There’s nothing cooler than cruising down the strip in some pure American muscle, windows down, radio on, and hair blowing in the breeze. A lot of people aspire to restore a classic car, and for good reason, as it is truly amazing to breathe life back into a classic. However there are many things that go into restoring cars from narrowing down what type of car you wish to restore, to what type of restoration you want to do. There are also the issues of budget and where you will complete your restoration project. That’s why we have listed five essential elements to picking your first restoration project, and what you should look for before making an investment.
1. Make a Dream List
A lot of us have that one dream car that has always peaked our interest, however you might want to expand your list to a top 3 or 5, as it might be a long time before you find what you want, if you are too singular in your search. When you have a few different options you can focus on the quality of your project as opposed to just hyper focusing one specific vehicle.
2. Research Your Seller
These days you can buy classic cars online, at swap meets, or from dealers, but no matter the source, it’s important to make sure you do some research on the seller before buying. It’s easy to get excited about finding a project, but you will thank yourself later when you start pulling your project apart and everything is where it is supposed to be.
3. Know What You Want To Do With Your Project
It’s important when getting into a restoration project that you know what your intended purpose for the restoration is. If you plan to restore and sell with profit as part of your motivation, than it is important to understand the resorted vehicles value vs. expense. A lot of people end up spending a lot of man-hours and money on restoration projects only to be in the red when the vehicle is complete. Set a budget and think about the time you will be putting into your vehicle, so you can get an idea of whether or not your project can turn a profit.
4. Make Sure the Numbers Match
A Frankenstien car might sound cool in theory, but when it comes to a classic restoration it’s essential that the car has matching numbers. It’s important that a vehicles rear axel, transmission, and engine all have a matching VIN number.
5. Look Out For Rust
If the vehicle is filled with rust and you are planning on a full original restoration than it’s best to keep on searching. Rust can be fixed, but it’s often not cost effective. Of course if there are a few small spots that’s one thing, but when you can see through the floors and doors, than it’s a rust bucket and probably isn’t worth the money you would have to invest to bring it back to life.
Ross Uitts is the owner of Collectorsector.com, a website that allows users to display, sell and purchase classic cars, antiques and other collectibles.