Owning a classic car is a lifelong dream for many of us. Whether you’re an enthusiast who likes to look at classic cars for sale in order to fantasise about the future, or you already have a classic car waiting to be restored, the next step is to take your historic vehicle from fixer upper back to its full, prestige glory.
The good news is that with us all spending more time at home than ever before, there has never been a better time to learn new skills and take up a fun project. Restoring a classic car, which you can work on in your own time at home, is not only an enjoyable hobby to take up in itself, but will give you a sense of pride in the finished product like no other.
As a plus, having your classic car restored professionally can also become very expensive, very quickly, and so restoring it yourself will save you serious amounts of money.
Here’s what you need to consider before restoring a classic car for the first time…
Find your perfect classic car to restore
Arguably the most important step of them all is finding your actual classic car to restore. Classic Car Stop is your one-stop shop for this, uncovering the very best classic cars for sale for a wide variety of interests for car enthusiasts, from low mileage vintage motors, to extreme restorations.
To find your perfect car, you ideally want to find one which you can restore to a high standard, but at a low price: that’s the car restoration dream.
While that’s easier said than done, the way to make this happen is to keep an eye out for great value listings on the site, as well as viewing the car to assess its quality before committing to buy.
Viewing the car
As with any big purchasing decision, it’s important to do your research on the model and manufacturer prior to buying. It’s important to view the car in person, too. Make sure the car is complete, solid, and not full of rust. The less damage there is, the easier and more affordable it will be to restore.
Make a budget for how much the restoration will cost
Restoring a classic car is a real labour of love. And many first time restorers don’t quite realise how much of a labour of love it really is. Research how much it will cost you to invest in all the tools and equipment you’ll need for the job, before you take on the restoration, so you have an idea of what to expect to have to lay out initially – you don’t want to get halfway through and realise you can’t afford to complete it.
On top of the tools and equipment you’ll need, you’ll also need to buy parts. Budget for the parts you’ll need before you start work so that you have a clear overview of how much it’ll cost. Make a list of all the parts you’ll need, such as tyres, paint, doors and interior auto parts, and work out how much they will cost. Then, to be extra careful, add 30% to the total budget for anything you haven’t accounted for – projects always tend to end up costing more than expected, and this way you’ll be totally prepared.
Prepare for how much time it will take, too
Likewise, classic car restoration shouldn’t be a rushed job, either, so start out with a realistic idea of how long the project will take. It should be a fun hobby that you can take on at a leisurely pace, usually tinkering over a long period of time. Don’t go into the restoration expecting to turn it around as fast as possible – the quality of your work will suffer, and you won’t enjoy the experience as much. Think of it as being about the journey, as the destination.
Set up your tools and equipment
Which brings us to the actual tools you’ll need. When restoring a classic car yourself, the biggest expense you’ll incur is likely to be in the initial cost of this kit. That means that it’s a good idea to invest in this equipment at the start of your project, so that you don’t face any big costs later down the line. Tools you should own to begin with should include: pliers, screwdrivers, sockets and a wrench, a drill with drill bits, wire brushes, a floor jack, sheet metal scissors and electrical tools, such as an air compressor and voltage checker. These can all be sourced easily from our car care page http://classiccarstop.co.uk/car-care/
On top of these smaller tools, you might end up needing to use bigger pieces of equipment, such as a grinder, welder or blowtorch. These usually make more sense to hire, so be aware of where you can hire these from as you need them, too.
Find an ideal space to work in
Where will you work on the car? Find a space, like a garage, where the car will be shielded from the effects of any weather, and that you can easily leave the car in, without having to move it, for long periods at a time. You’ll also need it to be large enough, with enough space around the car, for you to easily work and move around in, too.
Decide how you want to restore the car
There’s an important question to ask yourself when it comes to restoring your car: will you restore it to its authentic, original state, using authentic accessories from its era and achieving its original look? Or will you take creative license with your restoration to create the car of your dreams, based on your tastes and personality above the original manufacturer’s design?
The great thing about restoring your own classic car is that the choice is solely down to you, and you have the freedom to create the vintage car you have always dreamed of owning. The important thing is it to enjoy the restoration process – it could be one of the most rewarding achievements you ever make.
Ready to start your own classic car restoration? Head to Classiccarstop.co.uk to find your dream vintage car, now.