You’re now a proud dad and want to give your son the best graduation present possible. You’ve always been a big fan of classic cars, and you know that your son shares your passion. What better gift than a restored classic car?
Restoring a classic car can be a great way to bond with your children. It’s also a way for dads to show off their skills and knowledge and pass them down to the next generation. Restoring a classic car can also be a way for you to relive your own childhood memories or create new ones with your kids.
Reports show that restoring classic cars is fast becoming a lost art. Many classic car owners have difficulty finding mechanics to work on their vehicles and parts that will suit their cars. But if you really want to give your classic car a makeover, here are some tips that might help you.
Research Your Car Before Starting the Restoration Process
The first step is to learn as much as you can about the make and model of your car. You might have had the car ever since you were a teenager. But just because you already know the history of your vehicle and the usual problems it has, that doesn’t mean you know everything about it.
There are bound to be some things that have changed over the years. Knowing those changes before you start the restoration process is crucial to your car restoration’s success.
You can do your research by reading car magazines, checking available resources only, talking to other classic car owners, or joining a classic car club. Doing so will enable you to find out what parts are readily available in the market, whom to find in case you need help, and what to expect during the restoration process.
Determine a Budget and Stick To It
You might have an unlimited budget for your classic car restoration. But most people don’t, so you must set a budget for your project and stick to it.
There are two main types of costs associated with classic car restorations: direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are the ones you pay for the parts and services needed for the repair. In contrast, indirect costs are the costs associated with the tools, equipment, and materials you need to do the job.
You can save on direct costs by doing some work yourself or scouring salvage yards for parts. You can also save on indirect costs by borrowing or renting tools and equipment instead of buying them. What matters is that you set a budget and do your best to stick to it. It also helps to add a buffer, so you will have some room to work with in case unexpected expenses arise.
Find a Reliable Auto Parts Supplier
One of the most challenging aspects of restoring a classic car is finding parts still available in the market. Many suppliers don’t stock parts for older models; if they do, those parts are often expensive. However, this does not already mean you should give up on your project.
You can start by checking with your local auto parts store. Many stores have an online presence, so you can quickly check their inventory without leaving home. You can also try searching for parts on online auction sites or classifieds websites.
Another option is to contact a classic car parts supplier. These suppliers specialize in parts for classic and vintage cars. They might be able to source the part you need or provide you with a suitable replacement.
Let’s say you need rear end bushings for your 1965 Ford Lincoln Mercury rear end. You might have difficulty finding those at a local auto parts store, but a classic car parts supplier would likely have them in stock or be able to get them for you. Before you even buy from any supplier, check their reviews to ensure you are purchasing legit parts from a reputable store.
Make Sure You Have the Necessary Tools and Equipment
Restorations projects won’t be possible without the necessary tools and equipment. You will need basic hand, power, and automotive specialty tools. You might also need to invest in a few types of equipment, such as an engine hoist or transmission jack.
If you don’t have the tools and equipment needed for the job, you can either rent or borrow them from a friend or a local auto parts store. You might even borrow your required equipment from another classic car club member who also does car restorations.
However, if you plan on doing a lot of restoration work, it might be worth your while to invest in your own tools and equipment. You can find used tools and equipment at garage sales, online auction sites, classifieds websites, and salvage yards. Just scrutinize them before purchasing to ensure they are in good working condition.
Get Help From an Expert
If you’re not familiar with classic car restoration, it’s best to get help from someone who is. Plenty of resources, such as books, websites, and forums, can teach you the basics of restoration. But there’s nothing like learning from an expert.
If you know someone who has experience restoring classic cars, ask for their advice and guidance. They can offer valuable insights and tips you might not find in a book or online. If you don’t know anyone who does restoration work, consider joining a classic car club. There are often members who are willing to help out or answer questions.
Classic car restoration can be a fun and rewarding experience. But it’s also a lot of work. Be sure to do your research and plan ahead before getting started. And don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to restoring your classic car in no time.