Paint and Body Work on RCR Cars...

I'm looking for some guidance on what others have paid for their paint and body work on their RCR vehicle. I'm especially looking for information from those in the Houston or Dallas areas. I have an RCR 40 and I'm getting really close to paint time, I just want to know what to expect...

Thanks,
Sean
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Sean, "Paint and bodywork" Will need a lot more detail on how much bodywork and what level of paintjob. This could be a low as a couple of thousand or even less and as high as 10s of thousands. Will you do any of the body prep? Do you what a fully custom car show paint job?
 
Howard, I would say a show paint job or just shy of that. I know that a couple thousand isn't going to cut it... I got my first quote the other day and I was a little shocked by the price to say the least. I'm not planning on doing any of the blocking and sanding but I will have everything mounted on the vehicle, and functioning. I would want the body shop to handle the final gap work.
 
I am quessing that you are looking at $15,000 t0 $25,000 depending on the state of the body and the level of fit you have managed. It all boils down to time
 
I could go on and on with this topic being one that enjoys playing around with fiberglass, carbon, kevlar, and making molds. Going to SEMA and being able to closely inspect the GT-40s there did not impress me. I'm too anal when it comes to these cars. Therein lies my personal dilemma as the real, vintage cars were never near perfect, so I have to settle for leaving my work at about an 80-90% of my standards and walk away from it for awhile as it kills me sometimes. I also understand the cascading effects of how subtle changes in one panel can affect the fit elsewhere, panel buffeting/vibrations at speed, stress areas, and so on. Some forward thinking is needed/helpful. Door gaps and seams, however, were a non-negotiable item and I try to get these well enough that when you see a reflection across the car, across the roof line, the image does not get distorted or offset from seam to seam. It also provides me with a little consolation as I walk away and look back at the car, it gives me pleasure. ;-)

Understand that fiberglass just moves/migrates with time, heat, and cold cycles.

The $15-25k is a realistic number from what I've seen, and my experience doing all my body work and paint, but don't expect the end result to be perfect as these shops can't afford to work on your car for a year or more, letting things properly cure and settle from step to step. I've seen at least one of these "$25k" repaints and still find flaws with it but the owner is happy with it and that's all that matters. Just understand that no one, except maybe the owner/builder (you), will put the blood, sweat, and tears into building/finishing a car like this.

I would highly advise you get your suspension/wheelbase set and finalized, doors, hinge work, bonnets, to match to the best of your abilities before releasing it to a body shop. That is your foundation that the body sanders, panel techs, and painter will use to start from. Then be ready to miss your car for awhile. Consider disabling the car so it can't go on a joy ride (happened a twice to me with other cars). Better yet, pull the engine/trans back out and do the finishing touches from home to keep you busy in the meantime!

Good Luck!
 
I agree w/ the $15-25k number

I made the mistake with my cobra and went with a low bid initially

Then I had to re-paint it, which took almost a year because of all the issues caused by the first body guy.
 

Dwight

RCR GT 40 Gulf Livery 347 Eight Stack injection
Supporter
David Brown in the Carolinas $10,000. Bruce in Atlanta $12,000. Shop in Hvs Ala. lot's of fiberglass work over $30,000
 
I never considered the possibility of having a shop paint mine but as I’m rounding the corner I can’t imagine anyone doing a nice job for under $20-25k. The number of inclusions I’ve fixed under the gel coat is mind bending, especially in all the tight areas of the spider, rear clamshell, and dash. Just when you think your done a tiny pinhole leads to carving out and filling a void. Another point about drive ability, I’ve added another 10-15 lbs of glass to thicken areas I knew would be a problem in the future. Areas that were paper thin and the gel coat color was printing back through the fiberglass. If a shop quotes $10k they are either going to do a terrible job, let it sit in frustration, or come back at you with another $10-15k in charges.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
I never considered the possibility of having a shop paint mine but as I’m rounding the corner I can’t imagine anyone doing a nice job for under $20-25k. The number of inclusions I’ve fixed under the gel coat is mind bending, especially in all the tight areas of the spider, rear clamshell, and dash. Just when you think your done a tiny pinhole leads to carving out and filling a void. Another point about drive ability, I’ve added another 10-15 lbs of glass to thicken areas I knew would be a problem in the future. Areas that were paper thin and the gel coat color was printing back through the fiberglass. If a shop quotes $10k they are either going to do a terrible job, let it sit in frustration, or come back at you with another $10-15k in charges.
I worked over the entire body with a small pick-hammer that I used to use for chipping slag off of welds and came up with hundreds of holes which were air bubbles in the gel coat and in the resin underneath. I feel pretty confident that I got them all, but you never know. For what it's worth, I found the same issues with the fiberglass in the Factory Five Cobras I built. Industry norm perhaps?
 
Hey Sean,
Let's chat. I have a lot of experience having airplanes painted, in the Texas area. In some ways these paint shops are similar because they are familiar with fiberglass. In others, they are different because it is not always a state of the art $million paint booth.

I would stay away from water based urethane's, as I've had terrible experiences with durability and adhesion. I had a motorcycle tank painted 4 times with water based urethane, and it pealed off like masking tape. These paints were forced on some shops by the EPA. I finally went back to the solvent based paint, and it sticks like............paint.

The next question is whether you want a single-stage, or two- stage paint. Single is just color, and two-stage is the color base covered in clear. The two-stage will hide some of the imperfections in the fiberglass as you can build up the clear and buff it out. Single is cheaper, and can also buffed.

The biggest expense will be the labor involved in prepping the fiberglass. It's terrible work, but if you do it yourself you will save a lot of $$$. As previously stated, you will never get it perfect. You can always fill and sand it one more time. A local shop should be able to do a good, single color paint job for a reasonable price if you walk in with the body ready for primer and paint.

If you want to detail you car in race livery you will have to decide if the numbers and stripes will by vinyl or paint. Vinyl is cheap and easy, but if you don't replace it every 5 years or so, it will begin to crack and is a pain to remove. Painted stripes and numbers can be incorporated into the base coat and then it all can be sanded and cleared to give you a smooth, deep look. However, it will be the most expensive.

A local shop stripped and painted this airplane for less than $15K. Four color metallic, complex job with overall clear.
2020APRedit2.jpeg


Your car will have much less surface area and I'm guessing it would cost half the price?

Give me a call or text and let's get together one day soon. I want to pick your brain about the RCR and see your project.

Jimmy Cash
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
One piece of advice.

DO NOT track a $25,000 paint job. NOT even once! The tire swarft is little pieces of hot rubber that picks up asphalt grit, little rocks and metal stuff and then cools into a ball that can be the size of a golf ball or larger. Then it gets thrown at high velocity off the tire of a car in front of you and you run into it at a 100MPH. Paint will not hold up to much of that. You could, more than likely will, return to the paddock and find you just REALLY FUCKED UP your beautiful $20K paint! I've seen guys with brand new Porsches and BMWs nearly in tears.

Track car = cheap single stage, single color, paintjob or maybe even a hard look at a wrap job.
 
I am following Cam's lead and doing plasti dip. If you spray it thick enough is easy to remove and you are looking at around $500. That helps you see what areas of the car get road rash etc, as well as allow the body to settle and to see which areas are a high risk for cracks that may need reinforcement. Also it can help you see what areas may benefit from clear bra type protection as well. And a bonus: try out a color scheme. I am thinking one of those shifting colors.

I will call it a paint try out and prototype. Just my 0.02
 
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