This is important. You need to ask
yourself: "What do I want?" this also must be followed by "What can I afford?".
This is often overlooked by most when restoring their car. Answering these two
questions honestly will insure that what you end up with is (1) something you
will enjoy, and (2) that it will get done. Be sure to see our
FAQ page. Also see my
Original or Custom? page for help making up
your mind. To get ideas of what you want try looking through some
such as Hot Rod or Car Craft.
Find a good project car. A good
place to start is eBay!
If this is
your first time restoring a car find a friend who has, or better yet a local car
club or the restoration shop that will be doing the work. Have them help you
decide if the car if worth the asking price, and if it will fit your ideas and
budget. Depending on what you want and your budget you may be better off
spending more on the project car. Labor and parts can add up quickly so beware.
A project car in rough shape may lend itself better to custom work rather than
an all-original restoration. The fastest
way to ride around in a classic is to buy a complete car, BUT
buying a project insures that you get a car that you will love! What ever your
decision, Corbett's Auto can help you find it & build it! Please see our
Locator Servicesto help you find that
hard to find part.
The car must be striped of all part
and carefully cataloged. Insure you have plenty of room, a disassembled car
takes up 3 - 4 times the room it did when it was together. It is very important that everything is labeled and
sorted so reassembly will go smoothly. Decide what is salvageable and what must
be replaced. Be sure to check out our parts catalog,
we now carry restoration parts from one of the top manufacturers in the country.
Now the body must be stripped to
bare metal. Depending on condition this can be accomplished by sanding,
sandblasting, or chemical dipping. A paint job is no better than the weakest
link. If the old original paint flakes off it will take the new paint with it. Eastwood
has a large selection of tools and supplies to help make the job easier.
Now a quick talk on an
often-overlooked item, mechanical restoration. This is very important especially
if the car is to be a daily driver. The main components are engine,
transmission, suspension, brakes and last but not least electrical. When in
doubt replace or rebuild. Check out
Amazon.com for reference manuals, never be afraid to look up what you do not
know. The time spent reading a book will pay off in the end.
Now the bodywork. The most expensive
paint job money can buy will look no better than a $199 Macco special on top of
shoddy bodywork. It is very labor intensive but worth the time to insure that
the body is straight and that all panel line up before a drop of paint is sprayed.
If you are wanting something eye catchy you may want to consider House of Kolor high quality custom paint products!
Reassembly time. This takes three
times longer than disassembly, but with each part installed you can see the car
slowly taking shape. Great care must be taken during the reassembly process to
insure that you do not damage or scar any pieces you spent so much time
restoring. taking it slow is a challenge that will pay off in the long run.
Once together all that stands
between you and the road is upholstery. There are many companies that carry
interior kits. This is a very good choice if you are under budget constraints.
For added flare to your restoration project you may consider a custom job. Call
around many times it not as high as you might expect, and well worth it if
you are looking for a certain look.
Now its time to enjoy the car of
your dreams. Don't be afraid to drive what you have worked so hard to build. A
car is meant to be driven, so get out there and show off all the many long hours
you put into your restoration project.
This is just a brief idea of what
goes into a restoration. If you need more information give us a call. We will be
happy to help you. We can help you with every step from project selection,
inspection, to purchase consultation. We can also help you find parts and with
our partial restoration services help you with the repairs that you feel are
over your head. Also for the do-it-yourselfer we carry a complete line of
restoration parts from
Dynacorn and our
If you would rather not be involved
with all the specifics, tell us what you want and we can handle the whole
restoration from beginning to end. We believe the only person who know what you
want is you, so we listen, and do it your way, period.
*Disclaimer: I do not
profess to know everything, and above are my views on car restoration. If you
disagree with any of my statements you may e-mail me personally at: