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There are a number of things that you should consider before you dive head first in to a classic car restoration. If you plan the project correctly you will get exactly the outcome you are looking for. There is always a reason to restore a car.
For some people it's as simple as nostalgia, it reminds them of better times. For others it's a business, and their goal is to make money restoring classic cars. And then there are those who do it for an investment, and classic cars are a good investment if you buy the right ones.
Most people want an estimate because their state has estimate laws like Utah where I come from. These laws say that the estimate must come within a certain amount of the actual work on the car. First I will explain why a collision shop can estimate the work on your car.
I used to own a collision repair shop. They have books and computer programs with lists of all parts and labor necessary to do the job. These aren't right on the money but they are close enough to do a great job of the estate on the collision repair.
The process of a restoration is completely different, there is no standard for times that is takes to repair rust or locate hard to find parts because it is impossible to estimate these things. To properly estimate a restoration project the shop would no doubt have to tear the car down.
How to decide what classic car to restore. Most people restore a car because it reminds them of the good times, the times when all they had to so is hang out with friends and build their cars. They would go to the drive-in at night or on the weekends and all of their friends would be there with their cars.
It was really about showing who could build the best cars and come up with the best mods to make them faster. It's still about the same things, but as we get older we try everything to keep a hold of a little of our younger lives, and for a lot of us that we all about cars.
If you are trying to decide on a car to build with your family, or have a shop build it could be as easy as looking back in your history and remembering those days when life was all about your friends and your cars, a time when it all seemed more simple.
Have you ever though of restoring a classic car as a family project. It can be a lot of fun and the entire family can get involved and enjoy the process. It can be a daunting project though so be sure that you are prepared to take it on.
If I were doing a restoration as a family project I would start wit the car the the manufactures built a lot of like a Camaro or Mustang. These cars are good to start with because the parts are easy to find, and that is one of those things that makes it a lot smoother the first go around.
I hate to scare people off but I also like to speak the truth about the process. Before you buy the car I would get in inspected by a professional classic car inspector. There are a lot of good ones out there. I would start by looking for them on the internet IE “Google them.”
Ask them for references of people that they have done work for in the past. You will find a good one of you ask the right questions. I would say if your looking to get e good car to start with plan on spending $10.,000 for the car itself, the days of good cars for $2,500 are gone.
The best reason that I can think of is that you love the car that you want to restore or hot rod. It reminds you of a better more simple time in your life when life was all about you and your friends, and those certain cars that you all had.
A car is a powerful reminder of certain events and times in your life. Maybe you met your wife, and took her on your first date in that car. Maybe you had some of the best times in your life while driving that particular car.
A classic car restoration is a big project and you need to be ready for it. You don't want to get caught up in the moment and have bad things happen. If you plan to restore the car by yourself and have a shop do only they work you can't do yourself, you need a solid plan of action.
First of all the basic definition of a classic car restoration is is to return a classic car to new or better then new condition. This means a lot of different things to different people. I will try to demystify what is it to the best of my knowledge.
Let's remember when these cars were new. They really didn't stop very well, and they were good in a straight line but through corners they didn't perform that well. They had a lot of power and poor gas mileage, so you need to decide what it is you are looking for in the classic car restoration.
During my time in the industry I have seen a lot of people very disappointed after they restore their cars because they think it will be better then it was when it rolled off of the factory assembly line, and this just is not the case unless you let the shop know that you want the car modified.