FantomWorks Project Submission"Because You've Waited Long Enough..."

We hate bureaucracy as much as you do and certainly understand that you are probably asking yourself why we want you to jump through all these hoops. Our hope is that, by asking you to fill out the information below, through that process you'll find out whether or not it makes sense to do your project.

Up until today, I have personally reviewed, read, emailed, or called every single applicant back. Unfortunately most of the applicants are asking for unreasonable things. Our shop is not a “cut rate” backyard bubba mechanic shop that uses junk yard parts and yet most of the applicants ask for that exact approach to building “their car” as they feel they are somehow different and should get the 10 cents on the dollar build. We CANNOT restore ANY car for 10 to 20 thousand dollars and would respectfully ask that all of these completely unreasonable requests stop. In your submission, I provide an historical average of labor hours based on main stream restorations and our rates run 75-85 per hour. Please take a moment and determine whether your request is reasonable. In the future all unrealistic requests will be completely ignored. If you chose not to provide a realistic budget that you are prepared for then I’ll assume you have no budget and that request will also be ignored.

You need to provide a schedule that you can and WILL answer your phone. Over NINETY PERCENT of our attempts to contact customers are met by call screening voicemails. We will only call 2 to 3 times and if we don't get through we'll consider the project dead and delete it. Provide what days and what times you WILL answer a call from a 757 area code.

If you find at the end of the form you are not sure your project is a good idea, you will know why we asked you to do this.
If you find at the end of the form that you are sure your project is a good idea then you will have saved both yourself and Dan a lot of time when it comes to discussing your project.

If you are having problems using this form, please contact webmaster@fantomworks.com with your name, number and a good time for us to call and assist you in working through this form.
1Customer Info & Address
2Vehicle Info

If you put a project budget of $0 dollars, and since we cannot do any work for free, we will ignore your project submission and you will not get a call back. So please, enter in a realistic and a well considered project budget amount.

Please upload up to 4 images of your project.

3Parts Policies

Regardless of whether the part requires a single phone call to purchase or weeks of research, phone calls, letters, and emails, we do our very best to ensure that we only mark up the part by 25% over our actual (wholesale or discounted) costs. This equates to selling parts at cost after we pay for the cost of a parts manager, a parts assistant, a shop assistant and the storage an spoilage of parts.

At 25% markup, DRS FantomWorks sometimes doesn’t break even and all we’re trying to do is cover costs. General industry markup is 100% over shop acquisition cost for items under $100 and 50% over $100. There is the rare exception that parts we acquire will have an actual (wholesale or discounted) cost which will be far less than their market value and we reserve the right to mark up their sale price to something near current market value.

I have read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the Parts Policies section and I am initialling this box to indicate so.

4Guarantee & Warranty Policies
Part Installation Guarantee: FantomWorks strives to install every part properly and stands behind every part it sells. If there is doubt regarding proper part installation, DRS FantomWorks will default to support the customer and provide free re-installation or replacement. FantomWorks guarantees parts’ installation workmanship for one year from part installation date. This guarantee covers the installation procedure on the vehicle and ensures the part is installed as correctly as practicable. Please keep in mind that with the average vehicle in our shop being 50 years old and having suffered an average of two accidents and five owners, we routinely run into issues with damage or age causing significant fit issues.

New and Remanufactured Parts: Are warranted per the manufacturer’s warranty. Some vendors warrant replacement labor and some do not. We will always support the manufacturer's part and labor warranty.

Used Parts: Generally have a 30 to 90 day vendor warranty; however, some vendors offer no warranty. We match vendor’s warranty and will re-install the part per the vendors warranty and guarantee policy.

Rebuilt Parts: In many cases, new old stock, good used, or reproduction parts are not available and FantomWorks must design, manufacture, and/or rebuild a part (i.e. rebuilding a 50-year-old clock). Warranty on custom fabricated/rebuilt parts will be subject to FantomWorks’ discretion and can be negotiated in advance.

