Many of you may have that “project” car out back that continues to be a pain to mow around (If you do not have a project car already we would love to help you find the right one for you! We have hundreds of Restoration options for all skill levels). It is a life long goal to restore it, but you simply have no idea where to start. No worries, we are here to help! As we make our way through our 1952 New Yorker Restoration, we are going to walk you through our process on how to make a restoration possible in your own backyard!
The first decisions that you need to make are:
1. Is the car is worth restoring?
Let’s face it, not every car can be restored without expert intervention. A quick test would be to use a floor jack with jack stands to lift the car off the ground. If your jack rips a hole in the frame you may not want to get too deep into that restoration project. Another place to check is the quality of your body panels; if the body is rusted in half, this is another situation when it may be best to start with a different project. If your frame is good, and your car was a popular model, you may be able to buy replacement panels to help the body restoration go a little easier.
2. What kind of restoration are you doing?
Classic, Street Rod, Hot Rod, or Rat Rod? This will go a long way in deciding the game plan during the restoration process. If you are doing a classic restoration there are many hidden expenses that can drive costs up substantially on your restoration. Budget Classic and Street Rod builds are the most common and practical restoration options for DIYers. Crisp body lines, good panel work, and quality paint can make even the craziest builds look great!
3. What is your budget.
Set one, and do not deviate from it. With restorations it is far too easy to outspend your budget. Once you decide on your budget you can start on your project with confidence. It is important to note that you must research while setting your budget, or you will quickly find you’re short on cash once you are already in. It is unlikely that you will ever find quality full chrome work for $3,000 or have your interior completely reupholstered for $500. Make some phone calls, price several companies, and most importantly set realistic budgets!
***Before you ever start, make sure you have an appropriate workspace. If you don’t have a nice concrete garage you can use, you can build a makeshift restoration shed fairly inexpensively. Call your local stone yard and order gravel for enough space for the car and for you to be able to freely walk around it; then purchase a carport that gives you enough space to keep a table, tools, and room to work!***
Once you are ready to begin the restoration, buy your local parts store out of Liquid Wrench, and let those bolts have it! You’ll be happy you did.
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