Do you have a classic car that you want to restore to its former glory? Before tackling a restoration project, you’ll want to consider certain things, such as the cost. For one thing, it’ll probably cost more than you think. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. However, you’ll want to know what a project will entail before deciding if you’ll roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
Keep reading to learn what to consider before deciding if you want to invest time and money into restoring a vehicle yourself, hire someone to do it for you, or scrap the project entirely.
Do You Have the Time?
According to one source, it can take between 1,500 hours and 2,000 hours to restore a common North American-built car. But restoring an exotic vehicle that requires additional fabricating and fitting work can take even longer. Do you have that sort of time? Even if you dedicate your weekends and holidays to a project, it could take a mighty long while to wrap things up.
The first question to ask yourself is, “Do I have the time?” A follow-up question is, “Do I want to dedicate the time needed to do the work myself?” Both of these questions are critical, and you’ll want to answer both in the affirmative before rolling up your sleeves and getting down to business. The other two options are to, firstly, get some help or, secondly, to postpone or scrap the project.
Do You Have the Skills?
How much do you know about vehicle restoration? Do you have any experience stripping a car down to the bare metal and slowly bringing it back to showroom condition? Are you comfortable with hunting for parts that may not be readily available? Proper vehicle restoration is more than just adding a fresh coat of paint and cleaning the interior. You’ll have to work on the interior, the exterior, the powertrain, and other parts of the vehicle. And you’ll need to do it right the first time if you want to avoid headaches and more expenses. When assessing your skill set, be honest. Sure, you can learn some things as you go. But don’t take on more than you can handle.
Do You Have the Tools?
You also need to have the right tools. Even if you’re a backyard mechanic and do your own car maintenance and repairs, you probably don’t have all the tools needed for a restoration project. Before you take on a restoration project, list the tools you’ll need. You might be able to borrow some of them from family, friends, or neighbors. But you’ll still need to purchase some. If you invest in quality parts and components for the restoration, it makes sense to get the right tools.
Do You Have the Money?
If you want to get a vehicle professionally restored, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars in labor. That doesn’t include parts, paint, and other things needed to ensure the car looks picture-perfect once completed. You’ll need to ask yourself if the cost is worth it. Can you afford to pay a reputable shop to handle the work? Another option is to eliminate labor costs by doing it yourself–and you might be able to get some handy friends to help out.
Restoring a car can be a rewarding experience. This is especially the case if you get your dream car and want to restore it to its former glory. But before you get started, think things through carefully so that a dream project doesn’t quickly become a cash-intensive nightmare.