Every car is different, especially when it comes to classic cars that have had more time to change. Every restoration is different depending on the car to be restored and the wants and needs of the person who is doing the restoring.
So, where do you start?
Set a budget.
There is no wrong way to restore a car, so consider what you want and what you can afford. Don’t forget to consider what you’ll need, like:
● Repair space
● Repair tools
● Professional help
● Replacement parts
● A car to restore
● An instruction manual
Buy your vehicle.
If you don’t already have a car to restore, you’ll need one! Once you have your budget set, consider the following:
● The kind of car you’d like to restore,
● The cars you have access to,
● The condition those cars are currently in,
● The condition you want them to be in, and
● Whether that fits into your budget.
Choose a restoration level.
There are four main levels of restoration and each one fits different needs and budgets. Choose the right one for you.
1. Driving Condition
2. Street Show Condition
3. Show Car Condition
4. Concours Condition
Decide where you’ll have your restoration done.
Whether you’re doing your restoration yourself, with friends, or in a body shop, it will need space for the car, tools, replacement parts, and the disassembled parts, plus space to work.
Will you be moving the car between locations during the restoration? Don’t forget about transportation and access to your repair spot.
Decide who will work on your restoration.
If you’ve got the tools, skills, finances, and space to work on your car yourself, more power to you! But, it’s likely that you’ll need help, even if only for safety, at some point. Are you working with friends or with a professional? If so, what are the costs to both parties and does the location work for everyone?
Get a manual.
A Haynes manual or something similar will have the information you need – some of which you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Consider replacement parts and availability.
Just like with new cars, you have the option to use OEM, aftermarket, or recycled parts. Depending on the level of restoration you’re going for and your budget, one may suit your needs better than another.
If you’re going for OEM, make sure to check availability too!
Find the right tools.
If you’re not having your car completely restored by a professional, you’ll need the tools to work on it. These should have been factored into your budget, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy to find!
Set your schedule.
The best way to get started is to have a schedule and a to-do list. When do you want to finish? When are your partners available to help? How long will it take you to track down all the parts and tools you need?
Good luck with your classic car restoration, and why not have Precision Collision do it for you!