Car restoration sounds like a fun hobby to many enthusiasts. Then they start tearing out the dashboard and realize they’ll never get it back in correctly. Complete restoration can take a professional months. Dreamers need to consider the time and cost involved in a project before they buy a Jaguar MK 2 on eBay.
Level of Restoration
The project owner must decide to what level he wants to restore the vehicle. A complete restoration to bring the vehicle up to show level probably will be the most costly. Getting the car up to drivable but not show-worthy is a nice middle ground. It’s also possible to just upgrade a few things such as the engine or upholstery.
A proper interior restoration starts with a complete stripping of the passenger compartment’s guts. By going through this process, the restorer can find out what can be reused or needs to be replaced. It’s also a lot easier to work on the interior with everything out of the way.
In a real car restoration, the restorer removes the windows, gaskets, bumpers, lights and anything else that will get in the way of inspecting the exterior metal. Deep-rusted metal will need to be cut out and replaced with custom pieces. Dented fenders are often better off being replaced than slathered with Bondo.
After everything is lined up, it’s time to paint. There are endless options for paint designs. The better the quality of the paint job, the longer it will last.
It doesn’t make sense to restore a car just to have it break down a week later because of a bad transmission. Clearing out the engine compartment is part of any thorough car restoration, so that’s a great time to rebuild the engine and check out the transmission.
Some project owners may want to upgrade their vehicle’s gearing, electronics, suspension or steering during the restoration process. This can save time and avoid inconvenience in the long run. Trying to restore an engine to factory specifications can be challenging for less common models because of the scarcity of parts.
Restoring a custom car can be expensive, time-consuming and rewarding. It is not something to rush. Thorough planning, research, and consultation are best.