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Restoring a classic automobile can be an arduous task, and an expensive at that. Before you begin, there are several considerations.
Cost is the most important. We realize there are many folks out there who have an unlimited budget and can restore a real fixer-upper to pristine condition and not blink an eye. But to the rest of us, there are limits to our budget. Do your proper due diligence. Take the time to go over each stage of the restoration to allot the proper budget for each portion, (body, engine, interior, etc…).
Time is also a major consideration. Assuming you are restoring it yourself, you have to sit down and go over each aspect of the renovation and determine how long each stage will take. Then determine if you have sufficient time in your personal life to accomplish this task within a reasonable time frame. Once you have established a time frame, aallow for a little extra time. Little things always pop up to slow you down.
You will also want to determine to what condition you are going to restore it? Is this just a pet project that you want to tinker with, or are you going to take it to shows or competitions? Obviously, the finer the condition you are going to restore your vehicle, the more you need to budget for it. Likewise, the poorer condition the car is to begin with, the more you will need to spend to restore it.
The most important part of restoring a car is the engine and all the mechanical work. After all, If you can’t drive it, it will never be worth much. So concentrate on the frame and engine components first. Then, the next stage will be body and then interior.
You will need to determine if you are doing a complete restoration, where you restore all the components with original parts, or keeping some components of the vintage vehicle. Once again, your budget will dictate how far you go.
Hopefully, you have a garage that allows you the room to accomplish this task in a comfortable way. Many customers who come to us often will send us pictures of their garage with all of their toys and equipment. Some are truly impressive, all decked out with the best equipment, like Automotive Lifts, tire changers, air compressors and floor jacks. But the truth is, you don’t need to be rich to enjoy your hobby. There are plenty of folks out there at different levels enjoying their favorite craft with renewed vigor and appreciation for the beauty of a classic car.