Does my car have to be dipped?
No it doesn’t have to be, but in most cases we highly recommend it as the best option. There are three main processes when it comes to stripping the body of your car; mechanical (using a sander by hand), media blasting, or dipping.
Mechanical is the most affordable but if you plan on doing more than just an exterior repaint, it’s usually not the route to go. This method does not eliminate all the rust.
Media Blasting is the best option IF YOU HAVE A RUST FREE vehicle. This method effectively removes all paint, primer, and filler products on your car but it will not remove rust in areas that cannot be reached. (Example: inside frame rails or rocker panels).
Acid Dipping is the best option for moderate to heavy rusted vehicles as it will clean absolutely everything off the metal.
Some people swear against dipping as this caustic material can be harmful if the metal is not fully rinsed and prepped for e-coat. This is why you need to use a knowledgeable and detail oriented restoration shop. Your project can start off on the wrong foot in the beginning stages when choosing to use cheaper, less knowledgeable shops.
How do you create the look and feel of original organosol??
We have what was said to be the last few cases of the original dicryl organosol used from the factory. Unless specifically requested, we do not use this on restorations due to it’s lacquer base (lacquer is not long lasting or durable). Instead we have formulated an exact product to use solely on our restorations.
How do you get the bodywork so straight??
To put it simply, artistry. Anyone can follow how to paint a car 101, but it takes a skilled tradesman with an artist’s eye and touch to be able to create these laser straight bodies. It takes a lot of time, patience, and artistry to keep blocking and sanding until it’s perfect. In the restoration world, the word “straight” is used too loosely and in actuality there are very few shops that can achieve this kind of paint and body work.
When examining cars for straightness use these general tips to tell if’s been perfectly straightened:
Perfectly aligned body panels,
No highs and lows when sighting down the side of the car
No waves, ripples or orange peel
Reflections should be clear, and mirror like
Do you use reproduction parts on your restorations?
Yes and No. It depends on what YOU want. There are plenty of good reproduction parts made today and plenty of bad ones. We know which are good and which are bad and will help you make the decision to go with original, reproduction or NOS. We have won many 1st place awards in Original Equipment classes using reproduction parts and have no predisposed notions that one way is better than the other. It depends on what you want. If we can get an original or NOS (new old stock) part we would usually prefer that, but sometimes the budget won’t allow it or the client just doesn’t want it.
Do you do everything in house?
No. And 9 times out of 10, nobody does. Having everything done in house increases overhead and drives up the cost of your project. The more property, equipment and employees a shop has, the more overhead they have, the higher hourly rate and service charges they have.
We’ve used this method once before and it failed. Now we send out what doesn’t need to be done in house. We use very reliable vendors to help us and quality check anything sent out many times.
A few examples of things we don’t do in house:
Dipping and e-coat
Extra large powder coating
Boring or honing of blocks and/or heads
These are all processes that require very expensive equipment and would drive up the cost of the service substantially versus using a vendor that solely provides these services.
The term “one stop shop” refers only to us handling your project from inception all the way through delivery. Meaning there is no need for you to find your own chromer or powder coater. We already have our preferred vendors for these services and even get these services performed at a substantial discount which we pass along to you.
A pricing example:
If your car requires a vinyl top, we use a local interior/fabrics vendor to do this. Why? Because if it takes us 10 hours to perfectly apply a vinyl top, that would cost you $650.00. Verses using a vendor who does this type of work every single day and has become perfectly efficient who charges $250.00.
You become better with practice and how do we compete with a company who ONLY does this type of service. It’s simple. We can’t.
It’s their specialty.
Restoration is ours.
Do I have to bring my car to you for evaluation or will you come to me?
Either or. If you live near us, feel free to stop by anytime during normal business hours or make an appointment on Saturday or Sunday. If you live out of state, we are more than happy to travel to you for the cost of travel. We do not charge an initial inspection fee for potential projects, we require only the travel fees.
Can I set a monthly budget?
Yes. We deal with many customers who choose to set a monthly budget ranging from $1,000 – $10,000. We believe everyone deserves to have their dream car, their vision, or their first car restored to an unbelievable level. If that means you need to do it on a budget, that’s fine with us.
Do you provide a warranty with your restorations?
Yes. We are an honest shop. If we do a full rotisserie restoration on your car, we will stand behind what we did 100%. If we only paint your car, the warranty is a little different due to the circumstances of the project. If we receive your car and you only want it repainted OVER the previous paint job, we obviously can’t warranty it blindly. This would all be discussed based on the particular project. But rest peacefully, when choosing Apex, you’re choosing an honest shop who will stand by our work.
Do you do progressive restorations?
Yes. Similarly to setting a budget. Any sort of progressive restoration you want to work out, we are more than willing to listen and try to make it happen.
How am I billed?
We do monthly billing at Apex. At the end of every month we create an invoice and either mail or email it (or both). The bill consists of all labor and parts that went into your project that month. If you want hard copies of photos we can send those along at this time, along with a time report which will reflect the total hours punched on your project.
Do you build custom cars?
Yes. No project is too big or too small. We have a wide variety of knowledge and tools accessible to us and can make your dream car your reality.
Why should I choose you over other restoration shops?
