Classic car restoration projects are very time consuming, require a great deal of patience and can also be very expensive, so it is important to consider a few of the very basic dos and don'ts before embarking on a major project.
Firstly, we will look at what you need to do before setting off on your project of restoring your classic.
To begin with, you need to decide which type of restoration you are aiming for. Are you looking at a basic driver restoration, whereby the vehicle is made operational again for personal use and just minor damage is repaired or is it more for a street show restoration, where minor and major work to appearance will be essential?
You might be aiming for more of a show car restoration, which will almost certainly need the help of professionals. Major work and improvements will make the finished vehicle worthy of display at shows and exhibitions. However, to maintain the perfect value and condition of your newly restored vehicle, it should only really be taken out for short drives and cleaned after each journey.
Concours restoration is the ultimate level, is very expensive, and is only for vehicles that are going to be placed in exclusive private collections and exclusive classic shows. As above, driving this kind of vehicle should be kept to a minimum and ultimate care and attention should be given to the aspects of cleaning and maintenance after any such excursion.
Reading the owner's manual is an essential part of any restoration project, if you don't have one then you must certainly try to acquire one.
Where possible, always try to salvage and use existing parts rather than spending money on authentic reproduction parts. However, bear in mind that certain parts do need to be replaced and upgraded – safety equipment, electronics, radio, air-conditioning – these are all areas that should be updated where possible.
If you are looking for any specific parts then head over to the Services section of our website. Here you will find a selection of available resources listed under categories such as Parts & Tools, Tyres & Wheels, and Car Care.
So those are the essential dos, what about the don'ts?
The mock-up stage of any restoration is time-consuming but essential, so this is an area that you should never overlook. To ensure that everything is going to fit together nicely, the mock-up must be not be ignored.
Whilst not making drastic changes to the engine, it is essential that you don't stick with the entire classic technology. To ensure the restored vehicle is safer and more reliable, it is advisable to update certain engine parts such as air filters, spark plug connections, and hoses and brake lines.
Don't overlook the smaller details such as buttons, caps and the actual regular cleaning of the vehicle, all of which will enhance the finished project.
Finally, don't set a low and unrealistic budget for restoration projects. Try to get quotes for your project before getting started and always make allowances for unexpected costs that will invariably crop up further down the road of your classic restoration.
If you are embarking on the project yourself (rather than handing it over to a professional) then it might be a good idea to join a club for your particular car and also be prepared to learn new skills along the way. Make sure you have good quality tools, take photographs, label things and store parts correctly.
If you are looking for a particular service then again we suggest you take a look at the Services section on our website. We have a number of companies offering professional services in areas such as Restoration, Servicing, Car Care, and also Insurance.
So there you have it, the essentials to consider before undertaking a personal or professional restoration project. Be aware of these fundamentals, know your limits, and allow plenty of time, then you will achieve your goal of restoring that treasured classic.
If you happen to be a parts or restoration company looking to advertise your services with us then please do not hesitate to contact me.