I have read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the Guarantee & Warranty Policies section and I am initialling this box to indicate so.

5Storage & Fees Policies
Inactivity Storage Fees: FantomWorks does not charge for storage while cars are active projects. Under normal circumstances FantomWorks completes an average of 15-25 hours per week of touch-labor on every vehicle in the shop. If a customer’s inability or unwillingness to keep current on reasonable project payments causes a vehicle to lapse into an inactive status (i.e. three working days after payment is requested and no payment is made and/or with no mutually agreed alternative plan), then the vehicle lapses into an “Inactive Storage” status. Upon completion or lack of payment vehicles are moved outside and are not insured against perils.

Cars in Directed Storage: If the owner of a vehicle in a directed storage status (the vehicle enters the shop as a vehicle intended to be in storage rather than a work-order vehicle) requests work on vehicle, the owner will be credited one free week of storage for every 15 hours of work completed on his/her vehicle upon work completion.

Credit Card Transactions: Due to exorbitant credit card fees there will be a 4%-5% surcharge for the use of credit cards on balances over $100 (rate determined by the credit card company; this charge is just to cover expenses and does not actually result in FantomWorks netting anything on the surcharge). We strive to keep prices low and have not “built in” a markup for the credit card fees we must pay; and as a small, family-owned business, we cannot cover credit card fees.

I have read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the Storage & Fees Policies section and I am initialling this box to indicate so.

6Paint Changes Everything
Please read this before we talk so you understand why: “Paint Changes Everything”

FantomWorks can and will treat a car as having “new paint” and will paint without stripping if the car is less than 15 years old AND has original paint with no previous repair damage or any signs of rust. If the car does not meet these criteria, then FantomWorks will treat the car as having old paint. Old paint requires stripping the entire vehicle to ensure that we’ve found and repaired all metal damage properly before applying new paint. This means that the following steps must be taken:
  1. The car is disassembled to allow for media blast without destroying the various pieces of your vehicle.
    • Removal of drive train, engine, transmission, differential, exhaust, drive shaft, fuel system, etc.
    • Removal of all Glass and regulators
    • Removal of all electrical components, lighting, and wiring
    • Removal of all interior appointments
    • Removal of complete dash assembly (gauges, switches, levers)
    • Removal of all chrome and bright work (every single piece)
    • Removal of all soft components (weather stripping, grommets, etc)
    • Removal of everything to reduce the car to an empty shell.
  2. This allows for a comprehensive blast to remove all rust, filler, paint, and exposes all previous repairs.
  3. Metal fabrication follows to bring the vehicle back to “like new” chassis and body standards.
  4. Body work and paint work are then completed.
  5. Replacing the items (and this is where paint becomes a restoration).
    • Replacement of the drive train “should” be done with a restored drive train. Why would you put a greasy nasty leaking engine and transmission back into the vehicle? Why would you put rusty exhaust back into this vehicle, etc.?
    • Replacement of glass and regulators. Would you put in old window seals and wipers? Wouldn’t you want to fix the regulators and rebuild them if needed?
    • Replacement of electrical components: Do you want 50 year old wiring and lights going back in? Why not replace the wiring and fix the electrical components; they’re already out of the car?
    • Replacement of the interior. Do you want old carpets, headliner, seats and door panels being returned or is this the time to rebuild all of that?
    • Replacement of dash and gauges. Isn’t this the right time to fix the gauges, clean the harness or replace it, repair the ignition switch, etc.??
    • Do you want old chrome going back on or is this the time to restore the chrome, stainless and aluminum trim?
    • Once weather-stripping is removed, it’s generally destroyed in the process. It’s glued in and tears upon removal. It’s probably old and dry rotted anyways. You really have to replace it.
    • Misc. items that have been removed have to be replaced with restored items: convertible tops, vinyl roofs, antennas, etc., etc., etc.
  6. So when you actually think about the process, the paint requires the correct stripping of the vehicle which requires the comprehensive disassembly of the body which then requires the replacement of all of those items. Once you begin to “knock over the dominoes” you’ll find they will keep falling until they’re all knocked over and you have in fact done a restoration. That’s why “Paint Changes Everything”!

