Restoring an antique vehicle can be a fantastically rewarding experience, as you are bringing a once raging beauty back to life. Almost anyone that has done the work and put the effort into restoring an antique vehicle will say it’s tedious, but also well worth the effort. If you are looking to restore an antique vehicle to its former glory, what are the necessary steps to take to make it happen?
Well, for starters, you need to find a vehicle to bring back, one that you want to and also seems feasible to restore. If the car you are hoping to restore is a family heirloom, be sure to do some research into the price of the parts and the value of the vehicle in general. If you see the value is far lower than the amount of money needing to go into the car, then you may decide the price, along with the additional time and effort needed, make it not worth restoring. Other vehicles you find may seem like they are in great shape and ready for restoration, but inevitably could cost you far more mechanically than you would expect. Choosing the right car can be the difference between a fun experience and a nightmarish, money pit. Remember, you may feel that the money and time are worth giving to a vehicle, but don’t let it take your joy as well.
Once you find the car or motorcycle that you are looking to restore, the next and most important step is to make a plan of when, where, and how you are going to restore it. Every antique car is going to be unique in what’s needed for restoration. That means the cost of the parts and tools needed can vary, as well as the time that it’s going to take to complete the process. Having a plan can help you decide if the car you are looking to restore is worth what you are putting into it, but what does a good plan involve?
Well, if you aren’t in possession of the vehicle, the plan should include the cost of not only buying the car, but also the cost of transport. When you have a way to transport the car, need to make sure you have space to put it. The project could take some time, so be sure to find a spot that it can stay long-term, as well as has enough room to work on it. Next, after investigating the needed repairs for the restoration, you will need to figure out what tools will be necessary. Some tools can be rented but others must be bought.
Then, of course, parts and materials are a big part of your car restoration project. Some niche manufacturers may make new reproduction parts for restoration projects, while used parts may need to be acquired from junkyards, other cars, or auctions. Acquiring some parts could literally take you around the world, depending on the rarity and availability of the vehicle, and some parts might even require custom crafting! Make sure to add up the cost of those, too. The other aspect you must plan for, is the unexpected. Restorations can bring up unforeseen situations and problems, so get ready to add a little more to the final cost and date of the project.
Making a plan of restoration is important, so that you can count the cost, time, space and effort that is needed for the project. Keeping photographic documentation is recommended as well, so you can keep track of your progress and ensure you complete each necessary task. Once you have gathered all the necessary information on what is needed for the restoration process, and are okay with the overall cost, it’s time to set your first car restoration milestone.