Whether it’s a ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda or a Gullwing Mercedes that you’re drooling over at a car show, it’s only natural to lust after a similar caliber of restoration for your own project car. Unfortunately, a concourse-quality restoration is simply out of the budget for most car enthusiasts. Even so, not every vehicle has to be restored to like-new condition. A partial restoration may be just thing for someone interested in having a functional and drivable vehicle, but without all of the bells and whistles of a complete restoration. This can have you on the road in your favorite classic for just a fraction of the cost.
Partial restorations can encompass many things. A fancy new paint job with all new trim is ill-advised if your car cannot be driven because of a faulty braking system. If you want to drive your classic, restoring the core mechanical systems may be the best place to start. Making sure the vehicle is safe and road worthy should always be the top priority. This includes the brakes, suspension, and wiring. Likewise, in order for a vehicle to operate properly on the road, the fuel system needs to be free of leaks and debris. A fuel system that is dirty and leaking will result in poor performance and can be a potential fire hazard. Classic car engines can be fairly resilient, so a basic tune up along with fuel and oil treatments can bring an engine back to life.
If the mechanical items on your car are already in good condition, a new paint job can constitute a partial restoration as well. If the body damage is on your vehicle is only minor, basic body and paint restoration might not require completely dismantling you vehicle. In most cases, the paint will need to be stripped, but if the door jambs and other painted areas are in good shape it may not be necessary to strip or even repaint those areas. Always remember that when stripping a vehicle, be aware of the underlying problems that may be hidden underneath the paint. This is why we want to strip the cars before we paint. Painting over old paint and body work will only cause future problems.
For cars with solid mechanicals and sheetmetal, an interior restoration is a great way to enhance the comfort of your project. Your car will still roll down the road with old carpet, seat covers and a falling headliner, but will not be as pleasant to ride around in. Replacing only what is necessary is always a possibility. If you have just a small tear in a single panel on the seats, this panel can be replaced without replacing the entire cover. Headliners, door panels, and the carpet can also be replaced in sections as well.
Although partially restoring you vehicle can be a great way to get your classic back on the road, only repairing what is needed will be an ongoing process. Just like a new car, a classic needs maintenance and attention. Another thing to consider is the additional cost of going back to fix a problem that could have been prevented by completely overhauling any give part or system on your car. Remember a vehicle can be restored to fit your needs, and our intimate goal is give our customers what they are looking for.