How to restore classic cars

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Restoring a classic car can be extremely rewarding. However, it can also be tedious and time consuming. Make sure you read up on the subject beforehand and be prepared to ask for help should something go wrong.

Things You'll Need

  • Plenty of space
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Protective clothing
  • Old car magazines
  • Tools, including a welder and spanners
  • Tarpaulin
  • Oil
  • Hoist

Preparation

  • Stock up on car magazines from the same era as the car you are restoring. This way you can see exactly what colours and parts to use.

  • Ensure you have enough space. Realistically, you are going to need two garages, one where you can take the car apart and another where you can put it back together again.

  • Wear sensible clothing and footwear. Open-toed sandals are a no-no. Instead wear sturdy shoes, protective clothing, gloves and a mask if you’re going to be welding.

  • Place a large sheet of tarpaulin or something similar on the ground to protect the floor and to avoid losing smaller parts.

Dismantling

  • Start dismantling outside parts such as lights, bumpers, doors and wheels. Use oil to loosen any difficult parts.

  • Dismantle the inside parts such as the engine, radiator, springs, transmission, etc. Use a hoist if necessary to lift the engine.

  • Remove the seats, carpets and bits of trim.

Restoring

  • Use a welder to repair holes in the bodywork and if you need to replace areas that have gone rusty or are damaged.

  • Put the bodywork back together. Attach the outside parts such as doors and trunk lid. If any of these are damaged, replace them. Alternatively, you can weld new pieces together to get rid of rust.

  • Replace the engine, transmission, radiator, wheels, etc. You may need to either get the help of a professional to restore any of these parts or buy new ones. Use a hoist to put them back in, if needed.

  • Paint the car. Check in car magazines to choose a classic colour. Sand, prime and paint the bodywork. Alternatively, get it painted professionally.

  • Rewire the lights, attach the bumpers and replace the windows. Replace the interior bits. Re-upholster seats, replace the carpet and trims if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Restoring a car is not an easy task, and certainly not for novices. You will need a certain amount of knowledge of how cars work to be able to do this task.
  • Don’t throw anything away to begin with, even the trim, in case it’s difficult to replace and you need to use parts of it.

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References

  • Photo Credit yellow classic car image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com
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