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Automobile Restoration Business Plan [Sample Template]

An automobile restoration business is a type of enterprise that specializes in restoring and refurbishing vintage or classic cars to their original or near-original condition. These businesses cater to car enthusiasts, collectors, and individuals who have a passion for classic automobiles and want to preserve or enhance the historical and aesthetic value of their vehicles.

The restoration process typically involves disassembling the vehicle, carefully inspecting and evaluating its components, repairing or replacing worn-out or damaged parts, and finally reassembling the car to its original specifications.

Restorers often pay close attention to detail, using authentic parts and materials whenever possible to maintain the vehicle’s authenticity and historical accuracy.

Steps on How to Write an Automobile Restoration Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. is a premier automobile restoration business based in Portland, Oregon. With a passion for preserving automotive history and an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, we specialize in restoring and revitalizing classic and vintage cars to their original splendor.

Our team of skilled technicians and artisans have years of experience and profound knowledge of vintage cars, ensuring the highest standards of workmanship.

From sourcing authentic parts to precision engineering, every restoration project is executed with utmost care. Our modern workshop is equipped with cutting-edge tools and technology, enabling us to handle a wide range of restoration projects efficiently.

We prioritize open communication, collaborate closely with clients throughout the restoration process, and tailor our services to meet their specific preferences and requirements.

  1. Company Profile

a. Our Products and Services

At Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc., we offer a wide range of complete automobile restoration, bodywork, paint restoration, engine and mechanical overhaul, interior refurbishment, electrical system repair, chrome and metal restoration, and chassis and suspension maintenance.

b. The Industry

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will operate in the automotive aftermarket industry.

c. Mission Statement

At Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc., our mission is to breathe new life into automotive history by meticulously restoring and preserving classic and vintage cars. We are dedicated to delivering unparalleled craftsmanship, ensuring that each restoration project becomes a timeless masterpiece.

With our passion for automotive heritage and commitment to excellence, we aim to ignite the spark of nostalgia and admiration in the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide.

d. Vision Statement

Our vision at Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. is to be recognized as the foremost authority in classic automobile restoration, setting the standard for quality, authenticity, and innovation in the industry. We aspire to be the destination of choice for car collectors, enthusiasts, and vintage car owners seeking top-tier restoration services.

e. Our Tagline (Slogan)

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. – Reviving Timeless Classics with Masterful Artistry”

f. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will be formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

g. Our Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
  • Workshop Manager
  • Bookkeeper/Accountant
  • Automotive Restoration Specialist
  • Sales and Marketing Officer
  • Customer Service Officer (Receptionist)
h. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
  • Harris Lakeland (Owner and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) 56 Percent Shares
  • Noah Green (Board Member) 14 Percent Shares
  • Joel Austin (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Emmanuel Wellington (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Freda Bonke (Board Member and Secretary) 10 Percent Shares.
  1. SWOT Analysis

a. Strength
  • The company has a team of skilled technicians and artisans with extensive knowledge and experience in classic automobile restoration, ensuring high-quality work.
  • Harris Lakeland® takes pride in its meticulous approach to restoration, preserving the authenticity and historical accuracy of each vehicle.
  • The company operates from a modern workshop equipped with advanced tools and technology, enabling efficient handling of restoration projects.
  • The business places a strong emphasis on building strong relationships with clients, providing personalized services, and fostering open communication throughout the restoration process.
  • Over time, Harris Lakeland® has built a reputation for excellence in the industry, attracting repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
  • The company’s passion for preserving automotive history drives its commitment to deliver exceptional results.
b. Weakness
  • As a localized business, Harris Lakeland® may face challenges in reaching customers beyond the Portland, Oregon area.
  • The detailed nature of automobile restoration may result in longer project timelines and higher labor costs.
  • Sourcing authentic parts for classic cars can be challenging, potentially causing delays and cost fluctuations.
  • The classic automobile restoration market may have other established competitors with similar services, posing a challenge for market share.
c. Opportunities
  • The increasing interest in classic cars and vintage automobile preservation presents opportunities for expanding the customer base.
  • Establishing a strong online presence through a website and social media platforms can attract a global audience of classic car enthusiasts and potential clients.
  • Exploring opportunities to expand operations to nearby states can tap into a broader market of potential customers.
  • Introducing complementary services like appraisals, vintage car sales, or specialized restoration packages can attract a wider range of clients.
i. How Big is the Industry?

