The Car Enthusiasts Ultimate Guide to Classic Car Restoration

For car enthusiasts, very few activities feel as exciting and rewarding as restoring a classic car.

In addition, many people enjoy seeing an old car moving around the streets in modern times because it indicates someone’s devotion to reviving a vintage car.

Even if car designs change after some time, several car models retain an enduring appearance that interests many car lovers.

We consulted with White’s Bodyworks to develop this comprehensive guide for restoring your classic car and making your dreams come true.

Manuals and Other Resources

For starters, to increase your chances of success, look for a manual to guide you through the restoration process. The manufacturer's manual or a resource like an auto repair manual provides the information you need about a particular type of model you intend to restore. You can also use the manual to find the necessary answers if you encounter problems. Many harder to find manuals are now digitized and available online.

Also, consider joining an online group of people who like cars and are interested in restoring them. An online group can be a great way to get the information you need to work on your car.

Assess The Car’s Condition

Determine the type and scope of work the car needs, which heavily depends on its current condition. For example, the car may be covered in rust or damaged after an accident. Also, the car’s body can be in great condition, but the engine is not running properly.

The car's condition often determines the time and money spent on restoring it, including the cost of buying spare parts to replace the faulty ones.

Make a Budget

Having a good budget is a vital requirement when restoring your classic car. After evaluating the car’s condition and determining what you need, you will need to come up with a budget for such items as car accessories, parts, doors, wheels, tires, panels, paint touch-up lighting, and skilled labor.

After determining the total costs needed for the restoration work, add an extra 30% as a contingency allowance to ensure you do not run out of money. Then, with a working budget, you can start purchasing the required items.

Make a Work Schedule

When creating a work schedule for the restoration process, it is best to start by selecting an end date. Then, set a timeline for the specific objectives you want to achieve within your time frame. You can start by planning on working on certain parts or systems of the car on certain days. You have to give each task enough time to ensure all the repairs are done right.

Remember to identify the ideal location to carry out the work, like a garage. Indoors or out, you need a big enough space to work and protect the car in progress from unwanted weather elements such as rain.

Know Your Boundaries

Restoring a classic car is an entirely different project compared to repairing or upgrading your ordinary car. You need to be truthful and realistic about what you can and cannot do. Restoring a classic car on your own can save you some money, but there is a risk of making expensive mistakes. If you have no prior experience when it comes to restoring vehicles, consider working with a mechanic or friend who has done it before.

What Kind of Restoration Do You Need?

You can select the type of vehicle restoration you want from the options below:

  • Driver restoration: This type of car restoration aims to get the car running and moving on the road again. It only requires you to perform cosmetic and operational maintenance on the vehicle.
  • Street show restoration: This car restoration needs extra work as the car’s major and minor repairs must be handled.
  • Show car restoration: you will need some expert guidance to execute this type of car restoration work. Many car owners who opt for this restoration work do not intend to return the car to the road.
  • Concours condition: Concours condition is the most sophisticated restoration. Usually, this type of work is designed for auto shows and private car collectors and requires professional skills and experience.

Look for The Car Parts You Need

Before buying any car parts, you will have to determine the level of authenticity you want in your car once the work is complete. Original car parts are likely to be sold at a premium compared to conventional parts, influencing your budget for the work, according to Consignment Service.

In addition, while the original car parts preserve the car's authenticity, they are rare to find on the market. To avoid breaking the budget, you might be compelled to choose some car parts that you don't need to restore with original parts, which will help you keep your overall costs low.

Install The Relevant Safety Equipment

Installing modern safety features is a common requirement when restoring an old car. If you plan to take the car back on the road, you must ensure it has met all the required safety regulations and laws. For example, your classic car may lack seatbelts and airbags, requiring you to install them to protect the car occupants in case of an accident.

Consider Modernizing The Vehicle

When restoring an old car, you can also take that opportunity to install a few stylish features. Most car lovers would rather add a radio or other electronic features during the restoration process, over air conditioning.

Other features you can add to make the car cool and stylish include satellite TV, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview cameras, etc. Installing a few cool features can make the interior more stylish while preserving the classic theme outside the car, making it more unique.

Please Note: Reselling The Car Is Difficult

It is important to know why you are restoring the car. Remember, car restoration requires a lot of hard work and substantial capital outlay. For this reason, if you intend to sell the car and make a profit, you'd be better to locate a buyer for the car before you begin the restoration work.

Restoring a vintage car can be quite costly, and there is no guarantee that you will make a profit at the end of the process. You are much more likely to spend more money during the restoration process than the sale price.

Restoring a vintage car can be quite a demanding exercise. You will encounter various obstacles along the way, but you can always overcome them. Expect the plan to go off the rails a few times, particularly if you are restoring a car for the first time. We recommend you use our guide to avoid delays as you restore your car.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.