Thinking about restoring a beloved classic car? It can be an incredibly rewarding experience, whether you’re breathing new life into a favourite from your childhood or restoring a classic to sell on the collector’s market. However, there are some dos and don’ts that you’ll need to follow.
Do know your goal and choose a car appropriately
Are you planning to restore a daily driver? Do you want a street show car? Planning to take the restored car to a car show or have it displayed on a concourse? Each of these requires a different level of care and precision. Know what your goal is and choose appropriately to ensure that you’re not overspending.
Don’t assume that only old tools and technology will work
There’s an idea that classic cars only need basic tools for restoration work. That’s not the case. Moreover, any car you restore must be roadworthy and meet today’s legal standards. That usually requires modern technology.
Do use existing parts
If a part is in usable condition, don’t replace it. Not only will this save you money and time, but it will also help keep the restored car as authentic as possible. That carries a lot of weight with collectors if you’re planning to sell the car later.
Don’t be afraid to replace parts when necessary
While using current parts is great, sometimes it’s not possible. The existing part might be worn out, and there may be no OEM replacement available. Replace parts with aftermarket options that fit the application when necessary.
Do invest in modern safety equipment
If the car is going to be driven on the road, make sure you have modern safety equipment. That means new seatbelts, and possibly other additions to help ensure that you’re safe while operating the vehicle.
Don’t skimp on your budget
Be realistic when setting your budget. It’s tempting to cut corners where possible to save a little bit of cash but understand that doing a quality restoration requires both time and money. Skimping will either draw out the time it takes to complete the project or reduce the quality of the job.
Do make professional connections
While a lot of the restoration work can be done in your home garage, some of it may not be possible unless you’ve got a full auto shop at your disposal. From rebuilding gearboxes to bodywork, there are lots of jobs that you might need to outsource to the professionals. Before you start restoring your car, make sure that you meet professionals who offer the services that you’re going to need and connect with them.
Don’t skip your mock-up
If you’re doing bodywork, you’ll need to perform a mock-up. This is when you pre-fit all the body panels before they’ve been finished. What you’re looking for is the right fit – make sure you identify any gaps now, because once you paint and finish those panels, it’s much harder to make corrections.
If you follow these basic dos and don’ts, you’ll have an easier time of it with any restoration.