Classic Cars & Restoration Tips

For whatever reason, so many of us have an utter fascination with classic cars, so much so that we go to great lengths to see them, drive them, and if we’re really luck, perhaps even own them. Of course, while we long for the cars of yesteryear, we certainly don’t want them to look their age. After all, part of the fun of driving around in a 30-year old car is making it look like you drove it off the lot brand new 30 minutes ago. If you’re going to be buying and driving a classic car, you have to make sure it’s been restored properly. Here are some restoration tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with classic cars.

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One thing to pay close attention to during classic car restoration is rust. If possible, buy a car that has spent its entire life in a warm climate away from wintry conditions that can cause rust and do damage to the vehicle. Rust damage to a classic car will force you to replace the vehicle’s steel body panels, which can be one of the most time consuming and costly ventures in restoring an old car. If you end up with a rust bucket, you’ll have to strip the entire chassis, sand blast all of the metal on the car, and replace any section that can’t be repaired. The time and money it takes to do all of that is going to add up quickly, but it’s work that must be done if you want to restore a car that’s been consumed by rust.

Another important part of the restoration process is making sure you’ll be able to find replacement parts. There’s little doubt that parts of the car will have to be replaced, but with some cars, aftermarket replacement parts can be scarce, forcing you to use expensive used parts, causing the price of the project to skyrocket. If you want to restore a classic car, make sure you choose a model with parts that are easy to find and relatively cheap, or it’s going to make the project far more difficult than you’d like it to be.

Finally, it may be difficult to hear this, but get professional help. Even if you have a friend or family member with substantial knowledge of classic cars, it’s always best to have a professional look at the car, inspect it, and walk you through the proper steps during the restoration process. Doing a classic car restoration without the help of a professional leaves a lot of margin for error, and could ultimately come back to haunt you if the car breaks down in a relatively short period of time. Having a professional looking over your shoulder is an easy way to ensure that the job gets done right. Furthermore, if there’s a disagreement while doing the project with a friend or family member, you wouldn’t want it to impact the rest of your life, so it’s best to include friends and family only once the job is complete, but no sooner.

If you take these tips of car restoration into consideration, take the job seriously, don’t skip corners, and don’t rush things, in the end you’ll be satisfied with the job you’ve done, and more importantly, you’ll end up with the classic car you’ve always wanted.

Image Credit Flick’r User: StevoArnold