Perhaps your kids are finally grown, your house is closer than ever to being paid off, and it’s finally time to do something for yourself. Your vision has always been to restore an old car. It could look like your first car, one you loved seeing as a kid, or something that offers your mind a jolt of instantaneous nostalgia. Refer to a few tips for restoring an old car and get on your way to enjoying this process.
Set Your Budget
The first thing you’ll want to do before embarking on a journey like this is to set a realistic budget. Accounting for the vehicle’s cost as is, compounded with parts, the labor you can’t do yourself, and unforeseeable expenses will allow you to layout a more accurate representation of the costs you’ll endure.
This is going to be a process, so avoid being overwhelmed by what you don’t know (expense wise) and find a comfortable jump-off point to start. You won’t need everything right away, anyway, so don’t worry about putting all of the money aside upfront–although you must have a truthful number in mind for what a project like yours might cost.
Who’s Doing the Work?
To some extent, your budget will depend on who’ll be doing the work. If this is your dream project, you have some knowledge of what it’ll take to restore your old car. However, for the work you can’t do yourself, consider bartering. The barter system is a severely underrated practice majorly utilized by tradesmen.
If you can find someone who can help you with the work you can’t do in exchange for a service you can provide, it’ll help you and your budget. If not, consider the work you need done and shop around. If possible, visiting drive nights and car shows could help you get in touch with people who can either do the work you need or recommend reputable people or companies.
Locating original or compatible parts for your old automobile may be tricky. Luckily, you have a few options. Narrowing down the exact parts you need will allow you to comb through bidding websites and old car part sites to find what you want. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you may be able to locate it at a salvage yard. This is another time to utilize the knowledge from people at cruise nights. There’s a chance they’ve done the leg work for you, especially if they have the same make and model as your car.
Additionally, many companies make custom parts for vehicles. As long as you understand the exact part you need, along with its specific measurements, you may be able to have a piece fabricated especially for your car. Having custom parts made for an old car means reliable, new materials with a long life ahead of them.
A project like this is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed, motivate yourself by imagining how happy you’ll be with the result. Pace yourself and take extra care in the work you do or have done by others. This may be a learning process, but consider the knowledge you’ll have afterward. At the end of the day, aspirations don’t come to fruition overnight, but by following some tips for restoring an old car, they aren’t out of reach.