Will you “fix” or “finish” my cruiser that was built / restored by someone else?
At PRLC, we are often approached by clients about finishing or correcting restorations and restomods done by others. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it’s not. This FAQ is designed to explain why, and should help you decide whether or not we are a good fit to work on your project.
The finished product must be consistent with our brand.
At PRLC, we have high standards. Our techniques and processes have been refined over and over, and even though there is always room for Kaizen, there’s not much out there that comes to us with workmanship that compares to ours. For this reason, we often have to redo all or part of the work previously done to the vehicle. This is especially true if the vehicle is going to leave here and be considered one of our restorations. If it’s going to have a PRLC sticker on the window, it has to be one of ours from top to bottom. Where this gets murky is if we are just going to perform a small task on a previously restored rig. If the previous restoration work is bad, and we add one of our bumpers, or some other accessory, the whole vehicle might be misinterpreted or even misrepresented as one restored by us. If this is going to be the case, we won’t be able to work on the vehicle.
Getting back to scratch
Imagine buying a run down house that’s not in a condition suitable for living in. You determine that all or part of the house needs to be scraped so that you can begin anew. This is going to be a big job. It’s always more effort to remove someone else’s old work before starting to make improvements. This is no different with automobiles. It’s always best to start with a clean slate. Previous modification and especially previous restoration work is much harder to deal with than a clean slate. Sometimes the problems are obvious, but often the really hard to deal with issues (and the most costly ones) are hidden. Once we discover all of the problems, we need to act to get the vehicle “back to scratch”, and sometimes that takes some doing.
It’s all about your definition of “value”
Now…. No offense here…and I mean NO OFFENSE! But there are a couple of groups of Land Cruisers that often fall into the category that has people reading this FAQ. They have something in common, and that thing is that they were built by individuals that simply don’t have the same definition of “what it means to add value” than we do. They take short cuts, skimp on costs, improvise instead of optimize, and otherwise just “make it work” The problem is that when you do this kind of thing, over and over and over on a build, you end up with a pile of compromise that will require a lot of work to fix. Sometimes it’s just because the person who did the work was just a beginner and didn’t know any better. Sometimes it’s simply how things are done in the area where the vehicle was built. Often vehicles restored in other countries fall in to this category. This is why you must scrutinize these vehicles very carefully. Often times the work required to correct them, especially to bring them up to our standards, is so great that they just aren’t a good fit.