Some car buffs may already envision which type of car they want to restore. Some may want to restore a classic Ford Mustang like the one they drove in high school, while others with a flare for automotive history might want to restore a 1930s classic. Whatever your preference, make sure you find a car that won’t bust your budget. Even the initial cost to purchase the car from a local salvage yard can be deceiving. Some cars might only be affordable because they’ve experienced such extensive damage that the cost to restore them will be especially high.
It’s good to know what you’re looking for as you begin to scour newspaper classified ads or visit local salvage yards. But allow yourself some room for flexibility in regard to the type of car you’re willing to restore. That can ensure you aren’t breaking your budget right away or overcommitting yourself to a project that may prove beyond your range of abilities. Online car forums can be great places to get some insight into restoration, especially for beginners.
The 14th Annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance returned to Carillon Historical Park on Sunday, September 19, 2021. Cars and motorcycles of the Roarin’ Twenties were celebrated. Last year’s show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Credit: Tom Gilliam
Credit: Tom Gilliam
In addition to determining which car to get and how much time and money you can realistically devote to the restoration project, car enthusiasts must determine which tools they’ll need, where they’re going to work on the project and the availability of discounted parts. Discounted parts can help offset considerable restoration costs, so access to a local seller or salvage yard can be a significant advantage.
The internet has made finding parts easier, as resources like CheapAutoParts.com can be invaluable. A place to work also is a must-have, so garages may need to be outfitted to make projects more enjoyable. Tools also can be costly, though CarsDirect notes that different steps in the process require different tools. That can make it easier to spread out the cost of buying new tools.
Classic car restoration can be an engaging hobby. Novices are urged to learn as much about restoration as possible before they decide to fully commit to this potentially rewarding endeavor.