What you need to know before beginning your classic car restoration project

Restoration is an affordable way of owning a classic car, as models in good condition are increasingly rare and expensive.

However, it is a project which will cost money and take time. You need to be fully equipped with the facts before you embark on a labour of love on this scale.

Here’s what you need to know before beginning your classic car restoration project.

  1. Work out your budget and time constraints

Two things you will need if you want to restore a classic car are time and money. It is worth remembering that the average classic car restoration takes over 1,000 hours from start to finish, so if you do not have a lot of free time, this project might not be for you.

It is also likely to cost you between £15,000 and £40,000, so you need to work out your budget carefully before you start.

  1. Choose the right car

You might already have a clear idea of the make and model of classic car you want to restore. However, it is important to evaluate this against your budget. Can you find a car of that type which can be restored to a high enough standard with the amount of money you have?

You also need to think about how easy it will be to get the parts you need – the older the car, the rarer the supplies.

Finally, your chosen car should be a car you love. You will be spending a lot of time on it, and the aim is to be proud of it when you’re finished.

  1. Shop carefully

Whether or not you have already decided on a make and model, you need to do your research before buying. Check out the listings on classic car sites, as well as the likes of eBay and Gumtree, but always arrange to view the car in person before you agree to anything or spend any money.

If the car is considerably damaged or very rusty, it will probably cost too much and be too difficult to be worth restoring.

  1. Make sure you have the right tools for the job

You need a lot of tools to restore a classic car. Essential hand tools include screwdrivers, spanners, hammers and a socket set. Power tools such as a drill and angle grinder are also extremely useful.

If you don’t already own these tools, it can be tempting to buy cheap or second hand models to save money. However, this is unwise, as your tools will receive a lot of wear and tear during the restoration. You need high-quality tools so the job runs smoothly and looks professional when finished.

  1. Find a body shop sympathetic to the project

Very few people complete classic car restorations single-handedly. Most enthusiasts work in conjunction with a garage or body shop passionate about classic cars and sympathetic to your personal restoration. This is especially important if you want to achieve an authentic and professional-looking finish.

If you are embarking on a classic car restoration and would like more advice, the team here at Spray Bay are always happy to help. Please contact us to discuss your project and find out how we can help you achieve a great result.

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