In the last two decades, shows about restoration have proliferated in lifestyle channels on TV, and they continue to generate significant viewership. This only goes to show that restoration is a popular subject that generates much interest and curiosity, and is considered a worthwhile hobby for a lot of people.
One of the leading types of restorations is classic car restoration. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with so many car enthusiasts out there. Also, acquiring classic cars for the project is easy enough. Some people simply find cars abandoned and free for the taking. Meanwhile, others find these vehicles from long ago in junkyards or as items to dispose of from somebody’s collection, and they are quite cheap to buy.
If you are thinking of restoring a classic car, though, it’s imperative to learn a few realities about such a project. This way, you can effectively counteract the typical hiccups that occur and maintain a sense of joy during the process. Here are seven of these realities that we collected in collaboration with our friends DT Service Centre to consider.
Reality 1: You need to have a vision
In popular restoration shows on TV, you will find that some people come into a workshop with a car and just tell their trusted restorers to surprise them. They provide the restoration professionals with a generous budget and free rein over the project.
This is a pretty solid route to take if you’ve had a lot of cars restored before, and you have a great relationship with your restoration specialists. However, if you will be embarking on such a project for the first time, it’s better to have more involvement in the process and present a clear vision.
With a particular result in mind, you will make it a whole lot easier for the specialists to do their job. Therefore, do research on the car, gauge all the necessary work to be done, and determine the customizations you want to be carried out.
The Internet is a reliable source of information, of course. However, it can also help if you find other car enthusiasts who are also into classic car restorations. You can take inspiration from all their completed projects and inquire about all the style customizations that worked beautifully.
Reality 2: Financial issues may arise
A classic car restoration definitely requires a big budget, and while you may want to put aside a specific amount of money for the project, do keep an open mind about the expenses.
Also, a lot of people who have taken on this project will tell you that the big-budget can run out a few times during the entire process. This puts a halt to all work until they gather up enough money again to continue with the rest of the project.
It’s worth noting as well that a few setbacks can rake up higher costs. Replacement parts may not be locally available. Thus, ordering them abroad or from a private owner can cost you so much more.
Reality 3: There is no real deadline
It’s not uncommon for a single feature of the car to take almost half a year to restore. In fact, when restoring old trucks, for example, cleaning and varnishing the bed can take months.
You also need to factor in the waiting game. Logistics can set you back quite some time, and when it comes to restoration work, it’s often hard to proceed with other aspects until you’ve accomplished a single important task.
So, just come to terms with the fact that there’s no real deadline for the project to be completed, especially if you want brand-new quality and the best running performance. But do trust that things will wrap up at a perfect time.
Reality 4: Your choice of restoration professionals can make all the difference
The engineering of a better-running restored car requires the work of true experts. That being said, do take extra care in looking for a service center for the project. If you’re dealing with a luxury brand, it’s best to go to a service center that specializes in that brand because they will have a much easier time sourcing replacement parts.
Not only that, if you are looking to regain the original appearance of the classic car, specialty restoration experts are also a fantastic source of information. They can provide you right away with vital information, such as which parts have been discontinued, as well as the actual paint color range for the original releases of the vehicle.
Reality 5: Finding original paint colors can be tricky
According to restoration specialists, one of the stumbling blocks of the project is finding the exact hues of the paints used on cars. Even with advanced technology, this can take some time because a lot of the paints used for luxury cars in the sixties and seventies used unique pigments.
And once they determine the pigments used, they still need to determine how much to use in recreating the accurate shade. What’s more, they also need to make sure that the color stays true in all lighting conditions. This is because the use of certain pigments could morph the color intensity and shine in varying lighting conditions.
Reality 6: Maintenance usually costs more
Although this reality no longer has anything to do with the restoration process, it’s something that restored car owners should understand. Auto experts agree that restored classic cars require more frequent trips to the service center, particularly if you brought to life a dead engine.
Aside from that, they have special storage requirements as well. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense considering how big of an investment you’ve made for the project.
Reality 7: You get a source of pride and joy
A successful classic car restoration project can provide you with a deep sense of fulfillment. As mentioned earlier, it’s a project that takes blood, sweat, and tears to complete. This is why, no matter how complicated the entire process gets, you should not take your eyes away from the prize.
At the end of it all, you get for yourself a thing of beauty and function which can double as a means to generate income, if you want. There are different business opportunities for which a beautifully restored classic car can be used.
Those are the seven realities one must face when undertaking a classic car restoration project. With these, you’ll be able to approach the project with a healthier mindset and adequate preparation.