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Thread: Unexpected costs

  1. #1
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    Unexpected costs

    I'm a younger aspiring car builder with strong mechanical diagnostic skills repairing Mercedes and Tesla vehicles (Tesla Roadster might as well be a kit car). I'm looking into either purchasing a 911 (or Similar) car that I'd be financing out 60-72 months or building a GTM/818 over the same time frame. In trying to make my decision i've been living on this forum looking through build after build and checking out some of the amazing work you all have done. I understand the kit will run about $30k and a donor vette in good running shape is about $15-20k in my area. When you set out to do your build, what expenses came up that seemed to sky-rocket unexpectedly for you? Im planning on doing the entire build myself including interior, paint, wiring, and mechanical - hoping that I dont mess it up too bad =o) The second part of this question is, if you were to do it again, how much $$ would you set aside to make up for any mistakes or "wish i would'ves" that you didn't do in your build?

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    I wouldn't say I have had any unexpected costs that are skyrocketing, but there were some things that I was not fully prepared for. Such as AN fittings, extra hardware, and the never ending wanting to make it unique. I did spend an extensive amount of time putting together a costed out Bill of Materials and lined it up with my budget. I was pretty detailed as I knew the GTM I wanted to build would be close to the $100K mark. So far I have done pretty good over the last year and a half. I have added things, taken away things, and am still generally right on my budget.

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    Are you being honest with yourself about affordability? Please understand I’m not taking a shot across your bow here. Needing to finance a toy on a 6 year term, especially at a younger age, is a red flag that you may be targeting a purchase best left for later years. It’s absolutely heartbreaking when passionate builders have to sell or put their project on hold when life happens and the funding isn’t there. You don’t want to stretch yourself thin and risk that kind of stress. I would say that as a young mechanic, you’re probably ready to take on a project like this when you own a house, don’t owe money for your DD or tool guy(s), and can pay cash for the kit itself. If you’re looking at a 6 year loan and it isn’t because you can beat the interest rate on investment returns, it may be wise to wait.

  5. #4
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    Got to agree - don't borrow money for long term project toys - bad, bad, idea.

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    Here's my perspective. First some history on where these thoughts are coming from. In 2010 I began building GTM #327 because I had always wanted to build a car, and the GTM was everything I was looking for. Great lines. Mid engine. Unique. And affordable. I did everything myself with help from a good friend in critical areas (Ron Preston, Presto51 on this forum), including mechanical, electrical, wiring, bodywork, and paint. Took about 3-4 years. The car ended up looking fantastic. I used new parts everywhere except for the Porsche G50-20 transaxle. And I kept a pretty detailed log of what I spent. I've attached that below. Take a look and decide where you can save $$$ and where you might spend more.

    Once complete, I started driving the GTM. My first trip was almost 1000 miles to the FFR open house and back again. The trip there was in absolute driving rain. I had a few door, window, and floorpan leaks that I fixed when I returned. But it was a great trip. Unbelievable interest in the car along the way, which is good and bad. I had many folks that wanted to race on the highway, and acted like ***** by pulling up close and matching speed and gunning their engines. Also folks that try to take your picture as they inadvertently veer into your lane while leaning out their window to snap the picture. But most people are nice and genuinely interested. And when you tell them you built it, they are usually stunned and it feels good. I enjoyed owning and driving, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the building. I loved building the car. And I'd do it again (and might someday).

    I set out to build at about $50K, and ended at about $80K.

    I am fortunate to also own a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. And a Tesla P90D. If you're looking for an everyday car to drive anywhere, in any condition (AWD), with stunning handling and glorious sounds and sun on your face, get the Porsche. You will absolutely not regret it. If you're looking for an everyday car to drive anywhere, in any condition (AWD), with stunning handling and unbelievable acceleration (mine easily bests my GTM) and eco-friendly to boot, get a Tesla. You will absolutely not regret it. Both can be driven to the limit, and pick up groceries, or taken out on date night with friends. In the rain. In the snow. And resale value will be consistent (certainly with the Porsche) and good.