The size of the automobile restoration industry can be challenging to pinpoint precisely because it involves a diverse range of businesses, including specialized restoration shops, individual hobbyists, parts suppliers, and related service providers.

It caters to a niche market of car enthusiasts, collectors, and vintage car owners who are passionate about preserving and restoring classic automobiles.

ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?

The automobile restoration industry is generally considered to be growing. There is a sustained interest in vintage and classic cars among enthusiasts, collectors, and individuals seeking to own and preserve automotive history. The appreciation of classic cars as collectibles and investments, coupled with a rise in disposable income for some segments of the population, contributed to the growing demand for restoration services.

iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry?

With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, a future trend in the classic car restoration industry may be the conversion of vintage cars into electric vehicles. Restorers might work on integrating modern electric powertrains and battery systems while retaining the classic aesthetics.

There could be an increased focus on eco-friendly and sustainable restoration practices. Restorers may use environmentally friendly materials, recycling, and energy-efficient technologies to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

Advancements in 3D printing technology might enable the creation of rare and hard-to-find parts for classic cars. Digital restoration tools and virtual simulations may also aid in visualizing and planning restoration projects.

Augmented reality could be utilized for training new technicians and craftsmen, allowing them to learn and practice restoration skills in a simulated environment. The industry might see the growth of online marketplaces and virtual showrooms, making it easier for enthusiasts to discover and purchase vintage cars and restoration services worldwide.

Technology might play a role in collecting and analyzing data about classic car performance and condition, assisting restorers in making informed decisions during the restoration process.

iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to an automobile restoration business because the automobile restoration business is a niche idea in the automotive aftermarket industry.

v. Can You Sell a Franchise of Your Business in the Future?

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. has the plan to sell franchises in the near future and we will target larger cities all across the United States of America and Canada.

d. Threats
  • Economic downturns could impact consumer spending on non-essential services like automobile restoration.
  • Shifting customer preferences and design trends may require us to continually update our offerings to remain relevant.
  • Adherence to local and state regulations regarding vehicle modifications and advertising is essential to avoid legal issues.
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Metalworks Classic Auto Restoration
  • F40 Motorsports
  • Rides Restorations
  • Kindig-It Design
  • The Guild of Automotive Restorers
  • FantomWorks
  • Unique Twist
  • Throttlestop
  • Classic Car Studio
  • Auto Collectors Garage
  • Precision Restorations
  • RM Auto Restoration
  • Pro Auto Custom Interiors
  • Precision Car Restoration
  • Hibernia Auto Restorations
  • Frank’s Car Barn
  • Classic Showcase
  • Paul Russell and Company
  • Vintage Car Works
  • Classic Car Restoration Club.
ii. Is There a Franchise for the Automobile Restoration Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for automobile restoration business and some of them are;

  • Meineke Car Care Centers
  • Maaco
  • Tint World
  • Christian Brothers Automotive
  • Fibrenew
  • Ziebart
  • Precision Tune Auto Care
  • Glass Doctor
  • Color Glo International.
iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Automobile Restoration Businesses?

Yes, there are several policies, regulations, and zoning laws that can affect automobile restoration businesses in the United States. These regulations may vary depending on the location and the specific services offered by the business.

Some municipalities may have zoning restrictions on automotive-related businesses, including restoration shops. It is essential for automobile restoration businesses to comply with local zoning laws and obtain the necessary permits to operate legally.

