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Do You Have A Plan To Restore Your Classic Car

February 26, 2015
Do You Have A Plan To Restore Your Classic Car

Do you have a plan to restore your classic car? A plan can be the difference between finishing the project and not. There are a few things that a plan needs to include if your going to do it the right way the first time.

1. Budget: First you should plan a budget for the project against what you want the car to be when it’s done. A word of warning you should never plan a budget down to the exact dollar that you have to spend you should always budget less then you have to spend to take up any surprises that may come with the restoration or custom car project.

A budget will always change no matter how good you are at planning it. If you don’t buy the parts at the same time you do your budget prices may change. Also if your using a shop to do all or parts of the work labor rates may change, and then there is just plain inflation. While a budget can never be exact it can be close so this is where you should start out.

2. Project Plan: Plan the project itself and weigh that against your budget but know it will usually be more then what you have budgeted for the project. This is the time that we can separate those who are serious about the restoration or custom car project that they have in mind.

It takes a single minded goal to get one of theses projects completed. It is never as easy as 1-2-3 you need to be prepared for things that will come a long with the project you are building. In a project plan you should include these things.

Body & Paint: This is often the most expensive parts of the process it all depends on the car that you plan to restore. This is why I always say that you should plan in your budget to spend at least $10,000 for a car that is is good condition at the first.

You want to be sure that the car doesn’t have a lot of rust and bad body work in general. Rust is the single worst thing that the car can have in it. It is high dollar to replace rusted panels because it takes a lot of time cutting out all of the rust and replacing the panels.

For $10,000 you should be able to start with a fairly rust free car. Even if your have to locate a car that has had the work started on it and the person has run out of money or buy a car from a shop for what is owed on it. You need to do what ever it takes to get a good car to start with.

Mechanical: This is no doubt the next biggest expense on your restoration or custom car project. The first thing that you need to decide here is do you rebuild the engine or buy a factory crate motor for the car. The answer here depends on what you plan to do with the car.

If your not restoring the car for investment sake I would always advise to go with a factory crate motor. It is much cheaper then building your own and you get a factory warranty with the motor. But the ball is in your court here you should always do what seems right to you.

For you safety you should always replace the entire brake system on your car when restoring it. Choosing not to do this may result in an accident that will hurt you and ruin all of the work that you have done on your classic car.

Electrical: It is so cheap to replace an electrical wiring harness in your classic car I always recommend that you do it unless you can’t get a full harness for your car. Going through the harness wire by wire looking for the issues that you need to fax takes a long time and is not worth it unless the harness for you car is not made.

Interior: Since this is not a safety concern I leave this in your court it all depends on what you want to do.

Conclusion: Plan you budget and then plan the build of your car to match your budget. Always replace the entire brake system and upgrade it if possible. Be sure not to buy a car with a lot of rust in it as rust is expensive to repair. Unless this car is being built as an investment you should put a factory crate engine in the car to save money and get the factory warranty.


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