Tips for Restoring a Classic Car

There are only a few basic steps required when restoring a classic car. However, implementing each of them will require budgeting and quite a bit of time. The time and money involved with a full vehicle restoration should not be underestimated as most full restorations take countless hours and thousands of dollars. More than likely, you’re going to need plenty of parts, which can add up to a significant sum of money. Thankfully, there are some ways to acquire the parts you need and restore a classic automobile without breaking the bank.

Finding the Right Car

There are hundreds of types of cars to choose from when taking on the enjoyable challenge of a classic car renovation, some of which can cost an arm and a leg. Of course, you can always cut down on the amount of money and work required by purchasing a partially restored car from someone who has already invested time and money into the project but ran out of the time or money needed to finish it. Unfortunately, you will need to pay more upfront for this convenience.

As a viable alternative, you can look around for a complete project car that will be less of an initial expense but will need much more work. Repairable salvage cars can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars, and with a little part hunting and elbow grease, a car can be restored for much less than you might think.

Finding the Right Parts

To avoid paying top price for many of the necessary parts, contact local salvage yards or online salvage marketplaces to find similar vehicles to take parts from. Not only are these the cheapest options, but they’re also excellent sources of quality used parts. If you find yourself still needing an odd part or two, online car restoration forums or collector groups are often full of members with parts for sale.

Restoring Your Classic Car

The only way to restore a classic car without blowing the budget is to perform most of the restoration work yourself. Therefore, you’ll need a garage to house the vehicle from the elements and the tools needed to do the job. As you can imagine, a full car restoration is no small matter, so plenty of mechanical experience will be required as well. Here is a quick rundown of the restoration process:

• Assess the car and determine the repairs needed.
• Decide whether or not you want the car to remain authentic or have some custom touches.
• Determine your budget and whether or not you’re going to do the restoration yourself.
• Plan your work schedule to stay on task.

Since paint and bodywork alone can involve a large chunk of your budget, try to undertake as much cosmetic work by yourself as possible. However, although you can prime the car yourself to save some money, you should set aside a certain amount for a professional paint job to polish the gem, unless you have the know-how, time, and budget to paint the car yourself.

Depending on your schedule, it can take up to a year or longer to restore a classic car, so don’t try to rush the job. To finish the project to your standards without breaking the bank, take the time to find repairable salvage cars and the cheapest parts sources. By doing this and performing the bulk of the work yourself, you’ll have a finished product that you can stamp your name on and be proud of for years to come.