The Basics Of Car Restoration

Joe Terrell
01/27/202027th January, 2020
Filed under Car Topics

We take a look at the basics of car restoration and find out what beginners need to know about what’s involved in restoring a modern classic.

smashed drift car

Car restoration is no longer just a hobby for those who are willing to sacrifice their own time to give a second life to an old classic. It’s a big business with huge amounts of money involved.

Specialized classic car restoration shops are appearing all over the world to cater to the needs of those car enthusiasts who’d love to experience the thrill of having a classic Mercedes or a Ferrari in their collection but don’t have enough time or skills to tackle the task on their own. But whether you decide to do everything on your own or hire someone to do it for you, it’s important to know what this is all about.

Where to begin

Before you start planning anything, you need to choose the right model. Especially if you want to work on it with your own hands. It will take many hours of your life to complete even a small restoration project, so you want to make the right choice.

But even when you find that one perfect car you want to own, make sure to compare different options and consider whether it’s even possible for you to fully restore it.

If you decide to buy from another collector, there’s a big chance that such a vehicle will be in a relatively good condition, but always make sure to check the details before purchasing anything.

Remember that the amount of work and the number of parts that need replacing will heavily influence the final cost of the whole project. It’s also a good idea to check the availability of spare parts for your chosen model, if they are particularly difficult to obtain, opting for a different classic may make your job easier.

Everything depends on how motivated you are and how much work you’re willing to put in.

Do you want to restore or rebuild?

There are people who think that restoring a classic and rebuilding it are two terms that describe the same thing. In reality, there are big differences between the two. At the very beginning, you need to realize that by choosing to restore a classic vehicle, you’re taking on a huge task.

That’s because the restoration process aims to bring a car back to its original state, or at least as close to it as possible. It means that choosing a unique model that was manufactured in a limited number will make your job so much harder.

You’ll need to look for original parts, take care of the classic car upholstery repair, and pay close attention to the factory specifications. Such things can influence the final price, but they will also improve the final result.

Rebuilding a car, on the other hand, gives you more creative freedom. By choosing this type of project, you’ll be able to get a car that looks like a classic but feels more modern.

The reason for this is simple.

A rebuild is not about returning a vehicle to its original condition, it’s about making sure it’s in good condition. And how you decide to do it is up to you. Also, there’s no point in denying that it’s simply cheaper and less demanding than a restoration.

Plan in advance

When you choose the model you want to work on, you can start planning even before you actually buy one. Finding the car to buy can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if you’re looking for one of the rarer ones, so there’s no point in waiting until it’s actually in your garage. You can start looking at the specifications and the availability of the parts.

Restoring a car doesn’t only that time, but skills and knowledge as well. So you should start looking for important information as soon as possible. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Don’t just assume that you’ll learn everything you need on the go, you don’t want to risk mistakes and ruining your project wasting your effort and money.

Restoring an old classic is a complex process that requires skills, knowledge, and patience.

If you don’t feel capable of doing it on your own, you can hire a specialist to help you. Just remember that it’s also an investment because such cars are becoming more and more valuable with each passing year.

So it’s not just an exciting hobby, it can become a profitable one as well.

author avatar Written by Joe Terrell founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Read more about Joe and the Drifted team on our about us page.

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