needed....and it will be less expensive.

Personally, I stick with driver/near-show because I drive my a couple years there's going to be stone chips, bugs smears, a scratch or two here or there where my kids leaned their bike up against it or a hedge trimmer fell over.... That said, I admire Don's willingness to go all the way with the show quality requirement.

By the way, if your painter is telling you the paint itself cost $1,500 for a gallon that's bs.....that's the marked up price to you. Colors tend to vary with reds being the most expensive and black being the cheapest....but most go for between $300-500 for reds and $200-300 for blacks.

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
By the way, if your painter is telling you the paint itself cost $1,500 for a gallon that's bs.....that's the marked up price to you. Colors tend to vary with reds being the most expensive and black being the cheapest....but most go for between $300-500 for reds and $200-300 for blacks.

I don't think you have priced a major brand urethane for a while. That is now the cost of the reducer!
Recently bought paint for my 2002 Spec Miata with the Lazer Blue Mica and it was $820 a gallon in Dupont Chromabase(why I chose that color for a race car,I'm not sure), and a gallon of red for another car was a little over $800. However if I got the red in Dupont's "jobber" line Nason, then the price was $260 a gallon. Supposedly, the lower,jobber line's pigments,resins and binders are not as high a quality as the Chromabase. It sprayed out fine for me and looks I'm not sure what the difference really is. Maybe over 10 years the "better" paint will hold color better?