Restoring a vintage or classic car can be a very rewarding project, but it is also a lot of work. A project of this magnitude can mean everything from fixing the mechanical workings to make it run like new, to body work and car paint repair to restore the outward appearance of the vehicle.
Sound overwhelming? It can be, especially if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Here are a few tips to help you ensure you are going into your project fully prepared.

Assess the Condition of Your Car

Whether the car is one you’ve owned for some time and would like to restore, or one you are buying with the intention of restoring, it is important to take the condition of the car into consideration. Here are a few things you need to know about your car before making the decision to restore it.

  • Does the car run? A running car is preferable as it means you will need to do less work in order to restore the mechanical workings.
  • Is the car rusty, or is there substantial body damage? Rust in particular can be a big problem because it is expensive and time consuming to fix. Other damage, such as serious damage to the frame, might also require expensive repairs.
  • Has the car been partially restored already? If some of the work has already been done, you won’t have as much to do. For instance, if the exterior has already been repainted, you might just have to have some minor car paintless scratch repair done to get the exterior looking its best.

Consider questions like these as well as the vehicle’s overall condition when making the decision to restore a car.

Consider the Availability of Parts

Some classic and vintage vehicles are more difficult to find parts for than others. While you are determining the condition of your car and making plans to restore it, see how difficult it will be to find parts. Remember that for the most part, at least from a collector’s point of view, you will want original equipment. Here are a few of the places you can find parts:

  • Reuse your original parts. As much as possible, you should clean, refurbish, and reuse your car’s original parts. Not only is this more desirable in the eyes of a collector, but it will make things easier when parts are hard to find.
  • Salvage parts. You can also find a lot of original parts from salvage vehicles and at salvage yards. The great thing about this is that the parts can be cheaper, and if you can find original equipment, that is often more desirable from a collector’s standpoint. But you will also have to be careful, as salvage yard parts can have a lot of wear and tear on them, or be lesser quality than what you want.
  • Car shows. Shows are another great place to get original and reproduction parts. Although you may pay more, you are also less likely to find dishonest sellers at these shows, simply because they wouldn’t last long with as many experienced buyers as you find at shows.

There are many other places to find original, aftermarket, and reproduction parts for your car restoration project. For more help, consider joining a car enthusiast’s club, or asking your car paint repair professional for advice.

When to Get the Professionals Involved

Most people, when they restore a car, do it with a combination of do-it-yourself efforts and professional help. It’s a personal decision how much to do yourself, though, and one that should be made based on your abilities. For instance, some ambitious do-it-yourself-ers do a lot of the body work themselves and leave the painting to a car paint repair specialists while other, more mechanically inclined restorers stick to restoring the car to good working condition themselves, and let a professional restore the exterior. Be honest with yourself about how much you can manage to do by yourself, and you will find yourself much less likely to be overwhelmed by your restoration project!
ColorMate Auto Appearance Specialists provides same day car paint repair services including paint perfecting, paint and bumper repair, headlight restoration, rim repair, and car interior repairs in Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach County. Schedule an appointment for a free estimate on quality car interior and exterior cosmetic repairs.