Top Seven Steps for Restoring A Classic Car
Classic car restoration has become a hugely popular hobby for hundreds of thousands of Americans for whom finding rare parts, rebuilding vintage automotive technology, and spending hours on detailed body and interior work is a labor of love. For first-time restoration enthusiasts, the work of finding a classic car for sale and then getting it back into mint condition is a daunting task, but, with time and effort, their labors result in a real, tangible accomplishment.
Whether they are muscle cars or antique vehicles like a Studebaker or a Model-T, car restoration enthusiasts put lots of work and money into the vehicles they are passionate about. According to Forbes, there are about 5 million collector cars in the U.S.
Classic car restoration is most popular among Baby Boomers. The post-World War II generation accounts for about 58 percent of collector car owners. While there’s some worry that Gen Xers and millennials may not embrace the hobby of collectible cars, evidence is beginning to suggest that they will, but in a different way. “Restomods” that incorporate modern automotive technology in classic car bodies are increasingly popular in these age groups.
|Seven Popular Muscle Cars for Restoration|
|Year||Make & Model||Unique Features|
|1967||Pontiac GTO||400 cubic inch V8 engine, 360 horsepower|
|1968||Plymouth Road Runner Hemi||426 cubic inch V8 engine, 425 horsepower|
|1969||Ford Mustang Boss 429||Only 1,400 manufactured|
|1969||Chevy Camaro ZL1||Only 70 manufactured, early aluminum engine|
|1970||Buick GSX State 1||455 cubic inch V8, 360 horsepower|
|1970||Plymouth Hemi Barracuda||425 horsepower Hemi, shaker hood|
|1970||Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454||LS6 version offers 450 horsepower|
Why Do People Restore Classic Cars?
It may be hard for people not involved in car restoration to understand why enthusiasts enjoy the hobby. It’s very work-intensive, with countless hours spent researching part information, ordering components, studying how to install and maintain old automotive technology, working in the garage on the vehicle, and testing the vehicle.
The hobby can also be quite expensive. Buying a car and all the components and paying auto specialists to help restore it can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars or more. For enthusiasts who intend to drive their vehicles, modifications needed to make their vehicles street legal can be costly, and bureaucratic red tape involved can be a nightmare.
Car restoration enthusiasts love a challenge, though, and there are several practical reasons why so many people embrace this richly rewarding hobby:
• Nostalgia – Everyone had a dream car when they first turned 16, but very few of us got to drive that dream car. Professionally accomplished adults can afford to turn back time by finding and buying the classic Mustang or Firebird they dreamed of owning as a youth and restoring it back to pristine condition. It’s a great way to recapture some of your youth.
• Bonding – Many classic car enthusiasts take on restoration projects as a family endeavor. Working together allows parents and children or siblings to spend quality time together working on a shared enthusiasm. Restoring a classic car also gives parents or older relatives a chance to teach important skills to the next generation.
• Learning – Restoring a classic car isn’t all elbow grease. Men and women who restore classic automobiles must learn a lot about mechanics and older technology. Classic car restorationists take great pride in their knowledge about their vehicles and their history.
• Status – Driving a unique, classic automobile will turn more heads than driving a flavor-of-the-month sports cars. Classics never go out of style, and owning a restored automobile shows you not only have style but also the know-how and competence to restore and maintain a beautiful piece of machinery.
• Friendship – The classic car community has events all over the country where enthusiasts can show off their automotive accomplishments. Find a group of like-minded people you can forge lasting friendships with by getting involved with automobile restoration.
|Eight Undervalued Classic Cars|
|Year||Make & Model||Potential Price After Restoration|
|1969-70||Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet||$100,000|
|1972-75||Porsche 911||$8,000 to $12,000|
|1967-75||Oldsmobile Starfire||$25,000 to $125,000|
|1965-75||Ford Country Squire||$8,000 to $10,000|
|1970||Ford Ranger||$7,500 to $10,000|
Tips for Restoring an Automobile
If you’re just venturing into the hobby of automobile restoration, these tips may be a helpful guideline that will aid you in avoiding some pitfalls that many first-timers run into as they begin an, ultimately, very rewarding pastime:
- Begin by planning. Choose several classic cars for sale that you’re interested in restoring and learn everything you can about them, including parts availability, price, etc. The more you know going in, the better the choice you’ll be able to make.
- Set a budget. It’s easy to go overboard with your first automobile restoration. Set a budget of what you can afford and stick to it. Knowing your vehicle and what repairs it needs ahead of time will help you keep restoration reasonable. One of the great things about restoration is that it doesn’t have to be completed all at once. The joy is in the journey, so, if the restoration starts costing too much, dial it back until you’re in a better financial situation.
- Make a friend. If you’re not very knowledgeable about automobiles yourself, make friends with someone who’s handy. True gearheads can never pass up an opportunity to work on a classic automobile, so you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find someone willing to guide you through the process of restoring your automobile.
- Do as much as you can by yourself or with a friend. Paying someone else to handle tasks you can learn to do on your own is expensive, and it takes the challenge and fun out of restoring a classic automobile. Restoring an automobile is a great opportunity to stretch your limits and learn new skills; take advantage of it.
- Decide the level of car restoration you wish to perform. Vehicles restored to street show status have all major cosmetic problems resolved and are in full working order. Vehicles restored to driver level status have sufficiently addressed enough mechanical issues to be street legal, but may still have some cosmetic flaws. Show car status refers to a high level of body and mechanical work. Concours level is a level of restoration completed by professionals and is usually reserved for auto shows and private collections.
- Pick up extra parts where you can. Always get a spare if it is in your budget. Sooner or later you will need it, and it’s better to get a part when you don’t need it than when you’re desperate for it.
- Once your vehicle is restored, keep it well-maintained. Don’t let all your hard work go for naught by not properly maintaining your vehicle. Garage it and regularly inspect it and perform maintenance tasks as needed.
Finding a reliable dealer of collectible cars will make your journey in learning the art of car restoration much easier.
Show Cars of Boca Raton offers a unique car-buying opportunity for classic automobile enthusiasts. With more than 100 classic automobiles in stock, and the connections to search and find vehicles and parts, the company provides an unparalleled opportunity for people interested in classic cars in Boca Raton. Visit today to find the classic automobile you’ve dreamed of for years.