Refurbishing an Old Car? Here’s What You’ll Need to Know

Restoring a classic car can be time-consuming and challenging work. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Not only can refurbishing a car you are passionate about be enjoyable and satisfying, but depending on the car, you can also make a tidy profit from it.


Doing so also may be simpler than you might think. However, it is important you have a full understanding of the process, before investing both time and money on a restoration project. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and guides out there for beginners. To start, here are a few things to be aware of when refurbishing an old car.

The Cost of the Restoration

Before you start purchasing paint and replacement parts, it’s important to work out the financials involved in the project. This is less important if you don’t plan on reselling the car.

Restoring a classic carIf you do, though, you will first need to know that the refurb costs will not put too much of a dent in your profit margins. And even if you are only doing it as a hobby, it is likely that you will have a budget that you won’t want to exceed by too much. If budget restrictions are a major concern for you, there are fortunately numerous ways you can reduce costs.

You should also factor this consideration into the car you choose to restore. Chevelle parts, for example, are pretty widely available. This, combined with the high resale value of restored Chevelles, mean it is a particularly good choice for refurbishing. Less in-demand cars with hard-to-find parts will conversely be less financially viable.

Your Tools

If you are considering getting into car restoration, it is likely you already have some knowledge of car maintenance. But given the work involved in taking a car from a shell to a working vehicle, you will likely need to expand this knowledge. Luckily, using them for a project such as this will mean you’ll learn quickly.

toolsInvesting in a comprehensive, high-quality toolkit prior to anything else is a good place to start, as this way you will be less likely to be hindered due to a lack of equipment. Low end tools will also unnecessarily slow down your work. Once you have mastered most basic hand tools, it is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with heavier duty ones.

Depending on the extent of your restoration project, it is likely you will need some tools for modifying the body of your car. Welders and angle grinders are thus useful tools to learn to use. Given the potential hazards associated with them, you may want some guidance from a professional mechanic first, however.

The Time Involved

Even if the restorations you are planning to make a fairly minimal, getting a car road-ready requires an extensive time commitment. It’s therefore important you have the spare time available to do the job properly prior to starting a project.

This is even more crucial if you are planning to flip the car for a profit after completion, since it may not be worth doing so if the timeframe is much longer than you anticipated. It is not uncommon for unforeseen delays to occur either, whether it be due to you struggling to acquire the right parts, or identifying previously unknown issues with the car.

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