Automobile restoration may involve activities such as sandblasting, painting, and the use of chemicals. Federal, state, and local environmental regulations govern how businesses handle hazardous materials, waste disposal, and air quality. Compliance with these regulations is crucial to avoid fines and environmental liabilities.

There may be industry-specific standards and guidelines related to automobile restoration, especially if the business offers services for classic or vintage cars. Compliance with these standards ensures the quality and safety of the restoration work.

If the restoration involves retrofitting older vehicles with modern engines or emissions control systems, there may be specific regulations related to emissions compliance.

Businesses must adhere to consumer protection laws, ensuring transparency and fair practices in dealing with customers, contracts, and warranties. Restorers must be cautious not to infringe on copyrighted designs, trademarks, or patented technology when restoring or customizing vehicles.

  1. Marketing Plan

a. Who Is Your Target Audience?

i. Age Range

The primary target audience would be individuals aged 35 and above. Classic car enthusiasts and collectors often fall within this age range.

ii. Level of Education

While no specific educational requirement is necessary to appreciate classic cars, our target audience may have a diverse range of educational backgrounds, including high school graduates, college-educated individuals, and those with advanced degrees.

iii. Income Level

Our target audience would likely have a moderate to high-income level, as classic car restoration is a specialized and often expensive service.

iv. Ethnicity

The love for classic cars and automotive history is not limited to any specific ethnicity. Therefore, the target audience at Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. would be diverse and inclusive, appealing to car enthusiasts from various ethnic backgrounds.

v. Language

The primary language of communication and marketing materials would be English, as it is the dominant language in the United States. However, additional language support may be offered to accommodate a diverse customer base.

vi. Geographical Location

The company’s primary geographical location would be in Portland, Oregon, and it may target customers within the state and surrounding areas.

However, the reputation and online presence of Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration might attract customers from across the United States and potentially international clients who seek top-tier classic car restoration services.

vii. Lifestyle

The target audience at Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. would include individuals with a passion for classic cars, vintage car owners, car collectors, and enthusiasts who value quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the preservation of automotive heritage.

b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
  • Use FOMO to Run Photo Promotions.
  • Share Your Events in Local Groups and Pages.
  • Turn Your Social Media Channels into a Resource
  • Host Themed Events That Catch Attention.
  • Tap Into Text Marketing.
  • Develop Your Business Directory Profiles
  • Build Relationships with Other Businesses in Your Area
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
  • Broadcast Marketing -Television & Radio Channels.
  • Marketing through Direct Mail.
  • Print Media Marketing – Newspapers & Magazines.
  • Out-of-Home” marketing (OOH marketing) – Public Transits like Buses and Trains, Billboards, Street Furniture, and Cabs.
  • Including direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), tradeshows, print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television.
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Social Media Marketing Platforms.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC).
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing.
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
  • Create a personalized experience for our customers.
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
  • Create a community for our audience.
  • Start using chatbots.
  • Gear up our profiles with a diverse content strategy.
  • Use brand advocates.
  • Create profiles on relevant social media channels.
  • Run cross-channel campaigns.
c. Pricing Strategy

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will adopt the following pricing strategies:

  • Cost-Plus Pricing
  • Value-Based Pricing
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Bundle Pricing

Please note that our pricing strategy is based on a careful analysis of the costs and profitability of the business, as well as the needs and preferences of the target customer base.

  1. Sales and Distribution Plan

a. Sales Channels

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will employ a multi-channel marketing and sales strategy to reach our target audience. This includes a comprehensive online presence through our website and social media platforms, showcasing our portfolio, and engaging with potential customers.

Additionally, we actively participate in local crafts and auto fairs, and community events, and collaborate with auto garages and car enthusiasts to expand our reach and establish partnerships.

b. Inventory Strategy

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will operate an inventory strategy that is based on a day-to-day methodology to follow for ordering, maintaining, and processing items in our automobile restoration facility and warehouse.

