My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Restoring A Classic Car: 7 Things To Consider Before You Start

Buying a classic car is something that many will only dream of. Making an investment in a renowned model of car from a time gone by is not necessarily feasible for everyone. Buying one in pristine condition will set you back substantially, and buying one that requires significant renovation work will cost you over time, regardless of being a cheaper purchase in that condition. However, we mentioned the word investment, and we have to reiterate how accurate this word is. While cars rarely retain their value, classic and rare models are used as an alternative asset for investors, with some people buying pristine and restored classic cars and holding onto them as they gain value due to their rarity. Restoring a classic can be both an enjoyable project and also a smart investment of your money but knowing where to start and what to consider during this process isn’t easy. Here are some things to keep a note of.

Plan Your Project
First off, you need to make sure you know what’s in store for you. Getting started with a project like this is no simple task and will require some hard graft and grit. Determination is key here, but you have to remember that this is still meant to be an enjoyable hobby, so don’t ruin it by beating yourself up over any minor mistakes. However, it’s still essential that you try to avoid mistakes so that you reduce the risk of wasting money and time during the project. You can reduce this risk by ensuring that you plan to restore your classic car properly. This should include each step of the renovation process as well as which materials and parts you’ll need to buy and also what you’ll need help with.

Set A Budget
During the planning phase, you’ll also want to set a specific budget for the project. It’s important to know how much it costs to restore a classic car, as this can be much more than restoring a modern car. It’s arguably not worth the hassle to restore a common, modern vehicle, as it’ll probably end up being cheaper to buy a brand-new one. However, this isn’t comparable due to the investment potential of classics. It is worth noting that, when it comes to restoring classic cars, you’ll likely be spending a small fortune on authentic parts to restore the vehicle properly without using placeholder parts. Of course, you can always find a parts fabricator to recreate the part if you just cannot find an original anyway. Remember that there is a chance that no parts exist anymore and have been scrapped over the years, or the only one you find is being sold at an unreasonable price. While a fabricated part might not feel right, it may be your only option.

Make A Log Of The Journey
You may get started with your restoration project, but it’s important to fight off that impulsiveness and take everything one step at a time, as rushing can lead to mistakes. As well as this, you’ll also regret not taking the time to document each step on the restoration journey. At the end of the day, one of the best parts about a project like this is the journey itself. That’s why it’s important to spend some time during each renovation session taking pictures and making notes of what you’ve done, any issues you’ve run into, and other things that can help you to log the project. This is especially great if you want to display your classic at a car show, as you can display your project logs to show guests what was required to fully restore the car.

Consider Your Parts
As mentioned earlier, you might have to fabricate certain unobtainable parts, which means that the car won’t be entirely made of the original parts. Some replacement parts may look identical, while others may be more modernised depending on what you want to do to the car. Older registration plates, for example, may be hard to come by, too, at least ones that are suitable for your specific vehicle. You may then decide to use custom number plates for your classic car. Just remember that you cannot make a new car younger than it is when it comes to the plates; therefore, you may have to opt for a dateless plate which can be fairly costly. The great thing is that you have slightly more freedom regarding dateless plates as you can choose anything available. You must remember to buy from a legitimate supplier and that your plates are easy to read.

Acquire Expert Help
In some cases, the work you might be doing could require a more experienced touch. As a hobbyist, you may have a level of knowledge that can get you so far into the project, but when it comes to more intricate tasks such as fixing engines and other parts, it may be best to source some assistance from someone who might be more experienced in these things than yourself. Of course, you might yourself be a mechanic and can therefore take on much more of these tasks than the average hobbyist car renovator. However, even experts in a particular field may need help at times, especially with more niche repairs, so identify early on what you might struggle with and locate someone that will be able to help you when you get to that particular stage.

Separate The Interior And Exterior
Before you begin working on your car properly, it may be a good idea to remove some parts. This will allow you to reach other areas of the car, and help you work more efficiently. Removing the interior is an important step here, as the work you do to exterior parts could damage the parts inside the vehicle, such as upholstery and fittings. Separate everything you possibly can and ensure everything is stored properly to reduce the risk of damage. If you’re stripping the interior to replace everything inside, the worst thing you can do straight away is to throw everything away as soon as you remove it. This is because when searching for replacement interior parts like seats, you’ll want to be able to compare the new parts to the old ones to make sure they will match the original look of the interior as much as possible and, more importantly, that they’ll fit.

Decide On Where To Store Your Car
While cars are generally quite good at resisting the elements, an old classic with stripped paint and exposed parts will not do well in the rain or in a place prone to dampness. Keeping your car in conditions like this is a surefire way to end up with rust, which will make your job much more complicated. It’s important that you have a suitable area to store your car and to work on it. You might need to hire a workshop or suitably large storage space to keep your car and conduct repairs and renovation work. Or, if possible, you could turn your garage into a workshop of your own but remember that this is a project in itself. It would be best to ensure you have somewhere to store your car and work on it before you commit to buying a car to renovate in the first place.