    I think of the GTM first as a project, second as something unique that few people have but many people want, and third (distantly) as a form of transportation. If you already have transportation and want a project and have the money for both, absolutely build a GTM. It is a great experience. But don't fool yourself into thinking it is a daily driver. Or that you can build it for $50K. Certainly people have, but most are far in excess, even me that did all the work myself. If you don't have transportation, but have enough money, I wouldn't hesitate on the Porsche (or a Tesla). Both will serve you well far into the future and are a blast to drive.

    Sorry if this sounds like fatherly advice. I happen to be one, and dispense advice all the time ... solicited or not! :-)

    Good luck!

    -Michael
    Attached Files Attached Files
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SOLD JUNE 2018 - GTM #327, LS3, G50/20, Kooks, AC, Ron's Tanks, Crash's 4-port HCV, Shane's Bolts & Plenum & etc., plus a lot of other stuff. Finished November 2013.

    Not-up-to-date Build Site: http://rumrunnergtm.weebly.com

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake From State Farm View Post
    Are you being honest with yourself about affordability? Please understand I’m not taking a shot across your bow here. Needing to finance a toy on a 6 year term, especially at a younger age, is a red flag that you may be targeting a purchase best left for later years. It’s absolutely heartbreaking when passionate builders have to sell or put their project on hold when life happens and the funding isn’t there. You don’t want to stretch yourself thin and risk that kind of stress. I would say that as a young mechanic, you’re probably ready to take on a project like this when you own a house, don’t owe money for your DD or tool guy(s), and can pay cash for the kit itself. If you’re looking at a 6 year loan and it isn’t because you can beat the interest rate on investment returns, it may be wise to wait.

    Jake I absolutely agree with you on your points. I do own a house and have paid off the Devil (Snapon) and havea few toys already paid off so now it's just a matter of estimating how long it would take me to afford exactly how I want to build it. Just like having a house built, you have upgrade the cabinets, flooring, lighting, etc and ultimately blow your budget up with a little more here and there, I'm trying to figure the unexpected costs that are most likely to grow once i dig in. I do plan to pay cash on everything for this car and use the loan as a guide because i really dont see the point in financing a project like this out. I do however need to determine if I'm going from a 911 Turbo to a 911 GT3 on my overall budget =o)

    I understand that this isn't a production car and that a Ford Mustang or even the Corvette donor car is a much more practical daily driver but I do look to drive this thing a few days a week and take it out to Cali for some fun (which i would tow behind my motorhome). I'm over driving things that i see all the time.

    I remember when i took a Model S or a Roadster tesla from work and it was the talk of the valet. I enjoy having rare and hard to find toys that make you look twice and then go back wondering what it is.

  8. #7
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    Rumrunner-

    Thank you so much for the share! This is great information.

    I'm assuming you didn't use a donor car and bought everything new based upon your list.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nthompson View Post
    Jake I absolutely agree with you on your points. I do own a house and have paid off the Devil (Snapon) and havea few toys already paid off so now it's just a matter of estimating how long it would take me to afford exactly how I want to build it. Just like having a house built, you have upgrade the cabinets, flooring, lighting, etc and ultimately blow your budget up with a little more here and there, I'm trying to figure the unexpected costs that are most likely to grow once i dig in. I do plan to pay cash on everything for this car and use the loan as a guide because i really dont see the point in financing a project like this out. I do however need to determine if I'm going from a 911 Turbo to a 911 GT3 on my overall budget =o)

    I understand that this isn't a production car and that a Ford Mustang or even the Corvette donor car is a much more practical daily driver but I do look to drive this thing a few days a week and take it out to Cali for some fun (which i would tow behind my motorhome). I'm over driving things that i see all the time.

