Restoring a classic car allows you to breathe new life back into an iconic vehicle. It’s equal parts passion and precision, investment and hobby.In a best-case scenario, it can give you a stunning show car, or allow you to enjoy the dream car of your youth as a daily driver. However, there are significant challenges in the car restoration process that can derail your efforts if you’re not prepared for them. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most difficult aspects of car restoration.
Rust and/or Rot
With older cars, degradation of the chassis and body panels is common.If you’re incredibly lucky, you might find a car that has at least been kept under a cover for most of its life. However, for most restorers, that’s not the case, which means that rust will be something to consider. Severe rust can quickly turn a project from a delight into a nightmare, and some professionals won’t even consider working on a car with significant rust damage. Note that older collectables with wood frames are in danger of rot, and this can make a restoration completely impossible.
There’s nothing quite like driving a convertible down the road, feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. The problem is that many convertibles used fabric tops, and fabric rots away over time. In a best-case scenario, you’ll need to replace the top with an OEM-specific replacement.However, there may be no actual replacement available, depending on the make and model that you’re restoring.
In this case, your only options would be to have a top custom made,which can be incredible expensive; omit the top from your restoration, which would mean not being able to drive the car in inclement weather, and significantly reducing its value; or abandoning the restoration project completely.
A great deal of the process in restoring a car involves tearing it down,replacing smaller pieces, and then reassembling the entire thing. This can include the engine, the transmission, the brake system, the interior, the lighting system and more. The challenge here is that you need to tear everything down and organise it, taking pictures of the entire process. Too many restoration projects have been abandoned over the years because the car’s owner failed to manage the details. They lost track of what went wear, and eventually just gave up on the project completely.
Finding the Time
This challenge has nothing to do with the difficulty of restoring or replacing a particular part, but rather the difficulty with fitting a restoration project into your life. Depending on the make and model, its condition, your desired level of restoration and other factors, it can take a very, very long time to restore a car. Finding time to fit that work into an already busy life can be terribly challenging, and is another reason that so many would-be restorers ultimately throw in the towel.
There you have them – some of the most challenging aspects of car restoration.Be prepared for these, and you’ll be more likely to achieve your goal.