Contract for work being done?

You make an excellent point, and it’s not limited to old Jaguars.

When I began doing a lot of my work on race cars–for which there is no book time–folks would ask how long a given job would take: I’d invariably reply, “As long as it takes.”

Both OSJI and BAS gave me fixed price quotes for interior installs.
Mechanical, paint, and body was a different story.
But the specific work details to be performed, at T&M rates, was specifically laid out.

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That is the problem! I totally forgot to top the blinker fluid off!!

And to think I was blaming the wiring! UGH


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Craig probably forgot to write it on the windshield: so you’re off the hook… :slight_smile:

Being that this is just an interior Kit installation, I can’t imagine it would be that difficult to predict the hours to install. OSJI has a flat rate for installation so its not unreasonable to expect that.

My contract actually based more along the lines of hours/days per week spent on my car, how the car would be handled while in their care and expectations on the process laid out to avoid any miscommunication. “CONTRACT PRICE” would not be the focus.

And in the medical field, we are held to DO NO HARM standards as well as cost disclosure for NON-emergency care provided. Price transparency, and disclosure are required in many if not all states.

As far as “right” shop, every time we have been burned, we obviously did our research and felt “comfortable” leaving the car in their care. Unfortunately, in our cases so far, that did not work out. The ONLY quality work that has been done has been done my my husband and myself as well as @Wiggles & friends!

A 2 day exhaust installation turned to 2 weeks. The VERY talented exhaust guy (that we spoke to and were under the impression would be the one doing the work) apparently was out with a severe case of gout, and a much less knowledgeable kid did the job: TOTAL HACK JOB, without us being notified till we picked it up.

The vette fiasco in NC, the vette was to get paint, but he took it upon himself to remove newly installed exhaust/suspension/brakes (another reason I want the car closer than 16 hours away to monitor). He then head a fatal heart attack; leaving the car undrivable/apart.

Since getting the Vette back to OKC, the shop that was to get my second wilwood brakes installed and tighten things back up on suspension said 3 months, has had it 14 months! Very little progress.

So yes, paranoid at this point, for good reason.

We cannot afford a shop that charges $300K to restore a car or as you stated, open end pocketbook. This is why we have done much of it ourselves over the last 7 years (albeit slowly). We also both work fulltime jobs, watch grandkids so have very little spare time to dedicate to the car.

Certain kind of crazy absolutely sums it up. But this wasn’t a hobby thing we took on for fun, it was a death bed promise to my father that I would complete this project he put so much of his heart into. I intend to do my best to keep my word. I’m still waiting on the “fun” part to hit. :upside_down_face: :thinking: :rofl:


Similarly, I’ve frequently said “It isn’t so much of ‘you get what you pay for’, it’s more of ‘you don’t get what you don’t pay for’.”

However, I should change “don’t” to your father’s qualifier word “rarely”, as in "you “rarely” get what you don’t pay for’


Knowing the sordid details of the two cars’ travails, your paranoia is well understood, and well-placed.

I think the agreement that you have with the new shop, in addition to its close proximity to your base, is the best that you can do.

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About 6/7 years CJ was charging around $6K to install an OTS interior.

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I called them, but they will not install any kits other than theirs. Mine is OSJI so…

I just had an upholsterer come to my shop (an hour from his facility) to survey my interior kit and all the various bits and bobs I have collected over time. Also - to check out the condition of the car/pint.

Mine is a Series III OTS so pretty similar to yours in size and scope to yours.

His rather loose estimate (which he admitted he inflates a bit to cover unforeseeable issues and avoid $urpri$e$ at completion) to serve as a basis of comparison:

$9,000 Install carpet kit, cover/install seats & headrests, rewrap steering wheel (virtually no fabrication involved)
$3,300 Install top frame on car and install Robbins top that he purchases (he is a Robbins dealer)
$1,800 Purchase Robbins top and boot

The only real shocker to me is the $9,000 to install the interior kit. Seems excessive. I’ll be talking to him when the time comes about me installing the carpet set and leaving the leather work (seats, head rest, steering wheel) to him.

I lucked out - he also installs stereo systems and has worked with RestroSound

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Different people enjoy different projects. I am sorry to hear this project has been so trying. I am lucky I have not been through what you have. In looking back to where you started, back in 2021, you mentioned that it was estimated the car could be completed in two months or so. That clearly has not happened. The project seemingly has not gone well. Some of the issues could not be avoided. But are you trying too hard to make it too perfect? I did notice in your original photos most of the interior appeared to be installed. Looks like little is left, I did not see the seats.
You said you committed to your dad to complete the car. I think that would be very nice for you to see the car to completion. But if this car has been no fun for you, do you really think your dad wants you to be tortured completing it? I doubt it. He would probably rather you sell it and use the money on something you enjoy, and your promise to complete the car can be done by someone who enjoys it.

Just some thoughts, and whatever you do, I hope your luck gets better!

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Yikes! Is that a $200 hourly rate or something? Seems really high to me. At $100/hour that would be more than two full weeks of time. It just doesn’t take that long. I installed a Robbins hood that cost $375, and, never having done one before, still did it in under two days, and it came out perfect. It’s really a pretty easy top to install, if you take the time to setup the frame properly. Even allowing for inflation, the hood itself should cost no more than $700-900, and the boot another $300 maybe?


The last I checked on Muncie published cost (on their web site) was north of $14K for a FHC, not sure if that includes the kit cost… probably not :frowning_face:


I “think” we paid $14K total.
They made the top , well, everything in house.
The correct British carpet, yada yada.
Including the hood cover, snaps, lift a dots, whatever hardware. Tunnel carpets swing up to access holes, sound insulation. Hardura, belting, etc…


Not only need to allow for inflation, but the materials

$826 - Black on Black Haartz Stayfast Cloth with zippered-out rear window
$900 - Black Haartz Stayfast Cloth

It is the $9000 to do the interior that has my eyes watering.

I was sorta prepared for these numbers when, at @Wiggles’ suggestion, I contacted AutoWeave in Denver last summer - purported to be the best upholsterer in all of Colorado. They have done many E-Types and, at the time of my call to them, had several E-Types in house. They quoted me X hours (it was a range actually) at their shop rate (IIRC it was $110 or $120/hour). Simple math totaled to between $16,000 and $23,000 (I can’t lay my hands on my notes at the moment).

Well, the guy who had the car in his shop was to be the one completing it in “2 months”. However he “hired” someone to work on it that was doing more harm than good. Long story.

The carpet and parts were put in wrong and were not adhering. Also many things under the carpet were not completed (wiring/shifter abs brake wiring) I had also asked that heat stuff be put down and it wasn’t. So it had to come back out.

My husband and I have done most everything and we both work (a lot) and the car was 45 minutes from my house.

Was never my Dads intent that “we do it” but that’s what it evolved into. I’m going to see it through because that’s just who I am.

But it has been a real struggle. If we were rich we would just pay someone but we don’t have that option. So….


My seats are done. I think the OTS is the cheaper of the models per OSJI online install cost which if my
memory serves was 12k for install (not including kit).

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At least you’ll have the added satisfaction of looking at the finished product and thinking, “We did that!”


… and an enormous part of why I am proud to consider you a friend.

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If I might offer a bit of advice to anyone at your stage of a restoration it would be to ignore suggestions to sell the car as an incomplete project. You’d only end up regretting it.

I’ve installed two complete OSJI interiors (minus soft top) myself and I’m entirely pleased with both efforts. They are very well made kits. The only tricky part of the process is covering the seats, but still do-able with a lot of forethought and care. Consider doing the job yourselves?