Driver quality doesn’t mean low quality
Not everyone wants a complete custom vehicle with every option and every detail addressed with a fine tooth comb. Many are in the market for a “Driver” quality job. The fact of the matter is sometimes the only difference between the “Driver” quality and “Show” quality come in the details. Details are what can take a car over the top and addressing some of these details, will surely make you “driver” stand out.
Driver quality does not have to mean low quality. Many people feel as though by describing a job to be driver quality it suggests that many systems do not need to be fixed. This can be true many cases, but in many others not addressing issues may not only be ineffective to cost, but eventually become a safety hazard. I will list a few of these things that can be often overlooked when “Driver” quality is suggested.
Paint and body is the number one thing that is often thought to reduce cost. This is true in many cases. An additional block sand and primer, or re-sanding and clearing to give a deeper gloss, or taking the time to make sure every little paint imperfection is removed are some of the things that can be done to take a paint job to the next level.
Stripping a car is another factor that is sometimes questioned for a driver quality job. Many people feel as though there paint looks pretty nice and just needs to be buffed out. This may be the case, but if a paint job is in order, the only way to fix it is to fix it right. Meaning that the paint still needs to be stripped, rust still needs to be fixed, and dents and dings need to be straightened. That little ding now is only highlighted by a fresh paint job.
The under body is another place that is often to be thought of as a place that can be left untouched for a driver quality job. In many cases the under body can be totally left alone, in many others rust in the floor boards prevents from leaving these areas original. Not repairing a rusty floor board and making the paint look new is not the smartest choice.
When it comes to the mechanical system on a “driver”, main concerns should be safety and reliability. Safety is usually overlooked first. This includes things like suspension bushings, rusty brake lines, or old wiring. These are all systems than can be potentially hazardous if not addressed. If a vehicle is being driven on a regular basis, it needs to be much more than just functional.
Reliability is also another aspect of a driver. The term Driver comes from the description that someone wants to “drive” the vehicle on a regular basis. This being said, reliability is also key. Things like major oil leaks, rebuilding carbs and fuel systems, and ensuring the charging system is working properly are essential for ensuring the vehicle will start easily every time.
The main goal is to make your vehicle fully functional and looking presentable. A driver restoration can be a great way to get your classic or muscle car back on the road. But a driver restoration is still a “restoration” and repairing things right, fixing them to last is still at the top of the list. A driver restoration is much more than just making a vehicle functional. It takes smart thinking and good planning to ensure the investment is worth it.