    I remember when i took a Model S or a Roadster tesla from work and it was the talk of the valet. I enjoy having rare and hard to find toys that make you look twice and then go back wondering what it is.
    I know enough mechanics to ask if you paid off the Mac guy too

    Make sure you post a build thread. Enjoy!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake From State Farm View Post
    I know enough mechanics to ask if you paid off the Mac guy too

    Make sure you post a build thread. Enjoy!
    no need to ask about the mac guy... we choose harbor freight before him ����

  11. #10
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    Im in the middle of a 1979 911 build. Previously built a MK4 with a pretty high budget. I can tell you unexpected costs on the 911 are MUCH higher!! Cant speak to the GTM but that Porsche tax is for real!
    MK4 #8900 - complete kit - Coyote, TKO600, IRS - Delivered 6/28/16 First Start 10/6/16 Go cart - 10/16/16 Build completed - 4/26/17 - 302 days to build my 302 CI Coyote Cobra - Registered and street legal 5/17/17
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e-build-thread
    PHIL 4:13 INSTAGRAM - @scottsrides

  12. #11
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    Don't forget $1,500 for Rogaine for all the hair you'll pull out!

    My biggest oversight was bodywork/materials. You can't estimate that sort of thing unless you're in the business
    of quoting fibreglass bodywork.

    Set out a clear goal before you start. In the beginning I was all about "build cheap and fast" so I could cruise around
    and impress strangers like a fool.

    Since then, I've reviewed my appreciation for this car and what it needs to become. Along the way (unexpectedly) another
    project took shape in the way of LCD systems. Now this car must become a show car and demo vehicle. I'm sure I've rebuilt
    the GTM at least twice to correct all of the errors. I've even hired some people to fix the bodywork and welding (custom brackets).

    7 years and counting. Still building...still spending...
    Last edited by Procision-Auto; 02-11-2019 at 04:37 PM.
    Custom LCD Gauges , Data Loggers, Performance Parts
    www.procision-auto.com \\ 647-522-9953 \\ Voice & Text
    Proud new owner of GTM Gen 1., #105 - 08/27/11
    LQ9 Powered, G96.00 6 speed transaxle

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    If I were you I would look for a car that is unfinished (as it seems that you want to finish it yourself), preferably a car that has gotten to the go cart stage. They are out there, and if you have a little patience you can score a nice car with a ton of work already done, an engine, transmission, brakes etc... for basically the price of a new kit. Here is one that was posted just 2 weeks ago on this forum, not to the go cart stage yet, but it has an engine, transmission, brakes, wiring and suspension and the seller is asking $30K. If you buy a car like this you will be saving a ton of money and a ton of work:
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...47-Md-2013-gtm

    I have seen GTM's at the go cart stage sell on eBay for $30K, if you want to finish the car to your tastes, you can not go wrong there. Knowing what I know, I would try and buy a finished car, and then redo to my tastes. There are so many things that are unaccounted for when you build a kit, things you do not account for that add up quick, like tools you do not have...

    Like RumRunner said: I set out to build at about $50K, and ended at about $80K. That is probably the story with most builds. Little things add up quick.

    Spmon is selling a very nice finished GTM. You can not build it for what he is asking for and it is instant gratification. Little by little you modify the car to suit your tastes. Seems he is willing to take $45K, you were looking to spend $30 on the kit and $15 for a donor, and then add thousands and thousands of dollars on top of that, and a couple of years of your life... Here is the thread:

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...GTM-used-value

    I bought a finished car not too long ago and I am in the process of making her mine. One thing that came up when I talked to the previous owner, who was the builder, is what he paid for body work/paint. Unless you are really good at doing body work and paint it costs a ton of money to do one of these right. He paid $12K just in paint and body work, and it is not perfect, it is nice, but not perfect...
    Last edited by 72442conv; 02-11-2019 at 09:01 PM.

  14. #13
    Senior Member TDSapp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nthompson View Post
    I understand the kit will run about $30k and a donor vette in good running shape is about $15-20k in my area.

