There is a time in every car enthusiast’s life where he or she thinks about restoring a classic. It’s completely natural for something like that to occur from time to time. The question that makes the majority of people back off from that idea is – is it worth it? You have to put in the time, money, nerves, whole lot of research, sweat and tears. Just thinking about it can make you change your mind about restoring a car.
Choosing the right car
If you are brave enough to start the journey of car restoration, you’ll need a car. Cars that are being restored usually date from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some are even from the 90s, but a really small number of them. The right car is the one you want, the one you love and respect. When buying a car for restoration, it’s always better to buy a car that is in as good condition as it can be and with as much spare parts as you can find. No matter if it’s an Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or any other car, be prepared to strip it down to the metal.
Inspecting the car
For a complete restoration, you’ll have to make everything perfect. When you buy the car, take a few days and inspect it. Look at all the bits that need to be replaced and make a list. A well organized restoration is much easier than working on a car without knowing what you have to do and replace. Take the car apart and look for rust, cigarette burns and tears in the seats and upholstery, check what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can continue the restoration knowing what needs to be done. If the upholstery and seats look good, give them a deep clean and leave them for later. Be sure to check everything because it will be easier to fix something while the car is still apart, rather than taking it apart again so you can fix a small hole in the floor for example. Restoring is a slow and detailed process, so take your time.
Searching for genuine parts
You’ll probably come across new body parts for classic cars. Although possible, it’s really uncommon to find a new door for a 60s car. Putting on parts that are not genuine will probably give you a headache, much bigger than a two month search for a genuine part. Aftermarket doors look almost the same as the genuine, but there are always things that won’t go as planned. If you find a bonnet, and it has mounting points that don’t align with the mounting points on the chassis, you will have a huge problem. The same is with doors, carpets, boots and every other part of a classic car. Take a look at your list and search for genuine parts you need.
Restoring a car can last up to a few years, but at the end, if you ask anyone who has restored a car was it worth it, the smile of the owner will give you the answer.