I wish I could make money building cars for a living.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by daign, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. daign

    daign Guest

    lettuce discuss. Brainstorming here... If I could raise the capital. I don't think such a business would be profitable, especially in this economy. :hs:

    Open up a shop selling Classic Cars here in Los Angeles. Staff a mechanic, fabricator, get a lift to start. Drop ship all the parts as needed. Outsource paint/body, stereo, interior... (I have all the places already). Eventually staff up my own people for that work, but to start, outsource it.

    I've been bouncing around the idea for a long time. I would love to build and sell custom cars for a living. :o

    Example: Sell a custom Cadillac on bags to a customer, offer a maintenance and repair program of sorts. Own a roll top truck, and pick up the car from the owner's house when it has issues.

    A high end classic car dealership?

    Sure there is lots of competition in Los Angeles, but if I can raise the capital and build some proper ass cars, word would spread quickly.

    I'm a rolling advertisement already, why not take it to the next level. :hsd:

    Here is a proper location for such a business. Its for lease, but is real high end and expensive. I would need quite a few cars in the lot to start as well. But its got room for the lifts, parking, and is a PRIME location in LA.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. KenIIDX

    KenIIDX New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    16,943
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. deltarider99

    deltarider99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    49,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    I completely agree
     
  4. Ratven

    Ratven OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    13,454
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Toronto
    Would be cool if it doesn't fail and drive you bankrupt
     
  5. Mr3plus1

    Mr3plus1 Too many projects

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    24,679
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tomball, TX
    Good luck, but unless you are one badass mechanic/fabricator/creator its gonna be hard to turn a real profit. No offense, but Ive seen so many of these shops start and fail. You're better off starting a repair shop and slowly phasing it into a custom shop. Cars are always breaking, so its a solid backbone when times are tough.
     
  6. Rip The Jacker

    Rip The Jacker New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    53,993
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm trying to decide if I should build a bike this winter as a start and to maybe use as advertising :hs:
     
  7. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    116,610
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    HTX
    Yep. Shit is too difficult. Too many people think it is cool to hate on these cars anyways. :o


    Too many cheap asses. Weak Economy.... etc. :(
     
  8. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    116,610
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    HTX
    Like we were discussing man. Money is in the small labor jobs. Lots of parts in stock. Doing insurance work for the paint and body side.

    Custom shit never pans out till you have something established.
     
  9. daign

    daign Guest

    it likely would :wtc:

    Just wish there was a way. It makes me wonder how all these custom car shops like Platinum, Darkside, stay in business in this economy. Theres so many shit shops here in Los Angeles. And the owners are still in business and driving Lambos, I just don't know how profitable it is.
     
  10. Hobie1

    Hobie1 No longer self-employed & now hating life

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Messages:
    30,688
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hell
    I would really enjoy that too, but it would take much much much more money to get into than what I do now.
     
  11. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    116,610
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    HTX
    I could come out and help though. :o
     
  12. Rip The Jacker

    Rip The Jacker New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    53,993
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking fabricating parts as a side job would be a good start.
     
  13. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    116,610
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    HTX

    So many of those people have other incomes though. Never started out as a pure custom shop either.

    Half of those places suck anyways. :o
     
  14. nosaj

    nosaj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    88,903
    Likes Received:
    718
    Wirelessly posted via wap.offtopic.com (Mozilla/4.1 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; ) 400x240 LGE VX10000)

    It Takes alot of work. I worked for a very a shop that has been around damm near 20 years. 99% of the time it's on one specific car. The owner worked 2 jobs to keep the place going the first four years or so. I have sseen alot of people come and go in the business. The one thing they all have in common is the 11-4 work mentallity.
     
  15. MAD PUNK inDC

    MAD PUNK inDC Sic Semper Tyrannis

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    86,393
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    the machine
    Did something like that years ago. Mostly a repair and performance shop though. I was just a evening/weekend guy who would come in and lend a hand, but two of my friends were the ones who partnered up on this. They made enough to pay the bills but never really turned a big profit. On top of that it was a huge pain in the ass to get money out of people. They would put down the deposit on the work and then fight or try to skip out on paying the remainder, etc. In the end my one friend who was an awesome mechanic and fabricator, died of a sinus infection that abscessed into his brain. The other just couldn't handle the business by himself and he ended up packing it in and selling it to a bunch of indian's who pretty much ran a fly by night repair shop for the next year until they got shut down by the state. It's a shit business.
     
  16. bokhan

    bokhan i love you

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    105,871
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    frumunda cheese~!
  17. matrix243

    matrix243 My body, is ready.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    18,863
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Calgary
    I always wanted to do this. hire me as a parts boy. bout the only thing I'm qualified for.
     
  18. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    116,610
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    HTX

    I can say at the place I worked at.... there were nights were I slept in the Dyno cell. Not going home, getting shit done.

    The Boss's wife would bring us food and what not at 4am in the morning and everything else.


    The key is getting a niche customer base. Move out to other items when you have "time".

    Most people that run shops are not cut out to run a business, no matter how good their work is.
     
  19. muscle68

    muscle68 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    71,496
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Las Vegas
  20. daign

    daign Guest

    Yup. Thought about all of this. The good thing is, I'm a better businessman than I am a mechanic. Which means running the shop, marketing, and getting word around would be the easy part. Thats where a lot of shops fail.

    I have an amazing mechanic who desperately needs a lift and a proper shop to work in.

    Its a real tough business though...
     
  21. daign

    daign Guest

    This is also an issue. But see thats where we can get creative. Ecotec powered cars, biodiesel swaps, building up classic diesel benz's with modern interior and amenities etc...

    A shop thats producing classic cars that run biofuel or get 30mph would get media coverage QUICK.

    An alternative to all the ugly hybrids out there :x:
     
  22. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84,796
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    exactly why pretty much every high end paint shop does insurance work to pay the bills :o
     
  23. daign

    daign Guest

    No shop in LA has parts in stock. I've never seen one. Most drop ship 90% of their shit. Its hilarious. I'm thinking building a brand, building a few cars to get the name out there, hit the auctions, go from there...

    Nearly every time I park my cars somewhere for an extended amount of time. I come back to some random shops business card that was slipped in the driver's seat, or a note asking if its for sale.

    Other guys are out there doing it. Why aren't I parking my car with a slew of business cards for people to grab? :hsd:
     
  24. daign

    daign Guest

    It takes a lot of money to get started no doubt. What I'm thinking is, sell a few cars, get the name out there. Start developing a brand, get the cars some magazine coverage using contacts.

    Complete the Camaro, build a Buick Riviera Custom, Build an LS1 powered Jaguar Mark II
     
  25. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84,796
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    that shop is fucking pimp though :coold:
     

Share This Page