    One thing others have mentioned but not really pointed out is the transmission. That is going to run anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 and in some cases you pay for it now and it gets delivered in 12 to 18 months. Then add the paint...

    Car Kit $30K
    Donor $20K
    Trans $10K
    Paint $10K

    Then to make sure you can keep the car cool you need to visit http://vraptorspeedworks.com/custom-gtm-parts/ and pick out a bunch of custom parts that the factory does not sell but really appear to be required for the build.

    VRaptor ~$8K

    Just at that point you are looking at $78K


    Then ask yourself,

    Do you want a radio to listen to while driving the car?
    Do you want better seats for comfort or added handling?
    Do you want that cool Digital Dash that Procision-Auto Sells? (https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...D-Guage-System!)

    I am sure there a list of other things that need to be asked to get a realistic picture.
    Tim Sapp
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  15. #14
    Senior Member Presto51's Avatar
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    Unexpected costs you ask?

    Beware of us forum members, we'll spend your money on fancy things faster than a bad girl friend

    Ron
    "May you be in heaven a full half hour before the Devil knows you're dead"

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    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    All those little $15-$500 eBay and Amazon shipments add up!
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor. ABS, PS, TC.
    GTM #304 LPE 525hp LS3
    2000 C5 Lingenfelter [email protected]

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeman View Post
    All those little $15-$500 eBay and Amazon shipments add up!
    But it's just so convenient...
    Gen3 Coupe: BOSS 302/Coyote & T56 Build Thread - https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...733#post312733

    Arrival: 6/21/18 1st Go Kart: TBA Registered: TBA Painted: TBA Complete:TBA

  19. #17
    Member claybags's Avatar
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    Don't forget---- You can recoup part of the donor cost by selling all the unused car parts (but you have to do all the dismantle work)--- or just buy the complete donor parts kit on flea bay. Often a parts kit appears for about $3500 or so. ( what I paid). The ultimate alternative is to buy all new parts Hah!
    Cheers , Jeff
    GTM 422, LS6, cam, heads, Mendeola trans

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBabyBadger View Post
    But it's just so convenient...
    Especially when places like Summit offer $51 off if you spend $500. I always seem to find a way to drop a $500 order LOL.

    I just got my steering wheel, Momo adapter, Wilwood high temp brake fluid, and one AN fitting. I think I made out for right around $515, then got my $51 off

  21. #19
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    I actually listed it on Ebay last night with no reserve. I'll see what happens. https://www.ebay.com/itm/223392035967

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdmon View Post
    I actually listed it on Ebay last night with no reserve. I'll see what happens. https://www.ebay.com/itm/223392035967
    Gorgeous car! GOOD LUCK!
    Gen3 Coupe: BOSS 302/Coyote & T56 Build Thread - https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...733#post312733

    Arrival: 6/21/18 1st Go Kart: TBA Registered: TBA Painted: TBA Complete:TBA

  23. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
    Especially when places like Summit offer $51 off if you spend $500. I always seem to find a way to drop a $500 order LOL.

    I just got my steering wheel, Momo adapter, Wilwood high temp brake fluid, and one AN fitting. I think I made out for right around $515, then got my $51 off
    Hahahahahahaha right!?!?!? Plus I get all those fancy miles with my Venture 1 card that just never seems to pay itself off... so disconnected from the cash leaving the bank, I love it! Sounds like we have the same addiction, Mr. Shoeless!
    Gen3 Coupe: BOSS 302/Coyote & T56 Build Thread - https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...733#post312733

    Arrival: 6/21/18 1st Go Kart: TBA Registered: TBA Painted: TBA Complete:TBA

  24. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBabyBadger View Post
    Hahahahahahaha right!?!?!? Plus I get all those fancy miles with my Venture 1 card that just never seems to pay itself off... so disconnected from the cash leaving the bank, I love it! Sounds like we have the same addiction, Mr. Shoeless!
    Absolutely. I told my wife with all the points I get, we can likely travel to Europe when I’m done LOL

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