Restoring a used car is a great way to get a rock bottom price for a car, and then turn it into a reliable vehicle. The key to really get your money's worth in restorations is to be able to handle them yourself. Whether you're looking to get involved in automotive careers, or you simply want to fix up the family car, these five tips will help you restore for less money and less hassle.
1 - Not All Cars Are Worthy of Restoration
When you buy the car you want to restore, it's fine if it's not all in one piece and several pieces must be bought separately. However, there are a few things you do want to avoid. A little bit of rust can be fine, but if it's corroding the structural parts then it should be avoided. Be sure to purchase the car in person, or at the very least ask for detailed pictures. Make sure you do your research so you understand both the market value of the restored car and the cost of restoring it.
2 - Use Only Professional Grade Parts
Your restoration will only be as good as the parts. Make sure that your parts and engine are both of professional quality. You can buy vintage parts online, at salvage yards, through classic car organizations, or a number of other places, but they should be of high quality. Remember that spending a little more on parts now can be the best value in the long run, if it means a car that lasts longer.
3 - Understand That There Will Be Setbacks
Even those who've worked in automotive careers for decades have occasional setbacks. Your goal should not be to have a flawless experience, but to learn from your mistakes and pay attention to what you could do better next time.
4 - There Are Some Things You Need Done From the Pros
There are certain things that may be worth paying extra for the professionals to handle. For example, unless you have a background in automotive painting, you may want the job professionally done. It's true that you can handle it at your home garage, but the professionals will have tools and products not available to the laymen.
5 - Prepare for Plenty of Space
One of the biggest mistakes people make the first time they restore a car is to assume that they won't need a ton of space. They believe they can simply use half their garage and get their car in tip-top shape. The reality is that not only does the car take up space, but you'll have tools, supplies, and possibly several people working on it at the same time. You don't want to have to move it in the middle of an essential task like automotive painting, so be sure you start off with plenty of room.