Tips for Restoring a Classic Car

Updated on February 5, 2020

Vintage or classic cars are treasures to find. These are old automobiles that car enthusiasts collect and restore. Whether it’s going to a car show or discovering a rare barn find, classic cars still exist today. Not to mention, vehicle restoration is an excellent activity for after retirement when you have ample time to spend. These tips for restoring a classic car will help you find and restore an old vehicle to its pristine condition. 

Finding the Car

As the saying goes, there’s always something for everybody. Car restoration’s true joy is that you can opt for any model vehicle you choose. Perhaps you’re looking for a Ford Model A or a Ford Model T if you’re interested in the original automotive industry. Still, muscle car enthusiasts might want to relive their teenage or young adult years in a 1970 Plymouth GTX or 1968 Pontiac GTO. Maybe you’re a farmer and want to restore a 1959 John Deere Model 530 to see how farming equipment used to be. Ultimately, the possibilities to restore any classic vehicle are endless. Check local news listings or online marketplaces to find any poor-condition vehicles. These might be costly, but ultimately, you’ll have the privilege to restore that vehicle to its best condition. You should also attend car shows and conventions and ask around to find some rare vehicles.

Have the Right Equipment

While you can opt for a specialist to do it, classic car restoration’s thrill comes from doing it yourself. Therefore, you must have the right tools and equipment as well as a space to work in. You need screwdrivers, pliers, sockets, wrenches, sheet metal scissors, drill and drill bits, wire brushes, floor jack, electrical tools, engine crane and engine stand, jack stands, grinder, blowtorch, and welder. Renting out these tools saves money and hiring out or asking for help saves time. 

Restoring the Car

Unless you’re a purist, you have every right to add in your personality with your restoration. Purists believe a car must be brought back to its original condition like that from the production line with each authentic piece and style. Still, you’re free to customize your vehicle in any way you choose. For instance, if you’re restoring a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach-1, you can paint it any color, like red, beige, or a unique medium yellow gold. No matter what, the vehicle is yours to modify—do some research and you’ll find the customizations that really speak to you.

Consider the Market Value

Even if you have no intentions to sell it, your new vehicle may be worth more than you originally bought it for. Have an expert appraise it and offer a suggested value. You can also bring it a car show and see what others say.  This is your opportunity to determine your vehicle’s finished worth and whether you should sell it or keep it.

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