Have you ever dreamed of restoring a classic car? Have you ever wondered whether it will be worth the blood, sweat and tears to restore a classic car back to its former glory?
Here are our top tips to help you when considering a restoration project.
1. Choosing the right car
So what do you want to restore? This is a big decision and you have to consider if you will be able to get your hands on the parts you need to restore your dream car, even if you can’t buy parts locally, are they available? You should then think about whether you will be using replacement parts or if you stick to original parts. Again it may be difficult or expensive to obtain these parts so you have to consider all of these things before starting the project.
This can be quite an expensive hobby. You may carry out a lot of the work yourself but you are still going to need to buy parts and costs can soon start to add up. You may want to consider restoring your project car in stages to allow you to save for future investments and parts. When you obtain your project car you will need to evaluate what work is needed and what parts you will need to buy.
Let’s face it – you are not going to restore your car overnight. There will be a lot of work involved and you will quickly learn that not everything will run smoothly and you will need to be ready to adjust your plans. You may experience problems with getting hold of vital parts or be held up by a professional service. So make sure that you are realistic in how long it’s all going to take. Allow plenty of time and plan ahead; you will get there in the end.
4. Space, tools & equipment
So once you have decided on the car, you have to consider do you have the space to complete the work and the correct tools to get the job done. If you are not planning to get work completed by a car specialist you may have to spend on purchasing the right tools and equipment needed to complete your renovation project to a high standard. It may be worth considering hiring tools instead of buying them. Finally, do you have a space large enough to act as your car workshop?
5. Join a club
Join a classic car club and get to know other car fanatics just like you! A lot of the members have probably carried out similar restoration projects and you can learn from their experiences, their successes and failures. Their experiences can save you a lot of time and money. They will know the cars and their weaknesses inside out. The club may also be able to help you with details of how to obtain the parts or who to get them from.
6. Learn new skills
Just because you have dreamed of restoring a classic car does not mean that you will have all of the essential skills you will need to do the job. You will need to decide how much of the work you will be prepared to take on yourself and develop skills in bodywork, electrics, welding and upholstery. So this may be a good time to brush up on your skills or learn some new ones. Speak to family and friends or car experts, learning how to do a job properly means that you’ll be able to do it right, first time.
7. Be prepared and get organised
Make sure you think ahead and plan the different stages of your restoration project. Some tasks will involve you putting on some old clothes and getting your hands dirty or you may find it takes hours researching and finding parts online to help you complete a certain job. So be prepared to set aside free time, your evenings or weekends to get the job done.
8. Don’t give up
Don’t forget Rome was not built in a day! There are going to be times when not everything is going to plan and you will feel like throwing in the towel. Stick with it, not everything will be easy and there will always be a solution or someone to help you solve the problem. Everything you need is out there, and with the correct planning and advice from the right people you will have the help and support you need.
9. Finally… have fun!
The most important thing is enjoy yourself. It may be a long road but once your restoration project is complete you will look back with pleasure and a great sense of satisfaction. You may even enjoy the experience so much that you will set to work on your next restoration project – it can become addictive!
Good luck and we wish you all the best with your classic car restoration project!