There’s nothing more rewarding than restoring a classic car. Revving up the engine for the first time and listening to it purr down the highway is a feeling everyone should experience –– at least once in their life. The problem is, though a lot of people love classic cars, not everyone has the time or energy to restore them properly. And some people just don’t know where to get started. For those out there who’ve always thought about restoring a classic car, or who don’t know where to begin, this post is for you. Because once you get started working on a classic car restoration, you won’t want to quit.
Put Your Ear to the Ground
Before you start opening your checkbook, it’s a wise decision to speak to those who deal with classic cars regularly. After all, how else are you going to know where to begin? (The good news is, there are plenty of people who love talking classic cars right in your own backyard.) Plus, listening more than you speak is good practice no matter what you’re looking to learn. At this stage of the process though, you should begin to form an idea of what kind of car you want to pursue –– and how much you’re willing to spend on it. Biting off more than you can chew is the last thing you want to do when dealing with classic cars.
Set Up a Timeframe
Once you’ve established the car, the budget, and the amount of work you’re willing to do, you can begin to develop a long-term plan for restoring your classic car. That’s especially true if you’re going to undertake a project all by yourself. Full restorations can take up a lot of your time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the work so much that you end up not enjoying the car in the first place. And if you’re serious about restoring a car on your own, not only will you need to devote many (many) hours of hard labor to it, but you’ll also need equipment and space to complete your project. That could include, but is not limited to: adding fresh paint, cleaning the interior, replacing broken parts, or even fixing electrical problems in your car.
Customization vs Restoration
To the letter of the law, “restoring” a car means to return it to its original state. However, many classic car owners like to add modern upgrades to their classic vehicles, like installing air conditioning for instance. The truth is, everybody views their classic-car project differently, and there’s no right answer as to whether you should shoot for historical accuracy or modern style and luxury. The choice is yours! Do note though, that if you decide to personalize and update, it may affect the resale value of your car in the future.