Choosing Your Restoration Car: A Guide to Picking the Right Option
Classic car restoration is many things. However, most of all, it is a labour of love. That should be your mantra through all the steps in the restoration process, and holding that in mind will help when frustration inevitably arises. It also helps to make the right choice when picking the car that you will restore. Choosing your restoration car is not something to take lightly, and you should make that choice based on specific criteria.
1. Is It a Car You Love?
While there’s nothing technically wrong with restoring a car that you’ve never personally wanted to drive on the road, having a passion for the vehicle in question is always a good thing and can help you maintain your momentum through the project. What are the five cars you’ve most wanted to own and drive in your life? Make a list and then start your search.
2. Is It Worth It?
While you might have always longed to own a make and model, the reality is that restoration might not be worth it. Answering this question will require that you do some research and learn more about the vehicle in question. How much is the purchase price? What’s the estimate on mechanical repairs? What about body repairs? What could you get for the restored car if you had to sell it?
3. Can You Find a Model as Close to Original as Possible?
While modified restored cars are common, the best option if you’re restoring as an investment is to ensure that you’re able to find a model that is as close to original as possible. It might have been repaired in the past, but those repairs should have been made using original replacement parts. However, if you’re only restoring a car to enjoy driving it, then the question of original parts is less important. You need reliability and performance, instead.
4. Is It Restorable?
Is the car in question able to be restored? Don’t base your answer on the first impression. Many classic cars are quite “rough” in terms of external condition. You need to concern yourself more with things like the condition of the frame, the solidity of the boot floor, and significant amounts of rust that may require replacement body panels. Has subpar restoration work already been done to the vehicle? What will it cost to re-repair any of that work if necessary?
5. How Much of the Work Can You Do Yourself?
In some cases, you might wish to turn the entire project over to a professional. However, a great deal of the joy involved in classic car restoration comes from turning the spanner yourself. Do you have the tools and knowledge necessary to repair the vehicle? Is it beyond your capabilities? If so, would professional restoration put the project outside your budget?
By conducting thorough research and carefully answering the questions above, you will be able to not only find a worthy candidate for restoration, but reduce the number of challenges you face in the process.