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Body and Paint cost

I have the opportunity to buy a 1949 Doge Coronet Coupe. Very good mechanics. Body has a moderate amount of rust around the edges. Frame seems solid. Any ballpark ideas about cost for the body work and paint?

It depends on the condition of the body as it sits, and how good you want the body/paint to look when it’s done.

And also depends if you’re the one doing this body work or hiring it out?

Images of the vehicle would also be helpful.

But when it comes to body/paint restoration, it usually costs more than a brand new engine for the vehicle.


Why would anyone think they could get an cost estimate for body work and paint from someone without having the vehicle right in front of them. And no, pictures will not help because you can’t see what is behind the rust or paint.

Usually, if the body has some rust, the frame is much worse. You should double check that.

If you want a perfect job it will cost more than the car is worth when you are done. Which is why no one is going to do a body off restoration an a 49 Dodge . (A car I would like to have myself). If you just want a car to enjoy driving and taking to local cruise nights it would be 10 times less but you can’t get an estimate without getting a the car and bodyshop owner together and having an honest conversation about what you want and is he interested in doing it.

$500 to $50,000.

I’m worried you’re asking, because that indicates you haven’t worked on cars much. A '49 Dodge is a low-value high-work project. Why did you choose it? What is your experience? Have you driven a car like this?

If the rust is not too bad underneath I’d just do a little rust repair on the visible parts, slap a quickie paint job on it, and enjoy it as is.

While I personally don’t care for the operation, even MAACO could be an option on a car like this.
They could provide you a quote within minutes.

You do NOT want to get into a rotisserie job and 8 coats of hand rubbed lacquer as the cost would be obscene even on a very desireable model of car.

Even an experienced restorer would need to examine the vehicle and discuss with you your goals before providing a guesstimate. The only thing I can guarantee you is that once the body is lifted and examined there’ll be a lot more than just “rust around the edges”. That’s usually just a hint of what’s actually there.

Unless you can safely fund many times what you think this’ll cost, I don’t recommend getting into this. I have to agree with Texases, too, your question suggests that your experience with cars might be limited, and I’ll even go further by suggesting that your question suggests that you plan to pay to have all the restoration work done. Allow me to suggest with respect that unless your financial well is very deep you’ll quickly find yourself broke and with little progress made.

If you still want to proceed, I strongly urge you to have this vehicle evaluated by an experienced professional restorer before putting a single dime into it.

Yeah you really have to talk to a body shop. Materials alone can make a big difference depending on the quality you pick. Then some folks have ten or more coats on their car. So maybe a couple thousand for a standard job on up to 5 or 10K for a premium job. Back in 65 a guy I knew had a 49 Dodge done for $100 and I had mine done for $20 after doing all the prep. A gallon of paint now can be $500 instead of $10 back then.

“Back in 65 a guy I knew had a 49 Dodge done for $100 and I had mine done for $20 after doing all the prep. A gallon of paint now can be $500 instead of $10 back then.”

And, of course, after an additional 5 decades, the OP’s car is sure to have a LOT more rust than those Dodges did in 1965.

The car really needs to be examined by an expert. If the rust is not overwhelming its’s possible the car could be easily made into a fun toy without too much expense.

I went and checked out a '68 Camaro for someone recently and per the usual it also had some rust but it was what I would call moderate. The rear quarters had already been replaced and everything else was pretty much surface rust.
Some minor body work and paint would make this one a tolerable fun car. The amazing part to me was that the interior was still in excellent shape.

The same for a '58 Edsel I checked out for someone. Amazingly solid for its age with only surface rust.
Salt is not a big issue here in OK and rust is normally not that big an issue unless the car has been sitting for decades in wet, 3 foot tall weeds.

Back in 1977 after I lost my first wife, I bought a 1948 Dodge that I was going to restore. I did have the engine running well and relined the brakes. I replaced a rear fender that had been damaged. Fortunately, before 1953, all fenders Chrysler products were bolted on. However, when I found out how expensive body and interior work would cost, I realized I was in over what I wanted to spend. I was driving the Dodge down the street and a fellow pulled up along side me and offered $100_more than I paid for the Dodge. I took him up on the offer and never regretted it. My advice is to stay away from the 1949 Dodge. Old cars are fun, but expensive.

The first cars I drove were a 40 Buick, model A ford and a 41 Studebaker. First car I bought was a 52 Plymouth. They were all pretty simple to work on except for putting a clutch in the Buick with the torque tube driveline,

You could probably switch between the 49 Dodge and the 52 Plymouth and not be able to tell which one you were driving unless you could see the emblems, The Dodge and Plymouth were both smoothe riding cars with very comfortable seats and great seating positions and both would do mid eighties, The 41 Studebaker Commander was good foe 90-95. The 40 Buick Century with 8 cylinders and 2 two barrel carbs would and did hit 100. It was the fastest GM car of the day with more power than the Cadillac.