Quality. Knowledge. Honesty.
We offer restorations and custom builds built to the highest level. Few restoration shops can build cars to this level and over the past twelve years we have won award after award for our restorations. Building cars to this level is an art that requires an artists eye. Just like there is only one Davinci and one Monet, there is only one Apex… and that’s us.
We offer estimates, whereas other shops give a time and materials only due to the difficulty of knowing exactly what project holds. Not us. We’re honest with you and tell you from the get-go what you’re looking at spending. This is our business, and we know our business. So when it comes to estimating a project, we’ve got your best interests at heart.
Any project you think might be better than ours, please bring it to our attention. We always want to stay ahead of our competition.
Do you offer estimates?
Absolutely. We wouldn’t walk into a substantial project without some sort of estimate, therefore we wouldn’t expect you to. We even offer locked in labor estimates. Call us for specific details.
What is e-coat?
E-coat, or electro-coating, is the process used AFTER acid dipping and the metal repair work is completed
. At this stage your car is then e-coated. E-coating is the process in which your car will be cleaned and readied to be dipped into a rust inhibiting agent, then dipped into a primer agent that will be electro-statically charged tank that will adhere the primer to the car. This is a process we typically recommend to our clients as it will help to preserve the restoration for years to come.
What is dipping?
Dipping, otherwise known as acid dipping, is a process used to prepare the metal on your car for the body and paint stage. Before this process, your car is completely disassembled down to it’s bare metal shell. The shell is then dipped in an acid chemical in it’s entirety to remove all the paint, filler, bondo, dirt, grime, and any other materials that have adhered to the car over the years. This is the most efficient method of clearing away the old to start rebuilding the new.
May I contact some of your other clients?
Serious potential clients may consult with past and current clients to get a feel for how we operate. We have nothing to hide. But due to the status of some of our clients and their busy schedules you must be a serious interest before we would put you in contact with them.
Do you offer storage?
We do offer storage. Rates are determined by the type and length of stay as well as if there are any special requests. There are no storage charges while your car is being restored. If you need to halt restoration for any reason we will work with you to work out a storage plan for your project. We do offer storage upon completion and for upcoming projects at special rates.
Will you restore any type of car?
Yes. We have the capabilities to restore any type of car to any type of level. If there’s something we don’t know, we’ll find out. We don’t pretend to know everything, but we do know how to find out anything. There’s always room for improvement, further education and growth. So we welcome the prospect of new projects.
Do I have to pay sales tax?
No sales tax will be charged for restorations that are built here and then delivered to you if you’re out of state. BUT, WI state law says that if you pick it up or hire someone to pick it up for you, the point of sale occurs here and you are liable for WI sales tax of 5.6% on parts AND labor. If you live in WI you are liable for WI tax.
How much does an average car restoration cost?
An elite level restoration takes about 1500 hours to complete. It could take more or less depending on the condition of the vehicle. Metal repair is a big cost. If your project needs little to no metal repair, that could save you 300 hours. If your project needs metal repair on each and every panel, that could cost you 300 hours. If you don’t want perfectly straight body and paint, this could also save a substantial amount of money. This is why we need to look over your restoration project and see what it needs and what you’re looking for. We do offer estimates so you’re prepared for the financial expense of it. See our restoration services page to read about our process.
Is it possible for me to help restore my car?
Yes. We don’t have any sort of policy that says “we do it all or not at all”. We understand the added value the client takes home with the finished product if they’ve helped create it. We will work with you in any way we can to make that possible. You tell us what you want to do yourself and we’ll make sure those projects are all yours.
If I do the mechanical work, will you do just the body and paint?
Yes. We don’t have any sort of policy that says “we do it all or not at all”. We understand the added value the client takes home with the finished product if they’ve helped create it. You can disassemble your car on your own and when you’re done let us know. We will arrange how to get the car to us. We’ll do our part (the body and paint work) while you’re rebuilding the mechanicals on your own. We’ll arrange the return transport of your vehicle for completion so you can begin reassembly. When you’re done with reassembly we will have to make arrangements to complete the final buffing process.
Will you paint my car if I do the body work or vice versa?
Yes. But… we can not guarantee anything when we don’t know what’s underneath it. If you do the bodywork or have another shop do the bodywork we don’t know what products were used, if it was stripped properly or any other variables. Also the same for the vice versa, we can’t guarantee an outcome if someone else lays out the paint. Each project done under these circumstances are subject to different criteria and any problems that could arise and are dealt with on an individual basis.
How do I get updates of my restoration?
Every big stepping stone in the restoration process we will email you pictures or video. If you prefer them by mail, we offer that as well. You may also feel free to request additional pictures or video, or even sound, at any time. We also have new Client Area that is updated on our website for your project progress photos.
Is my car worth restoring?
Yes. If you want to restore it for yourself it’s worth what you’re willing to put into it.
No. If you’re looking at doing an elite restoration on a 1989 Camaro for investment purposes, the answer is no.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss the value of your car and why you’re restoring it to determine the next step.
How long does an average restoration take?
An average restoration takes about a year. This time can vary drastically depending on your needs. If you set a small monthly budget, the project will obviously be slowed, whereas on the opposite end, we can also make a complete restoration happen in a few months if need be.