Do you remember your dad or uncle restoring a classic car? Wasn’t this a hobby before? There was a time when almost every household could afford to restore a car. Back then, people were more knowledgeable about the mechanics of a car. It was pretty simple, of course, given the fact that older cars use an analog system. Schools taught kids about the mechanics of a car, so everyone had basic knowledge of how to tinker with one.
But over the years, as cars became more sophisticated, their owners started relying on dealerships, auto mechanics, and engineers to fix even minor problems with their cars. Think about it. Do you even know what to do if and when the car stalls while you’re on the road? You have roadside assistance for that.
However, if restoring cars has always been at the back of your mind, then it is worth looking at. If you have gotten your hands on an old classic car, then yes, take the time out of your busy schedule to focus on this passion project. Beware, though, because there are a few things you must know and learn.
You Need a Workshop/Garage
This is a no-brainer. Where are you going to fix the car if you do not have the space? Your home garage will do the trick but make sure that to install a quality garage door because you’ll have plenty of components to secure when you start restoring a car. You have to make sure the car and the accessories and parts are secured from burglars and thieves. If possible, invest in security cameras, alarm systems, and motion-detecting lights to discourage criminals.
Aside from the warehouse or garage, you need the proper tools, too. You cannot work without at least a utility box of wrenches, screwdrivers, screws, and scissors. You also need sanding machines, a pry bar, grinder, floor jack, welder, paint stripper, and air compressor. Complete these tools first before you even start the restoration process.
You Need Time and Money
Over the years, car restoration became more expensive. Whereas before you can restore a car for a couple of thousands of dollars, you have to spend triple or quadruple that amount now for a basic restoration. So, car restoration is not for someone who’s making ends meet unless you have a way to get your hands on the car’s components without spending so much.
Junk shops will be a treasure trove for someone who’s restoring an old car. You can get the components for half the original price if you buy from the manufacturer. After you get through the problem with money, you have to face one more fact: do you have the time? Car restoration takes time. If you stall the project, that will take away the joy you felt when you started it. Make sure you have at least the weekends for it.
You Need the Skills
So, okay, you can do the aesthetics. Meaning, you can paint the car and do the bodywork. What about the mechanics? Are you going to be the one to fix the car’s engine? Since this might be a decades-old car, the engine does not work properly anymore, and neither do the other components of the car. Do you have the skills for this job?
You can always try to do it yourself. After all, there are all kinds of tutorials like this on the web. However, if it will be time-consuming, then consider looking for a mechanic who can do this part for you. Since you plan to use the car on the road, make sure you’re going to hire someone who has the licenses and permits to work on your car.
You Need to Decide What to Do with It
Are you going to keep it, use it, or sell it? Selling a restored car will be a different take than keeping or using it as a personal vehicle. Selling it will mean you have to prove that the car has been restored to its original or authentic form. You have to price it well, too, though not over-the-top that no one will want to buy it anymore. Car restoration is a passion project, but it won’t be if you’re going to make a profit from it. For that, you have to be practical and consider the sales as you go along the process.
Car restoration is not for everyone. It is for those who have the money, time, and interest for it. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to try it, though. If you have an old car in your garage that you haven’t used for years, why not take a spin on it? You never know what skills you will discover as you try your hands at restoring a car.