We will develop our strategy with the same thoroughness and attention to detail as we would if we were creating an overall strategy for the business.

c. Payment Options for Customers
  • Bank Transfers
  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Electronic Payment Systems such as PayPal or Venmo.
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees
Return Policy:

At Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc., we take great pride in our craftsmanship and attention to detail. Our goal is to deliver meticulously restored masterpieces that exceed your expectations.

If, for any reason, you are not fully satisfied with the restoration work performed on your classic car, we offer a hassle-free return policy. If you are dissatisfied with the restoration results, please notify us within 2 days of receiving your restored vehicle.


At Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc., we value our loyal customers and are dedicated to providing exceptional services. As a token of our appreciation for choosing us to restore your classic car, we offer a range of incentives and benefits:

  • Enroll in our loyalty program to earn points for every restoration project completed with us. Accumulated points can be redeemed for exclusive discounts on future restoration work or other services offered by our business.
  • Refer a friend, family member, or colleague to our restoration services, and both you and the new customer will receive a special incentive or discount on your next restoration project.

At Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc., we stand behind the quality of our work and provide the following guarantees to our valued customers:

  • We use genuine and authentic parts whenever possible, and our restoration work is performed with the utmost respect for the historical accuracy and authenticity of your classic car.
  • If, for any reason, you are not fully satisfied with the restoration work performed, we will work diligently to address and rectify the situation to ensure your complete satisfaction.
e. Customer Support Strategy

Our customer support strategy will involve seeking customer feedback. This will help us provide excellent products and customer service to all our customers, it will help us to first understand their needs, experiences, and pain points. We will work with effective CRM software to be able to achieve this.

  1. Operational Plan

Our operational plan covers various aspects of the business’s operations, including the restoration process, resource management, customer engagement, and quality control.

We will recruit and retain skilled craftsmen, restorers, and technicians with expertise in vintage cars and a passion for automotive heritage. Our modern workshop is equipped with advanced tools and equipment to facilitate efficient restoration processes.

a. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Automobile Restoration Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • Offering a diverse range of complete automobile restoration, bodywork, paint restoration, engine and mechanical overhaul, etc.
  • Our team will work closely with each customer to understand their preferences and provide personalized design consultations.
  • Our team will also spend time on marketing activities such as updating our website, creating social media content, responding to customer inquiries, and working on advertising campaigns.
  • Inventory management (our team might spend time organizing and cataloging inventory, updating the inventory management system, and analyzing sales data to inform future purchasing decisions)
  • Administrative tasks, such as responding to emails, scheduling appointments, managing finances, and reviewing business performance.
  • The business is closed for the day.
b. Production Process

There is no production process.

c. Service Procedure

Consultation: The process begins with an in-depth consultation with the client to understand their vision, expectations, and specific restoration requirements.

Evaluation: Our team of skilled technicians conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the vehicle to assess its condition, identifying necessary repairs and restoration work.

Restoration Plan: Based on the evaluation, a detailed restoration plan is created, outlining the step-by-step process, timeline, and cost estimates.

Authenticity and Sourcing: We prioritize using authentic parts and materials to maintain the vehicle’s originality. Specialized sources and suppliers are identified for sourcing rare and hard-to-find components.

Skilled Craftsmanship: Our team of artisans and technicians meticulously perform the restoration work, adhering to industry best practices and maintaining historical accuracy.

Quality Assurance: Each stage of the restoration process undergoes rigorous quality checks to ensure the highest standards are met.

d. The Supply Chain

The supply chain at Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. involves the sourcing, procurement, and management of various materials, parts, and services required for automobile restoration.

Harris Lakeland® seeks to establish partnerships with reputable suppliers known for providing authentic and high-quality parts for classic and vintage cars. These suppliers might include manufacturers, distributors, and specialized vintage parts dealers.

