5 Tips for Restoring a Classic Car

Classic Car Driver

There are so many shows on television about restoring vehicles for reselling or for a grand collection. A car is deemed a classic when it is 15 or 20 years old, depending on where you live. This means that if you’re buying a car that is from the year 2000, you’ve got yourself a classic car. Check out these five tips for restoring a classic car before you begin your journey of restoration.

1. Find the Right Car

There are classic cars and then there are classic beauties. You have to search to find the right classic car whose body speaks to your soul. This means checking out the local lots as well as the car auction online. Finding a car at an online auction may be your best bet to find a great car at a great price. Don’t rush to buy if you aren’t sure, because there are new cars that go on online car auctions each week.

2. Overlook Your Vehicle

If you’re a mechanic overlooking your vehicle may be the easy part but if you’re not mechanically inclined you should grab your mechanic friend or take the vehicle to a shop to get a list of possible problems. Make sure you document the little problems as well as the big ones. Don’t forget the outside of your vehicles like paint codes, major and minor scratches, and your headlights.

3. Make a List of Parts

Parts for classic cars can be expensive to buy from the dealer so your best bet is to make a list and then start your search. You can find car parts at the junkyard but sometimes online retailers and auctions are cheaper. Always make a list and compare pricing before making your purchase. For parts that have a higher likelihood to break ensure that it comes with a warranty. For example, you can get rebuilt alternators for a reasonable price, some places who rebuild these parts offer an extended warranty. Be sure to take the warranty it’ll be cheaper than having to buy a new part.

4. List Your Tasks in Order of Importance

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to fix the engine before you decide to restore headlights but when you’ve hit a snag you’ll be happy to send your car to get the headlights restored while you’re scouring the Internet for possible solutions to the engine problem you’re dealing with. Don’t get frustrated trying to solve one problem, let your brain take a breather and the answer just may come to you while you’re taking on a task that takes less brainpower and more muscle.

5. Document Everything!

You may be so excited to start your rebuild and restore that you forget to document the process and when it is time to put the car back together you end up with spare parts. Don’t be that person. Document every step of your restoration and take pictures before and after you touch anything to make sure you know where every bolt and wire goes.

Create folders in your device or on a computer to show where the parts are coming from. For example, take pictures of the left door handle and then create a folder in your photo gallery named Left Door Handle. This will come in handy if the right door handle is the complete opposite or contains different bolt patterns from the left.

Once you’ve begun working on your car, be sure to take your time and choose each part carefully. Enjoy spending the time building your masterpiece because rushing only causes you to make mistakes. You won’t regret a minute when you finally see your beauty in action.