Effective January 1, 2023, the base labor rate for all services (except sodablasting) is $160/hr. 100-Hour blocks of prepaid labor will be sold at the discouted rate of $150/hr. Projects that are already underway and those with deposits holding a spot in the backlog queue will be grandfathered in at their originally-quoted rate. See our "Ways to Pay" page (Company Menu) for more information.
Midlife Classics
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"Full Inventory"
(Projects, Completions and Personal Collection)

77 Lancia Scorpion

67 Camaro RS Conv.

68 Austin Healey Sprite

68 Cougar

69 Corvette

70 Opel GT

69 Marcos 3000GT

86 TVR 280i

73 TVR 2500M

90 Buick Reatta

Ways to Pay

Midlife Classics is a time-and-materials project-oriented shop – meaning that jobs are billed at an hourly labor rate plus parts and supplies. The base shop labor rate is $160/hour with discounted rates available for prepaid blocks of labor (discussed below). Parts are resold with a nominal markup to help offset the cost of the time devoted to sourcing them and to help cover potential warranty costs. A shop supplies fee is added based on 3% of the total labor charge to account for various supplies that are used in quantities too small to track individually.

Forms of Payment: We gladly accept your personal check, cash and (for sums up to $1,000) PayPal, but we are not setup to accept debit/credit cards. The nature of this business lends itself to payments coming our way in relatively large chunks over extended periods. The average amount of the payments we receive and the relatively low number of transactions per month makes it difficult to justify accepting credit or debit cards. In addition to the cost of the merchant services contract required to accept the very few transactions we see in a month, the transaction fees (typically 3-5%) would have to be passed on to our clients. With our average transaction amount being over $1,000, those fees can add a significant chunk of change to the final cost of a project. Since most of our clients have saved in advance for these projects, they rarely need to finance them via credit cards. Also, since longer-term projects are usually funded via prepaid blocks of labor, we have little reason to be concerned about checks clearing before the vehicles leave. Cash is fine, but please have something close to the correct amount. PayPal is always a good fallback, but we will pass on their transaction fee (usually about 3%).

Discounted Prepaid Block Labor: Our prepaid labor program offers clients the opportunity to purchase 100-hour blocks of prepaid labor at a significant discount. This results in significant savings on larger projects such as restorations or even some Return to Service projects. Blocks of 100 hours are sold at a discounted rate of $150/hour – resulting in a savings of up to $1,000 per 100 hours. Details of the prepaid block labor program are available upon request.

Booking a Project: This type of business is based on long-term projects that require anywhere from a few weeks to a few years to complete. Typical restoration projects are completed over the course of 12 to 18 months. And, we've typically carried a backlog of pending restoration projects on the schedule - usually running 6-9 months. In order to ensure that the schedule is managable, we require a $1,000 non-refundable deposit on restoration projects and a $500 not-refundable deposit on Return to Service projects to secure a spot in the backlog schedule. Such deposits are credited to the project as "prepaid labor" when the project is started.

Sales Tax: No matter what we do these days, it's hard to avoid paying taxes. While parts are always taxed, labor typically isn't. However, Texas tax law gets a bit wonky when it comes to modifying vehicles. The law is very vague about this and it has rarely been a concern given that we are typically doing restorations to more-or-less original configuration. But, be prepared to be charged sales tax on labor that is directly related to modifying a vehicle from it's original configuration. The good news is that the Midlife Classics facility is located in the county - outside of any city limits. That means that instead of the 8.25% tax rate you'll see in local incorporated communities, out here in "Bubbaville", we currently only have to charge 6.25%. Given the high cost of a restoration, that 2% can amount to quite a savings.

Estimates: When given, estimates are based on experience with similar jobs on similar vehicles when possible. However, it is important to note that – unlike new cars – it is virtually impossible to accurately estimate job labor requirements on classic cars simply because age and prior repairs (some good, some not-so-good) make for great variations in the amount of time and effort required to perform a task that may have been easy to estimate (or specify a flat-rate labor time for) on a new or 5-10 year old car. So, estimates are to be considered just that – estimates of what we expect a particular job to require. They are in no way to be misconstrued to be quotes or any form of a guaranteed final cost. Every reasonable attempt will be made to be accurate and to explain the level of variability anticipated, but typically you just can’t know for certain until you’ve actually been able to take the project apart – and even then the variability in quality and fit of aftermarket and reproduction parts leaves a lot of potential for unanticipated effort.

Hindsight Billing: While we do specialize in classic automobiles, we do not specialize in a particular make or model. That means that we are continually encountering vehicles that we’ve not worked on before and that often means that we’ll experience a bit of a learning curve. When that is the case, our clients are not expected to pay for our education. And, since flat-rate labor manuals are useless when dealing with 30-60 year-old vehicles, we don’t always have a definitive means of gauging our performance on specific tasks in terms of labor hours expended. In order to be fair to our clients, the labor logs for every project are reviewed in detail so that instances where the time logged against a task seems excessive, they can be examined to determine if extra time was required because of issues outside of our control (rusty fasteners, improper past work, poorly fitting reproduction parts, etc.) or if it is due to a learning curve or other inefficiencies on our part. In effect, such cases are reviewed from the hindsight perspective of “if we were to do this again with what we know now, how long would it take” and then adjust the labor hours billed as deemed appropriate.

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