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Planning on Rebuilding a Classic Car?

Rebuild 2Automobiles come from a long and rich history of technological and stylistic advancements over the last century or so. The first automobile rolled out of a shop in 1886, and there’s no stopping them, now! Over the years, a lot has changed – styles, models, and even automakers come and go. Once they’re gone, there’s no getting them back, because thing keep changing. Given that some of those old vehicles are actually still in existence, one can own a piece of automotive history, be it a rare 1928 Ford Model A, 1961 Rambler American convertible, or a 1984 Toyota AE86, you know, the one right before they made the switch to front-wheel drive?

Even if grandma has one squirrelled away in an old barn or if you buy one at a swap meet, because of the way that automobiles age, your classic car is going to need a lot of work to restore its former glory. So now you’ve got yourself a classic car, but what’s involved in rebuilding it?

Classic Car Restoration Planning

Rebuild 1If there’s anything that can be said first about restoring a classic car, it’s that plenty of planning is going to be needed, and that before you even start! Keep in mind, as well, that your restoration project may very well take many months, perhaps even years. Taking a few hours or days to formulate a plan before you start the project will help you keep track of your progress, reducing the chance that you’ll be left with an unfinished project car project parts pile at the end of the year.

  • Space – Set aside space for your classic car restoration project. Ideally, you need at least two car spaces, perhaps three, to your car and all the parts that you’re going to need. Don’t forget space for your tools and yourself. True, you can work with less space, and some have, but it’s not particularly comfortable and increases the chances of damaging the very thing you’re working to restore.
  • Documentation – Keeping in mind that this can be a long-term project, keeping track of your progress, from start to finish, will help you to keep on track. Take pictures of everything before you start, and then pictures of everything you take apart and put together. Six months from now, you’ll appreciate the pictures you took of that old carburetor assembly before you disassembled it, so you can put it back together properly. If available, buy manuals of your automobile – physical manuals are good, but pdf manuals are also an excellent option and can be printed out as you go along. Both rebuild-specific and factory manuals can be exceptionally helpful in planning and managing your restoration.
  • Professionals – You might be considering doing most of the work yourself, which is a great way to really get in touch with your car and perfect your DIY auto repair and classic car rebuilding skills. True, there’ll be plenty of blood, sweat, and tears involved, but you’re going to learn a lot from the experience and you’re going to love that car. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to consult and contract professional help, particularly if you have no experience in a certain area of rebuilding. Auto paint services are one example of something best left to the professionals, and you should definitely have a professional check up on your work regarding safety items, such as brakes. Professional detailing is another area to consider.

These are just a few things to think about that will get you well on your way to a beautiful classic car, whether you’re building it as a daily driver or thinking of putting it in a car show. Take your time, appreciate the results, and enjoy the ride!

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