Restoration involves a lot of sweat and cursing, but it can be incredibly rewarding. However, you can’t just plunk down the money for any old classic car and get to work. Whether you’re interested in buying a fixer-upper to use as a daily driver or because you want to sell it later, you’ll need to make an informed decision here. We’ll cover some of the most important tips to help make sure you choose correctly.
You Love the Car
First, make sure that whatever car you choose, you love it. It might be one you’ve longed to drive since you were a child, or it could be one that you’ve developed an appreciation for in your adult years. Whatever the case, you need to really love the car. Why? Restoration is a work of passion and if you don’t care about the car you’re working on, that passion will be missing.
How do you tell if you love a car? While it’s tempting to opt for the first one that comes to mind, it’s a better idea to make a list of your five favourites. This gives you multiple potential starting points but also guarantees that each model is one that you’ll love working on.
Talk with Other Restorers
Take your list of potential models with you to motor shows, auctions, and the like. Find other restorers who have worked on the same vehicles and ask about their experience. What flaws did they discover? What were their most significant challenges? Were parts readily available and affordably priced? Were they forced to fabricate any of the parts themselves?
Speaking with other restorers can help you understand what you’re in for in terms of your own restoration project. It can also help you decide if you want to start with a particularly challenging model or work your way up to it by starting with something a bit simpler first.
Drive the Cars
The final tip is pretty simple – give yourself a chance to drive all five of the cars on your list. Why bother putting the rubber on the road? There are plenty of reasons.
For instance, you might find that while a car looks great in the driveway, it’s not so much fun to drive. Another car might not be that much to look at, but it could be exhilarating to put through its paces. After all, cars are meant to be driven, not just appreciated visually. Make sure whatever car you decide to restore, it’s going to give you the driving experience that you want.
In the end, finding the right resto car isn’t all that difficult. Start with a list of the five cars you love most. Talk to people who have restored them to find out what to expect in your own experience. Make sure you can actually get behind the wheel of all five cars on your list so you can restore the car that will offer the best all-around experience.