Once you've decided what car you want to restore, it's time to locate one of them and buy it, you ask, so what do I look for in a car to restore, I'm going to try to help you with that question, the best rule is to start with a car that is in good condition, and it's true, you'll pay more for a good car then a turd.
But you'll spend a lot less on the restoration of the car, just imagine a car with almost no rust, and a very small amount of body work, with a little searching you can find it, you can have the perfect car to start with, obviously you'll be doing some work on it, well that is if your looking for a car to restore.
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There are a lot of processes involved in the restoration of a classic car, you'll quickly discover that a thirty year old, or older car needs some help, they all do, unless you buy one that has already been restored, believe me you'll pay a lot more to buy a restored car, so now that we know that we'll be doing some work on the car, let's talk a little about that work.
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Let me explain this way, before you were thirty years old, did you go to the doctor for some work on your systems, it's the same with a car, but most cars don't see a doctor nearly as much as they should, most people neglect their cars, and put it off to save some cash flow, but you'll pay in the end.
It doesn't matter if you like German cars, American cars, or British car, they all need to visit a mechanic, and a body shop on occasion, the mechanic a bit more, but you get the idea, this is why car rot and turn to rust over the years, if you maintain your car it will be a great condition for years to come.
Now on to the meat of this article, a classic car restoration can be a lot of fun, for you and your entire family, you can have everybody help with the work, you can even invite your friends, and you families friends to help, it's feels really good to the people who are involved in the process.
Everybody likes to brag a bit about their accomplishments, and a classic car restoration is a huge accomplishment with out a doubt, it involves a lot of different processes in order to finish the job, you'll do body work, paint work, mechanical work, interior work, suspension work and drive train work, and last but not least you do electrical work.
It will take a lot of patience, and a huge desire to finish the project, oh yeah and let's not leave out the most important part, it will take money, and a lot of it, do not go in to this ordeal thinking that you'll get through it for $5,000 or $10,000 because you won't, did you spend more then that on your new car.
You'll be looking for parts, this is possibly the most frustrating part of the entire job, it's also the part that will make, or break the entire project for you, during this stage of the work, if your prepared, you'll have a lot of fun, and you'll enjoy it, but if your not prepared, you'll hate it horribly bad.
What I mean by be prepared, is make sure that as your tearing the car down, that you take a close look at the parts that you remove, and make a list of what you can re-use, and what has to be replaced, this is where you can save a boatload of cash, remember it's a restoration, don't try to re-use things that should be trashed.
Another hint is to take a lot of pictures, I mean over do it, take pictures of every part that you remove from the car, before you remove it, and after you remove it, put them in an envelope and keep the in a box with the parts they belong with, this will help a lot, the tear down, and inventory is one of the most important parts of the restoration work, it's very easy to lose, or misplace parts of the car if this is done wrong, so pay very close attention to this part of the process.
I know that the tear down and inventory can p be a pain, but believe me, it will be much worse if you don't take your time during this process, I know that it's a pain to box and label all of the parts to the car, but it's an absolute must, and you'll be glad you did when it comes time to re-assemble the car.
Remember as I said earlier, take a lot of pictures, snap a shot of every part that you remove form the car so you'll know where they all go when you re-assemble the car, keep the pictures with their respectable parts, and you won't have any problems when it come time to put it all together.
It will make a huge difference if you have a love for the car that your restoring, maybe it reminds you of a good time in your past, maybe you just like that body style, it doesn't matter much why you like it, as long as you do like it, what matters the most is that it's your babe, don't let anybody knock it, or rip in to you for building that particular car, it doesn't matter what they think.
When it's all said and done you'll have something that you can be proud of, something that you built yourself, and believe me all those people who were giving you agony will be asking you for a ride in your beautifully restored classic car, and you can remind them of the crap that they spewed at you.
Enjoy your feeling of accomplishment, savor it, and remind the nay Sayers that they have never undertaken a project of this magnitude and completed it with the precision that you just did, remind them of all the fun you had, and then give them that ride.
Muscle Car Blog
I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models, I just want to keep people interested in the old cars because it's where my heart is.
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