In the market for a classic car restoration? When you have a car that is considered a classic, you may want to take it to a body shop to have it professionally restored. The process involves more than just a new paint job, and implies that it is being put back in its authentic condition, just as it was when it was new on the showroom floor. Not all body shops are equipped to handle a true restoration.
What is Classic Car Restoration?
A classic car is defined by the Classic Car Club of America as a vehicle between 30 and 49 years, while one between 50 and 99 years is considered a pre-antique and cars 100 years and older, an antique. Not all older cars meet the definition of “classic car.” The crucial thing with classics is that they represented “fine or unusual motorcars” distinguished by “fine design, high engineering standards, and superior workmanship.” Often costly at the time, they often have other distinguishing characteristics, based on their engine displacement, custom coach work, and luxury accessories. Other car organizations have different criteria, while some states consider it a classic after 20 or 25 years for licensing purposes.
Is Restoration Really what you Want or Need?
Restoration means that the body shop might need to tear the car apart to examine the condition of the components and either refurbish it with original parts or find reproduction parts and install them in an authentic way. If the car is updated or re-created to look like a fancy limited edition model, the work is not considered a restoration. Typically, the reason that people undertake a restoration is to create something of value for sale or to enter in car show.
Not every car is a good subject for restoration. The fact is, many old cars are just that – old cars. You may want to refurbish one and have it repainted for your son, but the car might not be considered a classic. When you are looking for a shop to work on an old car, you must be clear in your goals in order to select the right shop. Anytime your pay money to have work done, you want the shop to do an excellent job for you. However, your standards for repainting an older car that you love are different than if you have a car that meets the definition of classic and that you intend to use as a classic car. Having a 1947 Chevy is not the same as having a 1947 Cadillac 90 series.
Can your Body Shop Handle Classic Restoration?
Many body shops boast that they do custom work on classic cars. If you have a car that is a true classic, your standards should be higher to make sure that you have a finished product that is show worthy or able to command a higher price. You need to ask some questions of the shop. Specifically, you need to know:
- What do they consider a classic car?
- What have they restored?
- What assurance do they offer that the parts they use are genuine?
If you have found a good shop with a track record of making older cars serviceable and attractive, you may have a great place to take your older car that you will love, but unless the shop has had experience restoring your Alfa Romeo or your 335 BMW, you might need to find a shop that specializes in the type of classic car restoration you need.
Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.
Central Body Shop restores classic cars in the Provo, Utah area.
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Classic car restoration is a very rewarding experience and nothing can surpass the enormous feeling of satisfaction you will get when you take ‘her’ out for a spin for the first time! It can, however, be a very expensive business and, consequently, you will need to consider your budget very carefully.
Much will depend on the make and model of classic car that you intend restoring, of course, and a sensible starting point would be to conduct an informal ‘cost/benefit analysis’. This will help you determine your budget. In simple terms, it is about arriving at the right amount of money to commit to the project in relation to the anticipated value of the car, once restored. It’s much like property development in this respect. There is no point spending £250,000 renovating a house that will be worth £220,000 when you have finished and, likewise, there is little point in spending £25,000 to restore an MG Roadster that will only be worth £15,000 when you have finished.
There are people for whom money will be no object, of course, and also those for whom the sentimental value of their classic car will outweigh all budgetary considerations. But for most of us the budget must bear some relationship to the value of the car.
Once you have settled upon your budget you can then set about starting the restoration itself. Needless to say, the more work that you are able to do yourself the cheaper will be the restoration but using a professional restoration company is a realistic option for many, especially if you do the preparatory work yourself.
There are specialists in the UK skilled at restoring just about every classic car part that you will require. There are also manufacturers of new and reconditioned parts for the most popular of classic cars and so replacing a worn out part with a new one may be a cheaper option. Again, remember the ‘cost/benefit analysis’!
Choosing your restorer will be perhaps your most important decision. If your classic car has an owners’ club, seek a recommendation there. Some owners’ clubs also have their own workshop, for example, the MG Owner’s Club in Cambridge, and they will be the obvious starting point. Try classic car magazines and local shows too and, as with all such decisions, word of mouth recommendation carries a high premium.
Once you have chosen your restorer, agree the budget with them and insist that they notify you immediately should any additional work come to light. Again, keep in mind your ‘cost/benefit analysis’ when considering any further expenditure. Stay in touch with the restoration too and all being well you will end up with a classic car to be proud of!
The great news is that if you shop online for Classic British Car Parts or other Classic Car Parts you can find unbeatable deals at rock bottom prices!
(c) Peter Cox – All Rights Reserved
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It takes dedication, knowledge and patience to properly restore classic vehicles. When a classic vehicle or truck is properly restored, it is valued at the highest possible price. Professionally restored cars also look more beautiful and run more efficiently. Proper restoration means using original or appropriate parts when making repairs or replacements. A classic car is only as valuable as the parts used to recreate it. Locating obsolete parts and making them work is part of the art of restoring classic cars to their original beauty.
When you decide to restore a classic car, enlist the assistance of professionals. Even if you are mechanically inclined, classic vehicles are a challenge to restore. Authentic parts must be used to ensure authenticity. Maintenance includes painstaking cleaning with specialized agents that won’t harm the delicate exterior and interior of your classic vehicle.
From antiques to modern classics, getting hard-to-find parts is a major job unless you deal with auto industry experts. Specialty parts and accessories dealers have access to unique original and after market replacement parts necessary to maintain your classic car.
Restoration begins with the engine, powertrain, exhaust parts and accessories. A totally restored classic car not only looks good but runs well, too. The engine should be clean and running smoothly. The transmission must be ready to run under all conditions. Exhaust systems and parts must meet current emission standards.
Once your basics are restored, you need to get the chassis, brakes and suspension in proper working order. When the engine is ready to go, the rest of the car needs to be ready to accommodate it. Part of proper maintenance is checking the fluids, chemicals and lubricants that keep a classic car running smoothly.
If you store your car for the winter or in between shows, it is essential to drain or change certain fluids. Universal joints should be freshly greased if the car has lube fittings. Grease suspension and steering fittings and pack the front wheel bearings. Bleed the brakes and replace old fluid with fresh fluid. If your classic car will be stored for several months, drain the fuel tank and cooling system and remove the battery.
Your maintenance routine is also based on where you store your classic vehicle. If your classic car is outside, more maintenance is required to keep the car in top shape. When you store your classic vehicle in a garage, it is better protected against the elements so less frequent maintenance is required.
Once your car is detailed and restoration parts are installed, protect your pride and joy with a cover. Cotton and flannel covers breathe so air circulates to keep your paint and wax looking shiny. Polyester/cotton blends trap in heat and moisture so they are less effective. Plastic covers do not breathe and should be avoided.
If you have trouble finding obsolete parts [http://classiccars.com/ResourcePages/Parts-and-Accessories.aspx] for your classic vehicle, look no further than ClassicCars.com. This easy online resource gives you immediate access to hard-to-find parts [http://classiccars.com/ResourcePages/Parts-and-Accessories.aspx] so you can get your classic beauty on the road again. For all types of restoration parts and classic car products, visit ClassicCars.com today.
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