Sounds reasonable to me.
When I had my Plus 2 body done I believe it was over 150 or 200 hours by the time they were done. Frankly afraid to look back at the bills. I negotiated a lower shop rate before the job and he used my car as fill in over about 1 1/2 years. The local shop is a well respected 'Vette specialist located in a smaller centre.
1971 Lotus Haler Concepts Ltd.
I removed the body and stripped the interior. I transported it to the shop with a dolly arrangement attached to the jacking holes on the rockers. The rocker beams were solid on mine, having been replaced by the previous owner. We left the door glass in place, but removed front and rear windscreens (they need to be out for headliner anyway).
The body shop stripped the existing blow over paint, sanded the crap out of the car, repaired the inevitable spider cracks, primed and blocked several times, and did the paint. They also installed a NOS Britax / Weathershield sunroof. They hung doors, bumpers; I did bonnet and boot. There was no real bad old body damage uncovered on mine.
I picked the body up with an enclosed trailer and lowered it back on a new frame. I also installed all of the interior sound proofing, wiring, carpeting etc.
Scope control to save hours include...
- Less fussiness with the engine bay. The fibreglass finish is very rough in stock form and usually painted satin black so imperfections don't show. They did an excellent job on mine, and we painted in body colour. Looks great but a lot of extra work ( and gets marked down in judged concours if you care about that sort of thing).
- Sunroof addition was a lot of hours because the shop had never done a vintage soft type before. We kind of split the hours on that.
- I used a common Corvette Bright Red, so there was no big charges for paint matching and blending, odd codes, will the paint work with 'glass, etc.
- Any car you pick will need new rocker sill rails (if they are not known good and already done). Originals were not galvanized and are probably failed even in mild climates. Do this yourself first to save big dough.
- Body does not need to be separate from the frame for a good paint job if the frame is known good and you are leaving the engine bay in it's stock satin black. Probably same hours for exterior prep and paint though. Just saves a lot of 'while I have it apart' costs.
- Remove all of the chrome, lights, etc. your self.
- Fit the bumpers, chrome, lights, etc. yourself. Big dough to fiddle with the bumpers.
- I sourced any required parts for the shop, other than the shop supplies, paint, etc. e.g. windshield seals, headliner, etc. Very hard for a non marque specialist to get some of the stuff, but easy in the Elan community suppliers.
HTH They are a really fun vintage car with tons of room for touring. Mine has been to two LOG's and counting. You are looking at it the right way though, because a blow over paint job is not the way to go. I thought my car was a great driver when I bought it. i even drove it across the country to get it home. The paint actually started washing off in a car wash
because of crappy prep.
Another thought to evaluate cars that don't need a respray. My paint still looks great about five years later, say 20K miles, occasional track use. I have no knowledge of the detailed prep the shop did, but they obviously know their game and were worth every penny. So if you have a candidate car with some miles and years on it since being painted and it looks OK to you, it will probably stay OK. If it is a recent paint job it is difficult to know how good it was done.