How would you restore the car from the ground up?

Diabolical

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Hello all,

Recently, I've finally come into financial freedom where I started to think of purchasing a classic car to restore. I looked at 65-72 Mustangs and other classic cars, before realizing, I have a "project" car to work on it front of me.

I currently own a 2010 GT premium, candy apple red, automatic, with about 90k miles. The car has various mods such as Hot Rod cams, shorty headers, axlebacks, 4.10's, full Koni suspension , full BMR control arm's, rebuilt auo trans, one piece driveshaft, aftermarket bucket seats and harnesses, rear seat delete, drilled/slotted rotors. This was my first car I bought when I was 16, I bought it from the second owner in 2015, and there is no chance I am ever selling it regardless of situation. I also have a daily driver, so this car is only a weekend warrior that has no time limit. I realized that if I just used my current car as a project, I could save a lot of money and have an awesome car that will one day be classic and will also be my first car.

The issues the car has: a hole/scratches on the front bumper, swirls in the paint, bad scratches on each door, fading pant on the rear quarter window louvers and side scoops, white road line paint spattered lightly on the left rear fender, bubbling/rusting on the stock hood, transmission/driveshaft feel pretty rough.

If you were in my position, how would you completely restore this car? I would love to get it up on a lift, remove as much rust from every surface I see a line in with rust-protectant bed liner or similar. Replace the trans with a 6 speed, redo the exhaust to be complete long tubes-catted h-pipe, american thunder catbacks with exhaust cutouts to have a faux "active exhaust". Strip the paint and have it painted, replace the hood and radiator to better the engine cooling, replace the stock nav with a Dynavin, add a big brake kit, and possibly procharge for 500 whp?

I really just don't know where to start. I don't mind this process taking years, or costing $20-$30k in the long run (the budget I would like to keep it under for the next 10 years). How would you do it in my position? I was notorious for cutting corners and picking the cheap way out on every step of the way the first few years I had the car; now I would like to just buckle down and do this thing right from top to bottom, no compromise. Any opinions are welcome, but please no "Just sell and buy a gt500".
 

Dino Dino Bambino

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Any opinions are welcome, but please no "Just sell and buy a gt500".

Actually that isn't such a bad idea. Why wait 10+ years to enjoy your existing pony when you could enjoy a GT500 now?
Nuts and bolts restorations take years and many don't reach completion 'cause either life gets in the way or the money runs out.
I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm so I suggest you come up with a detailed list of things you want to fix, cost them, and find a way to minimize the down time. My advice is to concentrate first on the mechanical work and then do the cosmetics.
 

DieHarder

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If you're gonna do it right tear it apart and put it on a rotisserie. Have it blasted down to bare metal (only way to truly get rid of rust); clean/refresh all parts and build it back. I've done it on two cars. Takes forever but if that's what you want then go for it. Hope you have tons of time, you're mechanically inclined and/or have really deep pockets.

Dino has a point. For all of the money you're going to spend you could have a GT 500 now. I say go ahead; wake the neighbors...:snoopy
 
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moooosestang

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I would get an aftermarket hood. No sense painting the stocker as it will just corrode again. If Ford can't paint aluminum correctly then a body shop surely can't. A ground up restoration calls for blowing the car completely apart and putting the body on a rotisserie and sand blasting it down to bare metal. A very big commitment.
 

Laga

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If Ford can't paint aluminum correctly then a body shop surely can't.
I have a 2005. When the front of my hood started to corrode and peal, I took it a couple of local body shops. One of them, I have know the owner for years. None of them would touch it. They all said it would peal again, even with extensive prep, and they didn’t want me coming back pissed. In the end, it was cheaper to get a fiberglass hood.
 

Larryfishes53

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I owned an aluminum boat company for 23 years. Aluminum oxidizes quickly so it has to be painted within 24 hours. But the only failures we had (2) was a painter who never properly sanded, prepped, or painted correctly. We found a new painter and problem solved.
 

Larryfishes53

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I owned an aluminum boat company for 23 years. Aluminum oxidizes quickly so it has to be painted within 24 hours. But the only failures we had (2) was a painter who never properly sanded, prepped, or painted correctly. We found a new painter and problem solved.
 

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