There’s nothing quite like taking a beloved icon of days gone by and breathing new life into it through a loving restoration. Whether you ultimately plan to drive, garage, or sell your restoration car, the process is the reward. Of course, you’ll encounter quite a few steps in that process that require the help of a professional, but there may be plenty of things you can do on your own. Here are six simple DIY restoration tips for your classic car.
One of the most interesting of our DIY auto restoration tips allows you to breathe new life into an aging windshield. While aftermarket replacements are available, if you want to keep the original equipment and can’t find anything on the market, this will be your best option. You need to polish your existing glass with a buffing wheel, a drill, and the right polish.
When you think of most classic cars, bright exterior trim comes to mind. However, over time, that trim gets dinged, and dirty, it rusts, and generally detracts from the car’s appearance. You can buy new trim for many classic cars, but if you really want to keep things original, you can reclaim stainless trim pieces. A lot can be accomplished by polishing and grinding, but it can also be reshaped in many instances.
Reinvigorate Interior Trim
The interior of classic cars can suffer just as much as the exterior if the car is not properly stored. The interior trim can discolour, or wear away. In many cases, you can repaint this trim with a little care and attention. From the instrument cluster to the ignition switch to the dash trim, a little effort and paint can go a long way.
Improve Headlight Lenses
Even modern cars suffer from headlight lens discoloration. Buffing out your classic car’s lights can save you money, time and even help keep all your parts original. However, if the lenses are cracked and not just discoloured, you might consider replacing them.
Revive Headlight Assembly Interiors
If you’ve buffed out your headlight lenses and the lights still seem a little dim, it might be a problem with the interior. The reflective coating inside the lens assembly can deteriorate over time, and that can contribute to poor light emission and a less than ideal look. Take the assembly apart and clean or repaint to restore them.
There is a good chance that your classic car has vinyl seats, and that those seats have deteriorated over time. On the other hand, you might have purchased replacement seats, but they’re the wrong colour for your vehicle. Whatever the case, a little vinyl dye can help. Use a high-quality dye and get a little practice in before starting on your car.
There you have them – six DIY restoration tips that most people can do on their own, right at home. While these won’t cut out the need to work with a restoration professional, they can help reduce your costs.