Learning How To restore a classic car is not nearly as hard as you may think and only requires learning a few extra steps. The most important thing will be to set aside some time and cash resources for the project.
Time is one of the more important factors in this undertaking because it can take over 1,000 hours to properly restore a classic car. Furthermore, you will need access to a wide variety of car parts and these are not always easy to find and when you do find them, they will typically cost quite a bit of cash. But there are ways to get what you need and stay within your budget parameters. Read the following tips from White’s Bodyworks.
Finding Your Car
Of course, the first step will be getting your hands on the car you want to restore. You will greatly reduce the time and energy you will have to invest in this project by finding a car that already has some of the restoration work completed. For example, you could find a car that someone else has begun to restore but has not had the time or money to complete.
Of course, you should consider that a partially restored car will cost a little more up front and you should consider how your initial payment can offset further investments. You could also find a fully-restored car that may not cost time or cash to restore and possibly features a very attractive initial price. A good place to begin your search is with other car enthusiasts who may know of such an offer. You can also look in magazines and perform an online search to find a car that needs minimal restoration. The most important thing is to never be in a hurry. The more work you have to do, the longer it will take to complete the project and the greater the investments will be.
You will need to find the parts that you will use to restore your classic car and this can be a trick. If you are lucky, many of the parts of the car you have selected will be in good condition, which is why it is so important to choose the car carefully. But even still, there is no doubt that you will need to spend plenty of time looking for a variety of parts.
Begin your search by contacting the salvage yards in your local area and asking around for a similar vehicle that can be sold for spare parts. This is also the most cost-effective way to get the parts you need. In the same way, you can ask around and perform an online search for people selling similar vehicles that have the parts you need. You may find that purchasing the entire vehicle twice and making one car from two is a good way to get the parts you need.
Then you can also find a wide selection of used parts online. Join forums and social media groups of fellow classic car collectors and restorers, these online communities are a great source of useful information on this subject.
Restoring Your Car
The only way to restore your car and save as much cash as you possibly can will be to do the work yourself. This will mean having a good place to do all this work and keep your car shielded from the elements at the same time. It will also be essential to have the tools you need for the job, an owner’s manual and a good resource of experience, either your own or that of someone who you can rely on for precise advice and keen insights.
Do as much of the bodywork as you can yourself. How much work this will actually take will depend largely on the conditions of the car you have selected, but there is sure to be at least some cosmetic work involved. Keep at least some of the cash you have planned to invest for a professional paint job, you can probably handle the priming yourself. This will help you save on costs.
You should expect to take at least a full year to restore the car. It is never a good idea to rush a project like this. Take all the time you need to locate and purchase the most cost-effective car parts and try to do as much of the story yourself.
How to Plan Your Restoration Project
There will be a considerable amount of planning and decision making involved in your project before work can even commence. White’s Bodyworks advise to:
Assess the car — have you purchased a car that has been left to rust or been involved in an accident? Perhaps it is in good running order but the body is in need of considerable work. Or, maybe you have bought a car that has been out of commission for a while and needs restoration. The amount of work your car needs will determine the scope of the project and the amount of money you will need.
Decide on authenticity — there will be the need to purchase parts for your car. Carefully examine this list of needed parts and ask yourself if you will be getting all original brand parts or if some of these can be substituted for whatever you can find. The decision here will affect the overall costs of the car.
Do it yourself — DIY projects can save considerable cash, but also require a certain amount of skill. If you have not been trained in mechanic work, you could have a bit of trouble in diagnosing and addressing many of the problems you will find in your car. While you may be saving cash by trying to do this alone, you will also find that some professional work will be in order.
Determine your budget — take a moment to analyze all the work that will have to go into your car to fully restore it. Be sure you include everything you can in your budget planning and then add about 30% to your cost list as things never quite work out as you have planned.
Plan your work schedule — plan your work from start to finish. If your car requires dismantling, you will need to begin from the bottom up. Anything that has been removed from your car should be properly catalogued and all pieces accounted for.
Ask for help — if this is the first time you have taken on a project like this you will need to consider that you have a lot to learn and should make sure you have a place to go for answers.