For rare or hard-to-find components, the company may establish relationships with collectors, vintage car clubs, and specialized salvage yards to source unique parts.

e. Sources of Income

The main source of income for Harris Lakeland® would come from providing restoration services to clients. This includes the restoration, refurbishment, and preservation of classic and vintage automobiles. The company would charge fees based on the scope and complexity of each restoration project.

In addition to restoration, Harris Lakeland® will also offer customization services to clients who want to personalize their classic cars with unique modifications, upgrades, or special features. Customization services would be offered as an add-on to the restoration work and could generate additional revenue.

The company will also generate income from selling authentic and hard-to-find parts to clients or other automobile restoration businesses. This could include selling vintage car components sourced during the restoration process or providing spare parts to vintage car enthusiasts.

  1. Financial Plan

a. Amount Needed to Start your Automobile Restoration Company Business?

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. would need an estimate of $120,000 to successfully set up our automobile restoration company in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the costs involved?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $2,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $1,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $2,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $40,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • Start-up inventory – $35,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Workshop and Showroom – $30,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will it Cost?

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. will not build a new facility for our automobile restoration company.

d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running an Automobile Restoration Business?
  • Procuring authentic and high-quality parts and materials for the restoration projects
  • Labor Costs
  • Rent or Lease
  • Monthly expenses for electricity, water, heating, and cooling required to operate the facility.
  • Insurance
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Maintenance and replacement of specialized tools, machinery, and equipment necessary for automotive restoration, such as sandblasters, paint booths, welders, and diagnostic tools.
  • Costs for stationery, office supplies, and administrative necessities.
  • Software and Technology
  • Vehicle Inspection and Preparation
  • Waste Disposal.
e. What is the Average Salary of Your Staff?
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $55,000 Per Year
  • Facility Manager – $40,000 Per Year
  • Workshop Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Bookkeeper/Accountant – $35,000 Per Year
  • Automobile Restoration Specialist – $35,000 Per Year
  • Sales and Marketing Officer – $25,000 Per Year
  • Customer Service Officer (Receptionist) – $24,100 Per Year
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Automobile Restoration Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?

Partial Restoration: For minor restoration work or specific component refurbishment, prices can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the car model and the extent of work needed.

Full Restoration: Full restoration projects, involving a complete overhaul of the car, typically start from $30,000 to $100,000 or more. The cost can increase substantially for high-end luxury or rare vintage cars.

Classic Car Concours-Level Restoration: For high-end classic cars seeking concours-level restoration, prices can go well beyond $100,000 and may even exceed $500,000 for extremely rare and valuable vehicles.

b. Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $550,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $780,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1.3 million
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. is projecting to make;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): (20% of revenue generated)
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): (25% of revenue generated)
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): (35% of revenue generated)
d. Profit Margin of an Automobile restoration Company Business 

The profit margin of an automobile restoration company business is not fixed. It could range from 20 percent to 35 percent depending on some unique factors.

  1. Growth Plan

a. How do you intend to grow and expand? By opening more retail outlets/offices or selling a franchise?

While firmly rooted in Portland, Oregon, Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. envisions future expansion to cater to a broader clientele across neighboring states. Additionally, we plan to establish an online presence to showcase our portfolio and reach a global audience of classic car enthusiasts.

b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. plans to expand to

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Tampa, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia.

Internationally, we plan to expand to Canada.

The reason we intend to expand to these geographic locations is the fact that available statistics show that the cities listed above have a growing automobile market, making them potentially attractive markets for automobile restoration businesses.

  1. Exit Plan

Harris Lakeland® Automobile Restoration, Inc. has decided to exit the business through a family succession plan. We have established solid structures and processes to ensure a successful transfer of ownership from one family member to the next generation without any issues.

Our company has developed a detailed transition plan to smoothly hand over responsibilities to the new successor, including transferring ownership, training key personnel, and communicating with employees, customers, and suppliers about the change.

After the exit, the founder will manage financial proceeds, address tax implications, and consider pursuing personal or professional endeavors.