If you are in a position where you are seriously thinking about restoring a classic car, then you have an amazing journey ahead of you. There is a lot to do and learn and the end result will be a beautiful machine that you will drive with pride.
To get to the point where you have that restored machine, you need to make sure that you understand a few things, and that you are prepared for the job ahead. The following pointers should help you along that process.
Finding the right car
This is obviously a big part of the process, and if it isn’t done right, you could end up with a vehicle that is more expensive than you thought it would be. Worse, you could even end up with a vehicle that you can’t actually finish.
Your first port of call is usually classified ads. There are plenty of magazines and papers devoted to classic cars, so it’s worthwhile diving in there and taking a look at what is available. The added bonus here is that the people selling the cars are usually enthusiasts, so they know what they’re doing. This means you will usually find a car that is worth restoring.
There are plenty of online forums and magazines too, and these will also give you options from sellers who have plenty of experience in the area. The forums also allow you to get to know the restoration culture and ask plenty of questions that should help you make your decision.
When you find a classic car that you think you might want to restore, take a couple of things into consideration. Firstly, make sure you only ever buy a complete car, as in a full body car. Also, have it checked first so there is no hidden damage. There is no point trying to restore a car that is on it’s very last legs.
As an extra tip, there are many, many websites online that can offer spare parts for a car you are desperate to restore. For example, if you’re looking for Ford alloy wheels, you can easily find somewhere online.
The tools and equipment you need
There is a key list of essential tools that you will need to hand if you are going to restore a classic car. They are:
- A drill and some drill bits
- A jack, as in a floor jack
- Screwdrivers and pliers
- Specialist sheet metal scissors
- Some wire brushes
- A set of sockets and a wrench
These are pretty much good beginning tools. We recommend you buy quality and you buy new. Remember that you’re intending to buy a classic car and use these tools to restore it.
While those are the essential tools that you can buy immediately, there are some tools that are a little more ‘specialist’ and may well be worth hiring from a supplier.
These tools are as follows:
- A welder
- A grinder
- A blowtorch
- An engine stand
These are the more technical tools and you should be able to find a centre nearby that can hire them out to you.
Restoring a classic car is great fun and incredibly rewarding. Just remember to take your time in finding a (complete) one, and to get the right tools for the job all lined up and ready to go.