Classic Car Restoration
If you are a car enthusiast, then you know how rewarding a classic car restoration can be. Seeing a car from another time on the road in these modern times where almost every vehicle takes a similar look is certainly something sight worthy. When you see a restored classic car on the road, you know they took the time and other resources to get make it functional again. Even though vehicles evolve as time passes, some models have a timeless look that any car aficionado will appreciate.
If you are one of those individuals, then this guide on restoring a classic car will certainly come in handy:
1. Get a Restoration Manual
Before you embark on your highly anticipated project, look for a manual to guide you through the process. Haynes manuals come in handy as they provide information specifically for your car type and model. A restoration manual will not only help you if you run into issues, but it is advisable to join an online community of individuals interested in similar projects.
2. Assess The Condition of the Vehicle
Once you have your manual, the next step is to decide what kind of work you’ll do. This, of course, depends on the condition of the car you are looking. Perhaps the classic vehicle is full of rust or it sustained damage from an accident. Maybe the body is in good condition, but the vehicle does not run well. These are some of the factors that will play a substantial role in restoring the classic car. They will also determine the time you’ll have to spend, the parts required as well as the money to invest.
3. Create a Budget
This is a vital step when it comes to restoring a classic vehicle. Once you’re done evaluating the car and know what’s needed for the project, you’ll want to create a budget based on the parts, wheels, doors, panels, paint, accessories and professional work required. After calculating this figure, add 30% to the budget to ascertain you have adequate finances for the project.
4. Create a Working Schedule
When it comes to creating a work schedule, it is wise to pick an end date. From here, create a timeline of when you wish to reach particular goals within the set timeframe. Plan out which parts of the vehicle you’ll work on each day and ensure you assign adequate time for each to avoid rushing things. Ideally, look for a place to do work, preferably a garage. This will ensure you have adequate space for all the dirty work and ensure the car is protected from the elements.
5. Know Your Limits
Restoring a classic car is very different than working on your everyday car. Be honest with yourself and know what you can and can’t do. While taking the DIY route will save you a substantial amount of money, there some costly mistakes you don’t want to make. If you are new to this activity, then consider taking it to a qualified and professional mechanic or work on it with a friend who has a vast knowledge of the process.
6. Picking a Restoration Type
There are 4 varying types of car restoration:
Driver Restoration – This type of restoration gets your car back on the road and will only call for cosmetic and operational work.
Street Show Restoration – This calls for a bit more work that will result in major and minor repairs.
Show Car Restoration – This form of restoration usually requires professional help, contact Whites Body Works. More often than not, people who engage in show car restoration do not plan on putting the vehicle back on the road.
Concurs Condition – This is the highest restoration level you can do on a classic car. Here, only professionals do the work as it is meant for private collectors and auto shows.
7. Find the Necessary Parts
Before buying any car parts, it is important to decide how authentic you want the classic to look. Conventional and original parts come at varying price points and your pick will determine the overall budget. Also, even though original parts are harder to obtain, they will keep the vehicle authentic. So, it is important to know which parts do not have to be authentic in order to get them at a lower cost, while keeping the cost of your overall project as low as possible.
8. Update Your Safety Equipment
Safety equipment installation is something you will most likely need to do during your project. If you want to take a classic back on the road, you need to ascertain it meets the current road safety and regulations. Perhaps the car does not have seatbelts or airbags and so, you will need to add them to the car to make it safe in case of an accident.
Working on a classic car presents the chance to add a few cool features. In addition to basic air conditioning, most car aficionados add electronics like audio systems, to their restored vehicles. You can take it up a notch and install things like satellite TV, Bluetooth connectivity, cameras, etc. By doing these upgrades, you will be able to keep the exterior as classic as possible, while lending the interior a modern feel.
10. Do Not Expect to Resell It
It’s important to know why you are restoring a classic car. The project will most certainly be expensive and call for a lot of work. If your ultimate goal is to make money off the car, then you may want to look for a buyer beforehand. Vintage cars can be expensive and appealing, but the restoration does not guarantee that you will break even. So, ensure you are safe by expecting to spend money and not selling the vehicle.
Restoring a classic car can be challenging. You will certainly run into problems here and there, but do not let the small issues stress you out. Be prepared for things to not go as expected, especially if it’s your first time. With this guide, you can successfully complete and a car restoration project.