August 24th, 2015

  1. Budget – The most important part of a well-planned pro touring project is the budget. Eyeing a $250,000 build with only $40,000 to spend will only end in disappointment. Establish a budget and keep it firmly in mind.Another great tip is to simply expect “budget creep” and plan for it. Intentionally set your budget lower than the cash you have available, and plan on little things coming up that drive up the final cost of the build.Also, be sure the cash you set aside for the build is actual cash, betting on stocks or other investments to hold value can come back to bite you in a crash, leaving you unable to make regular payments and continue the build.
Fesler Built 1969 Camaro
Draco – A ~$250,000 1969 Camaro from Fesler Built

  1. Resell Value – People rarely keep cars forever. It’s important to consider the resell value of a vehicle you are considering to build. Spending $200,000 on a 1967 Camaro, for example, may only result in a car worth $85,000 on the open market later. $200,000 spent on a 1969 Camaro, however, is more likely to be recouped in a sale later.
  1. Look at “ready-made” options – It might be easiest to spend the money for a head start with a vehicle like Fesler Built’s “Body in White.” This gives you a rolling chassis with primer and basic metal work already complete – ready to build. The car has already been selected, vetted and partially restored by professionals. They can sell you the car, ready to build, or even build it for you. Either way, you know you are starting out on the right foot.


  1. Buyer Beware – Not that there aren’t any good people selling decent cars online, but beware of people on eBay, Craigslist, etc. who are just looking to make a quick buck, profiting from your inexperience. Ask a reputable shop to look at what you are buying. A seller should never have a problem with a professional inspection.
  1. Auctions – Similar to the online buying experience, new owners sometimes find they have been taken to the cleaners at an auction – bringing home a car that had been made to look good for a show and hides a lot of rust and other problems. Be sure you get the back story on the car, ask to see pictures and video of the build. Again, be cautious. Don’t buy anything that looks too good to be true.
Mustang a Fesler client purchased from auction. The car is currently undergoing a complete overhaul.
  1. Build Book – Always ask for receipts and, if possible, a build book showing details of the work done and of areas not readily visible, such as under the paint, carpet and dash.
  1. Look for new parts – A good pro touring build should have new parts, not rebuilt or used.
  1. Background – When looking for a good shop, check their website and look for a back story. The difference between a shop that started building last week and one with 20+ years of experience can be huge when it comes to the overall success of your pro touring build. A good example of a build done and documented correctly is Fesler Built’s 1967 C-10 seen here.