If you love cars, you will no doubt have dreamt about restoring the car of your dreams. Maybe you’ve imagined unearthing an old rust bucket in a barn and restoring it to its former beauty. But as much as it is a wonderful dream, a restoration project can be very daunting and quickly become a chore rather than a labour of love. But if you’re prepared to put in the time, dedication and money, it can be an amazing experience full of satisfaction and pleasure.
Here’s our top 5 best bits of advice to help you on your way.
Become a club member
If you know what kind of car you are looking to restore even before you buy it, it’s a really good idea to become an owners’ club member. By joining a club, you will have at your fingertips a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and experience. And what’s more the members will all share the same passion as you and will be happy to share what information they can with you. Where could be a better place to start learning? Take for instance the MG Car Club (https://www.mgcc.co.uk) which has over 55,000 affiliated members worldwide!
Research and learn
You may already have a few trades you can turn your hand to, but if you’re planning to take on the whole of the project yourself you may have to learn more specialised skills such as, bodywork and welding, upholstery and electrics. As well as taking advice and learning from fellow club members it may be worth having a look at your local college prospectus to see if they run any classes which could help. Alternatively, Craft Courses is a national company that runs courses around the country. For more information and course ideas, visit their website: https://www.craftcourses.com/.
Tools for the job
Investing in your tools is probably one of the most expensive but important outlays you may have to face. Make sure you only buy tools that you will need and buy the most expensive you can afford. Even though this could cause a significant initial spend to begin with, having good tools and equipment to begin with could save you time and money in the long run. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, you won’t be the first to ask and you certainly won’t be the last.
If you haven’t restored a car before you may be in for a shock. Make you sure you do as much research as possible before buying the car to ensure you know how much spare parts are likely to cost. Check out other classic car sales websites who have a catalogue of spares for an idea of prices. No matter how much you set aside for your project, you will, without doubt overspend as things crop up, so make sure you have a contingency budget available if needed. You will also have to factor in using the services of a professional if you know you won’t be able to do certain elements.
Keep the end game in mind
Car enthusiasts restore cars for a myriad of reasons be that as an investment, maybe an emotional tie, a new hobby to pursue or even just for the fun of driving a classic car. Whatever your reason for embarking on this new journey make sure you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and be prepared to ask for help when you need to. A car restoration project will take longer than you thought, eat up your budget and time like no tomorrow, and will without doubt be one of the most frustrating, daunting and at times despairing things you will ever do. However, if you keep in mind what you set out to do, and try and keep it fun, you’ll feel incredibly proud when your fully restored car is ready to hit the road again.