Know the Types of Car Restoration

types of car restoration

You should know the types of car restoration before you begin this kind of project. Surely you are longing for a classic car, and when you look at their prices, you begin to have second thoughts. Then you think, What about buying a used classic and restore it? Please consider those thoughts carefully, because they could take you to your next money pit—restoring a classic car.

Even before you begin to look for a car to restore, you should be aware of your budget and time availability, because of the costs involved, and potential complications with parts, body, and mechanical issues.

Uncertain Cost

Be aware of the cost, the restoration of an antique, classic, or muscle car is expensive. Therefore, you should have a realistic budget to go ahead with the restoration job. If you take it to a custom body shop, they will probably tell you how much they charge by the hour and give you a very gross estimate of hours, because it is impossible to provide you with a detailed budget for the following reasons.

Every vehicle is different, and it has a different history, regarding its maintenance, the overall condition of various sheet metal components, or the previous restoration attempts. Be aware that the cost of a Concours restoration, over 95 points of professional evaluation, could easily exceed the final dollar value of the car.

Danger of Rust

Rust damage is time-consuming and expensive to repair. Most times, it requires the replacement of steel panels. If your car comes from a colder climate where the roads are treated with salt during the winter, it may have a significant frame rot.

The proper way to inspect and repair frame rot is by removing the whole body from the underlying frame. It is called Body-off restoration, and there are three reasons to make it. Your car has a good body and a bad frame, or it has a bad body and a good frame, or it has lousy body bushings.

Mechanical Issues.

You will need a mechanical restoration if your classic car has a good body condition but may lack in performance.

Body Issues.

Cosmetic restoration includes complete bodywork and paint. For instance, it is restoring defects that are visual, such as chips, rust, paint scratches, cracked windshield, and others.

Availability of Replacement Parts

Parts problems will bring your project to a halt. If you purchase a unique car, be prepared to pay out for parts, there may not be new replacement parts readily available, and used parts may be hard to find and can get quite expensive. Make sure that replacement parts will not be a significant hurdle.

Overall Value

There are several older cars on sale that need restoration. Some of them may seem like they are worth the money, and some may not. Therefore, it is essential to research the price auction on the specific car that you want. Because there are cars that will never have any real value independently of the quality of the restoration. Even if they are restored to their original condition

The Four Types of Car Restoration

If you own a classic vehicle, you should be aware of the 100-points system. It is a universal methodology used in rating the condition of a classic car. The system classifies the vehicles according to 4 types of car restoration, which ranges from 100 being excellent to 20 being un-restorable.

Restored to Driving Condition

Driving condition restoring is for vehicles that are fully operational but may require replacement parts and some minor cosmetic adjustments. If the engine or other mechanical parts do not function, that is where you’ll start. So, forget about cosmetics at this point, because you need it to run first.

To do this effectively, you may want to inspect your car by a top craftsman who can lift your vehicle to take a good look from beneath. This inspection will help you see the kind of repairs that you need to do and how much they would cost. Don’t forget to check it out for safety.

Restored to Street Show Condition

Street Show condition applies to vehicles that are in working condition with no significant cosmetic issues. The car will usually fall within 80-89 points when judged by a restoration professional.

At this level, your car should look good, drive well, and be ready to impress a professional. You will want higher quality parts, expert repairs, and attention to detail – at least on the outside.

To get your classic to a Street Show level, it is best that you start with a parts catalog relevant to your model. This catalog allows you to get the most genuine parts and accessories, as well as to ensure that you do not exceed your initial budget.

According to the 100-point system used to rate classic car condition, a Street Show condition classic car should fall between 80-89.

Restored to Car Show Condition

At a Car Show, you need to impress professionals beyond looks and performance. This level requires that you hire professionals to restore your car because they will do a thorough work with attention to detail over every aspect of the vehicle.

On the point system, a show car condition vehicle would fall between 90-95 when ranked by a professional.

Restored to Concours Condition

As the highest level of restoration for a classic car, Concours condition is usually only for auto shows, private collectors, and vehicles that are never driven. You will need a professional with specialized tools and equipment to get to this level.

On the point system, a Concours condition vehicle would get 95 or more when ranked by a professional.

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Sources: Heritage Insurance Co