Whatever the reason is for you to want to restore a classic car, it will be a labor of love that requires skill, patience, time, money, and the right tools for the project. For those who are classic car lovers, the ultimate reward is bringing the car back to life and, for some, a task that may help you earn a profit if you sell the car later on. Restoring a classic car is challenging, but the results can be excellent. Before beginning the restoration journey, it’s essential to be prepared and keep in mind that the restoration process can take thousands of hours to complete, and it can get costly. If you are ready to begin a classic car restoration, these tips will help you get started.
Choose the Right Classic Car
One of the most important things you can do when restoring a classic car is choosing the right vehicle for the task. Selecting the right car can mean the difference between a finished product you are proud of and a never-ending nightmare. One of the most common mistakes many people make when choosing a classic car to restore is selecting a car they have an emotional attachment. Don’t let a shiny set of wheels or a childhood memory be the thing that decides for you. Instead, take a step back, carefully look under the hood and inspect all aspects of the interior, including the floor and headliner. Put the car on a lift and check it for problems with the body, cracks in the frame, and rust. Some of these repairs may seem minor, but this isn’t always the case when fully restoring a classic car.
Have a Budget
The most critical thing you need to be aware of when doing a classic car restoration is your budget. The last thing you want to happen is to get close to the end of the repair only to discover that you don’t have the funds to complete the task. It’s worth it to give yourself a budget that includes the cost of the car itself as well as the parts, tools, equipment and hired work you will need to complete the project. The vehicle you choose should be one you’re excited about restoring, but it should also be one that you can afford to repair. The average cost to restore a classic car can be tens of thousands of dollars, so if you intend on selling the vehicle, make sure you will get a return on your investment.
Have a Plan and a Timeline
Once you have chosen the car and created your budget, it’s time to start the restorations. Creating an outline of sequencing the repairs will help you stay focused on individual tasks and help you stay on budget. For instance, it’s best to complete the mechanical and engine projects before you start on the interior or the bodywork. Develop a timeline for the complete restoration, but be realistic when creating the timeline. Remember to plan for work, school, family, and unexpected expenses that may interfere with the restoration timeline. Take steps to list the time you expect to spend on each stage of the restoration. A great way to help you stay on track is by posting your progress on social media links. This will not only allow you to feature your work, but you’ll also be able to have a permanent record of your progress.
Something to keep in mind while doing your classic car restoration is that although there are frustrations and restorations requires a lot of patience, time, and money; it can become an addiction. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the final results of all your hard work, which may make you eager to start another restoration project. Just keep in mind that if you are doing the restorations to earn a profit on the finished project, it’s best not to start a new restoration until after you sell the classic car that is already completed.