If you are an auto enthusiast, then you’ve probably had the desire to do a classic car restoration. Finding an old vehicle and restoring it to its former glory is an exercise that is rooted in nostalgia, passion, and skill. It’s also one that is far from easy and will take up a great deal of time and money. If you do it wrong though, it’s liable to take a lot more of those things. Because of this, it’s important to carefully plan out your restoration.
People who do an auto restoration may take years of time to do it right, especially if they are doing it as a hobby. Still, the rush that you get when you hop into your classic car and feel your hands on the wheel as the engine roars is something that you can’t recreate anywhere else. To help you towards that goal, here are some steps you should take to get ready for your first auto restoration.
Pick Your Car
Some cars are going to be a great deal more difficult to restore than others. Putting together an old VW Beetle is a heck of a lot easier than trying to restore a 62 Shelby Cobra. For this reason, it’s important to pick the right car for your restoration project, especially if this is your first time doing so. Do your research about what vehicles are more difficult to find parts for, and how much time and money is liable to go into restoring them. In addition, it might be a good idea to ask around the auto enthusiast community to get an idea of what they would recommend.
Make a Good Workspace
You’re going to spend hours of time working on your car restoration, which means that you’re going to need a place that is easily accessible and set up for you to work in at your own convenience. You want to be able to do this in a large garage that is outfitted with the equipment that you’ll need. If you have a large home garage, then that is the ideal space to work. However, not everybody has the luxury of a large enough space at their home. In this case, the good news is that there are usually co-ops of mechanics who pool resources together for workspace and equipment that you can join.
Consider Your Purpose for Restoration
Generally, a lot of people who restore a classic car do so with the intention of taking it some car shows. Sometimes these are competitions, but other times it is just a way to connect with people who have a similar passion to yourself. The purpose of your restoration is going to determine some of the finer details of the work you are doing. For this reason, you should figure out the reason for your restoration, first.
If you are restoring for a car show, then the bodywork is going to need to be a lot more precise, whereas the cosmetic work on a car that doesn’t need to be show-ready will be far less intensive. As such, do some research on car shows in your local area, and give yourself a deadline that is based on the particular show that you want to be a part up.
Put a Modern Twist on Your Car
When you are restoring a classic car, there’s a tendency to think that everything you are doing needs to reflect the state of the vehicle back when it was released. However, you don’t necessarily need to replicate the factory-settings of the car. Indeed, if you are planning on driving and enjoying this vehicle, you’re probably going to want to take advantage of the modern conveniences that have advanced in the auto industry over the past several decades.
Look for Someone to Guide You
Even though there’s plenty of sources of research that you can find online, it’s still invaluable to have the advice of an expert mechanic that you can turn to. Ideally, you’ll just have a friend who has already restored a classic car that you can get advice from. However, if that’s not the case, then check online for auto restoration groups. These people are enthusiasts who are usually willing to share knowledge and insight with people who are trying to get into the same passion.