@shelby_69GT500- It's a fairly small group of folks here on the Boss 351 forum, and we are generally "type A" strong headed personalities that play with these cars, each with our own thoughts and opinions... that's what keeps things interesting, and easy to get a discussion going!!!!
@RAMAIRGUY- I agree things add up fast when restoring a rusty car that needs parts also. But I think your estimate of $25K-35K is a little generous for sheet metal work, but it all depends on who is doing the work. At $25,000, that's 200 hours @ $125/hr- that's 8 hrs/day/5days/week for 5 weeks, just to replace sheet metal?? If a shop that's charging $125/hr for labor can't get a couple lower quarters, a floor pan, radiator support, and some misc patching done in 5 weeks then something's wrong and they are not worth $125/hr. You're saying another $12-$15K on top for just paint alone. Sure, one could spend that much- but why would you? On a 71 Mustang? Maybe on a 57 Jag, LOL! Very acceptable show quality paint can be squirted on a 71 Mustang for half of that or less.
I had my 69 fully done a couple years ago including media blasting, new floors, trunk pan, drop offs, a lower quarter, all brand new glass (ex rear window), window regulators, door hinges, mirrors, hood hinges & pins, and lower wheel house patches, and oh yeah, absolutely gorgeous Dragonfire Red paint, new spoilers and rear louvers, all done for about $12K and Gorgeous! I found and purchased all the parts myself so i would not be up-charged, and I personally supervised everyone who was working on my car. Good thing I did too because they were about to do some stupid s++t, but that's another topic. They had great talent working there, but poorly managed.
Just my opinion of course, but if someone spent more than $30K total (in addition to the purchase price) to restore the Boss I have then they don't have much technical knowlege about the cars, can't or won't do any work themselves, have disposable wealth and willing to spend it, or any combination of the preceding, or are just being taken to the cleaners.
My opinion is that these cars are old fashioned low tech, with no AC, a radio, hand crank windows, and no integrated digital components. If someone would end up spending over $60K to restore a car that might be valued at $45K, then it's not the project for them and they should find something that will work for their own situation.
Bottom line-- -the cost of resto depends on the individual's knowlege, skills, resourcefullness, and stamina--
Sorry for the long post, love the discussion ......