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Top Ten Practical Tips for Classic Car Restoration

Most classic car aficionados make this rather special investment for the sole purpose of replenishing the car's natural beauty. While this is undeniably an exciting opportunity, it shouldn’t result in you spending more than the cars worth when it’s all said and done. Here are 10 tips to ensure you restoring project brings you immense satisfaction and not crushing disappointment, and remember – get classic car insurance once your beauty is restored as it is much more affordable than generic car insurance.

Classic Car Restoration

1. Choose the Right Vehicle to Restore - When shopping for a classic car to restore, you will be spoilt for choice, which is why you need to apply more caution. Fact is that a few or most of these cars will never prove valuable no matter what the level of restoration. This is why is important to do your homework to determine what models are worth restoring and which ones are better left untouched.

2. Figure out your Budget – Chances are that you already know how much you’d have or like to spend on the restoration process including the cost of the actual vehicle itself. But before making a commitment, it is highly recommended that you inspect the vehicle thoroughly to see if any added costs are involved.

3.  Primary Inspection – In order to determine if the vehicle is worth the value after restoration, it is important to first inspect the mechanical aspects of the vehicle such as the engine, trunk and any other related parts. Reason being is that these are the most expensive parts to replace and generally a restored vehicle with its original engine is more valuable than one that’s been replaced.

4. Secondary Inspection – The second level of inspection will be geared towards checking the vehicle for the level of rust. This type of damage is time consuming and if you seek professional help will cost you a ton in labour costs. Eliminating rust from a vehicle may require replacement of the steel body panels at the least or stripping of the entire chassis and sandblasting them from scratch in worse case scenarios.

5. Does the Car Start? – Buying a car that starts or better yet runs well significantly reduces the cost of repairs. Contrarily, buying one that shows no signs of starting is a risky proposition. On a brighter note, the car might just need a new battery, fuel pump or starter and be prepared to deal with a seized engine in worse cases.

6. Are Spare Parts easily Available? – Considering this is a car that may be more than 15 years old, it may be challenging to source specific parts. If they aren’t available, your restoration project will come to a halt or you will have to invest in expensive aftermarket parts.

7.Are you working alone or with a Friend – Decide whether you have the expertise to complete the entire car restoration yourself or if you’re going to seek professional for some if not all of it. However, it is recommended that you do not involve family or friends as this may backfire if the costs of restoration spiral out of control.

8.  Start the Restoration Process – First begin by fixing the mechanical aspects of the vehicle such as the engine, and works towards the outer part of the vehicle. If you’re getting professional help, make it a point to visit the garage periodically to stay updated on the progress of the restoration.

9. Check the Vehicle – After all the restoration has been completed to specs including the body work and paint, take the vehicle for a long ride to ensure it is in pristine state and excellent working condition.

10. Further Maintenance – a restored vehicle is similar to a new one and must be treated as such. This means that it will require proper and periodic maintenance checks to ensure long service life.     

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