I have read and understand the Paint Changes Everything section and I am initialling this box to indicate so.

7Estimate Overview
This is not an estimate to complete your car. This is an estimate of the first phase of your build only.

Restoration Expectations: FantomWorks prides itself on building cars to the highest realistic quality standards that can be achieved based on vehicle quality and the availability and quality of materials and parts. The cars we rebuild weren't perfect when they were purchased brand new and we'll never make them perfect. We strive for the best quality we can achieve based on the customer budget and constraints and restraints imposed by the automotive restoration world.

FantomWorks Cost and Billing Information: We have completed just over three thousand builds of varying degrees and at this point we have an idea of what these builds require in terms of labor and materials however each and every one of them are different and so there is truly no “typical” build or a valid “average”. The best and most basic truth we have discovered is that the “simplest” of the cars are generally the muscle cars that are the most common high production vehicles. Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes from the mid to late 60s tend to be the most straight forward types of builds. A high quality build of these cars tends to take about 100 hours to disassemble and catalog, 600 or so hours to restore, and around 400 hours to completely reassemble and test. This isn't an absolute but a “ballpark.” Corrosion adds to the time of the build. Lots of power options (power steering, brakes, windows, locks, AC) will also add to the cost of the builds and of course custom mods, really add to the build.

If a customer requests “custom mods” there will be an increase the timeframe of the build. “How much” is a matter of “how custom.” We've had requests that have added over 1000 hours to the build just for the custom mods part of the build. Custom metal fabrication is the biggest single element that changes the cost. Other custom elements include but aren't limited to certain engine/trans combinations, advance electrical system mods and state of the art suspension/braking mods.

As for parts, the market controls the price of that. Our markup is so low and the part failure rate is so high on restoration aftermarket and used parts that in the end we're lucky if we've broken even on parts. The parts needed to build a “stock OEM” vehicle will generally run about $35,000.00. This typically includes chrome, engine build, transmission build, differential build, paint, interior, tires, brakes, etc, etc, etc and all other miscellaneous parts needed to complete a restoration. Hardware alone can run about $500.00. It is possible to spend six figures on parts! We had a customer that spec'd a drivetrain that I wrote checks for over $100,000.00 for. I have put suspension systems on cars that cost $25,000.00 and I've purchased loaded chassis for cars that were $30,000.00 so a radical resto-mod can top 6 figures in parts alone.

Boiled down, we'll build you the best car we can for the money. We'll list every part we purchase for your car and account for every minute we spend working on your car with a description of what we did and how many minutes it took. If our approach is acceptable to you then we'd love to work with you. If it's not acceptable I completely understand however we won't be able to build you a car.

We bill on a progress basis. We will start with a deposit to cover initial parts and funding for approximately 30 calendar days of work. We'll typically work beyond the deposit and then send an updated ongoing invoice to cover expenditures to date as well as funds to continue the work.

At any time should a customer wish to pause or terminate the agreement; written notice to FantomWorks is all that is required. The customer will be required to pay for any balance due for all work completed as well as costs associated with packaging, shipping, and storing of vehicle/parts as needed.

I have read and understand the Estimate Overview section. By initialing this box, I am confirming my understanding that project costs for restorations can easily range to greater than $150,000.00. I am also prepared to provided a significant deposit to begin the project.

7Decision Matrix
Decision Matrix
Based on the project Decision Matrix above where do you think your project falls?


I look forward to discussing your project with you. Please address questions and issues before work commences.
Dan's Signature
Dan R. Short


You will receive a confirmation email AFTER submitting this form. If you have not received it in a timely manner, please call us at (757) 216-1745 to follow up.