Modernizing classic cars has grown in popularity over the years, making restomods highly sought-after vehicles. For those who don’t know, a restomod is when we “update” an older car with newer features. Restomods can go from mild updates, such as air conditioning, power steering or even common safety features like seatbelts, or much more dramatic updates, such as new engines, transmissions, interiors, suspensions and braking systems. Restomod cars make great options for those who love the look of old classic cars but also enjoy the modern luxuries in today’s cars. 

But the question we hear most is how much does it cost to create a restomod? The answer is that it depends on several factors including vehicle size, condition, the kinds of updates an owner wants and the quality of restoration requested. Whether a car has previously been restored can also impact the cost of upgrades.


The condition of the body and paint is often the biggest consideration for any project, and one of the biggest considerations when pricing a restomod car is what kind of shape the body is in, how much repair it needs, and how much rust the vehicle has. 

A few spots likely won’t be too costly but if complete panels are ruined, rusted over or missing from the car then expect a larger portion of your budget to go towards those repairs. Another cost factor to consider when improving or rebuilding the body of the vehicle is the condition and amount of chrome plating needed as pricing varies based on the condition and number of parts needing to be chromed.

The size of a vehicle can also greatly impact the time and effort to restore a car. A large car with lots of chrome, a tri-5 Chevy or a 59 Cadillac, for example, will likely take more time and attention than a 66 Chevy II Nova. 

A previous restoration can also impact the price of your restomod, and often in unexpected ways. If a quality restoration has been done, the projects are often faster and less expensive than vehicles we’re upgrading from scratch. However, we have also seen many “perfectly restored” vehicles come in that have had poor and even unsafe work done. These can be difficult conversations, but we will always be 100% committed to quality and safety. No matter how good or bad a vehicle’s condition was at the start of a project, it is show ready when it leaves our shop.  


Older cars usually require mechanical updates to ensure the best safety and performance. Costs to upgrade the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, air or heating system, and power steering will need to be factored into your budget. 

Most of our restomod projects will need include a new or rebuilt engine and transmission. Sometimes we can help locate a used or salvage motor and transmission to be rebuilt and restored to put in a restomod. This is a good way to help lower some of the expense of creating a very high performance restomod. 

Restomods often include upgrade to the suspension, and most frequently will include a lower height to provide a lower center of gravity, better performance and a better overall look.  

And, of course, when adding power and more dynamic handling, we have to also upgrade the brakes to provide the stopping power and safety necessary to fully exercise the power and performance of a great restomod. 


When it comes to interior aesthetics and extras, the sky is the limit for restomods. Often, people will ask for their restomod interiors to look 100% stock, as they did when the vehicle was new. We can do this while also adding power windows/door locks, air conditioning, power seats, high performance audio systems and every modern creature comfort. Of course, some owners want to take design inspiration from high-end exotic vehicles, from Bentley or Ferrari or aeronautic influences. Costs for interiors can run the spectrum, from very reasonably priced to tens of thousands of dollars. It is also important to think about safety as the power expectations rise, so of course the suspension and braking systems will be matched to the power and expected use, but we will also strongly recommend a tasteful, integrated roll cage to help with the overall structural integrity of the vehicle, but also to best protect the people inside, particularly when power starts to get closer to or above 800hp. 


We believe restomods are the best of all worlds; a super cool looking ride, but with all of the modern performance and safety amenities to make every drive a non-stop smile. A restomod car is certainly no small feat and requires much work and significant costs to complete. Improvements to the body and mechanics of the car are often of first priority, however, the interior of the car certainly needs to match the exterior, making all features listed above necessary to factor into your budget. If you are even mildly interested in a restomod car, give us a call. We are happy to speak with folks every day about the possibilities of creating your very own work of rolling art. At Forge Speed, we believe we are the very best in the business at building the most impressive, high quality and performant restomods.  

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