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4 Common Car Restoration Mistakes To Avoid

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Are you planning to restore a classic car? Before you start, read up on these four common and unfortunate restoration mistakes and how to avoid them.

Classic car restoration is a popular hobby among car buffs. While the pros make restoration look easy, it’s much harder than you’d expect! If you’re new to classic car restoration and are looking for advice, learn how to avoid these four common car restoration mistakes, so your restoration doesn’t go up in flames.

Choosing the Wrong Car

If you’re restoring a car in your collection that you plan to keep for years to come, you can skip this pointer. But if you’re buying and restoring cars for fun and profit, choosing the wrong car can be a devastating mistake. When selecting a car to restore, look for one that’s in decent condition and sold at a reasonable price. Avoid cars that are in exceptionally poor condition no matter how tempting the price tag is—these cars are often money pits that cause nothing but headaches.

Going in Without a Plan

Having a game plan, no matter how rough, will make the restoration process so much smoother. Set a budget before you buy your car. Once you have the car, have it inspected by a professional who understands of what needs to be done. Then, jot down the alterations you plan to make, cost estimates, and a timeline for completing them. This will help you stay on track and on budget.

Rebuilding the Engine Too Early

The urge to get your hands on and tinker with the engine can be irresistible—but hold back! You should save rebuilding the engine for the end of the restoration process. If you rebuild the engine too early and leave it out to sit, it will slowly accumulate dust and deteriorate before you can install it.

Going Under or Overboard

On one hand, you don’t want to skimp on quality to save money and end up with lackluster results. On the other hand, you don’t want to go overboard and have the restored car look indistinguishable from the pre-restoration car. Painting a classic car an unusual, gaudy color is more likely to lower its value than raise it. The same is true for replacing too many mechanical components or adding too many modern touches. Spend money where it counts—make the car look nice and function well but don’t take away its charm.

Now that you know what not to do when restoring a classic car, you can delve into your next restoration project feeling confident. Have fun and work hard, but whatever you do, don’t make these four fatal mistakes!


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