8 Top Car Restoration Tips

If you own a classic car, then you know better than anyone how much it means to you. So, in honor of your classic car, we’ve decided to share some useful tips on how to restore a classic car to help take care of your unique machine! These tips can work for any vehicle, so make good use of them.

1. Choose The Right Car

I think the main challenge when it comes to getting an auto restoration San Diego project right is choosing the right car. This is because the outcome of the restoration will likely depend much on the vehicle you pick. Plus, choosing the wrong car will end up causing you all sorts of headaches, including financial ones.

2. Be Cautious Of Barn Finds, They Are Romantic But …

Barn finds are pretty cool, and chances are they’ll blow your mind. Unfortunately, a cheap barn find could turn out to be your worst nightmare according to the professionals at Whites Body Works. They often end up being too expensive to restore, and even after restoration, they will have very little return on investment. So, if you bump into a barn find, pray and hope that a great example of that model vehicle is worth some money.  

3. How Much Are Your Emotions Worth?

What’s the price tag for your emotions? Well, to answer this question, you’ll need to have an apparent reason in your mind as to why your tacking on a restoration project. Every car has its unique history – may be unknown or perhaps yet to be discovered – and there’s often an emotional drive behind a majority of classic car restoration projects. These emotions, no matter ho many dollars you spend on them, every dollar is well spent. But if your motivation is coming from the need to make money, then it makes sense to have a more economical and sensible approach to the project.

Before you commence on the restoration project, make sure you ask yourself what’s motivating you. If your motivation comes from emotions, go for it as long as you can afford it. On the other hand, if your motivation comes from profit, fetch a calculator, and start doing your math to make the restoration make sense financially.

4. Who Is Going To Handle The Restoration?

I have come across different kinds of people providing classic car restorations. Some people will charge you a hefty fee for an average job, whereas some are honest and will offer competitive rates for premium services.

When looking for a company or individual to handle the restoration project for you, shop around. Compare a couple of places and also rely on people’s recommendations before choosing who is going to work on your classic car. Make use of this site to check out garage reviews.

5. Getting Original Parts Is Crucial For An Excellent Restoration

Once you’ve settled on who is going to do the restoration, divert your attention to one of the most crucial aspects of a restoration – getting original parts. Finding the best parts is a must if you’re looking to end up with an excellent restoration project. For that reason, before you start a restoration project, do your research on the availability of original parts and the unique patina in your vehicle. This will save you tons of money.

If you can’t find all original parts (which is understandable considering we’re talking about classic cars here) invest your time in looking for high-quality parts because they are essential for an excellent final job. Another tip, be ready to spend some time looking for these parts. If you come across a vehicle with patina and you want to restore it, be prepared to dig deep into your wallet, expenses could easily be more than what you expect. Acquiring original parts for a classic car costs a lot of money and time.

6. Steer Clear Of Rust At All Costs

Another costly restoration work is the painting and body. Today, if the original color of your classic car is not in the market anymore, experts can recreate it using computers, and you’ll get a fantastic paint job. You won’t even see any difference at all from the original paint code. However, the money starts streaming out of your pockets when it comes to the fiberglass and metallic parts that are usually around the chassis of classic cars. Some of them even need to be welded. When restoring the body, there are several costs involved since the car must be stripped completely – all parts sorted – and after the stripping and sorting of parts is completed, everything from fuses to cables, to the engine will have to be put back together in the right order, otherwise, your car will be a gigantic piece of junk.

7. Be Patient, But Stay On To Of The Restoration

The remarkable process of stripping off your classic car and sorting the parts then rebuilding it, depending on the model, often takes about three days to finish. But if there are parts that are not in good condition and need to be replaced with new ones or rebuilt, the process could take longer. So, it boils down to being patient. Even if nothing goes wrong, work at the body shop, especially restoration work, takes a lot of time. Even drying up the paint typically takes up to two weeks, so be patient.

8. Pay For Timely Services, Otherwise …

While waiting for a couple of weeks for a restoration job to finish is reasonable, waiting for months can be quite nerve-wracking. But I would not recommend you to ask your artisan to work extra hours for cheaper rates. There are two reasons why you should not do that: the first one is a little complicated, the more affordable rates you think you’re getting won’t in any way offset the extra time of the project. And second, the extra hours will be endless.

Pay the right price to get your restoration project done correctly. And don’t leave room for your craftsman to make excuses to delay the project.

Author: Brandon Park