Working on your own classic car restoration project can be a true joy, but it can also leave a gaping hole in your pocket. Replacing parts gets costly, tools are expensive, and your time is your most valuable asset of all. Even if you do your homework before you buy, you might run into glaring problems you didn’t see before. If you want to avoid a serious money pit, here are a few things you should understand before you get a classic car.
The Costs of your Parts
One of the most important things to consider for a new project is the cost of the parts. If you’re starting with nothing but a frame and some wheels, then you’ll obviously need to find affordable dealers for every single component. It’s not too hard to find your parts online, but you’ll need to factor in high shipping costs for heavy pieces. Furthermore, you may even have to pay customs taxes if your car is European or Asian. There are certainly foreign auto dealers in the United States, but some obscure vintage parts are only available overseas.
Even if you’re starting with a well-put-together automobile, you might have to replace a wide range of parts. This is especially true for cars that were improperly stored, and that have sustained years of high heat, cold temperatures, or excessive humidity. If you see large patches of rust on the chassis or body, you’re looking at tens or even hundreds of hours of repairs.
Finding an Honest Seller
It’s also imperative that you find an honest dealer or independent seller. There are unfortunately some unscrupulous people in the class car restoration business, and it’s all-too-common for hapless buyers to get ripped off. You can find reputable sellers through local car clubs, newspaper listings, and even online forums.
Get an Appraisal
Once you’ve found the perfect project, you’ll want to get an appraisal to make sure everything checks out. Your seller may be honest, but even they might not know all of the potential problems with their cars. It’s easy to overlook rust, peeling paint, and other issues which could cost you a fortune in the long run. You’ll also need someone who understands the taxes, insurance, and depreciating values associated with classic automobiles. Overall, an inspection from a knowledgeable appraiser will probably pay for itself many times over in the future.
Do you Have the Right Tools?
Fixing cars requires a wide range of specialty tools, and you will have to make sure you’ve got what you need before you embark on a new project. Do you have a suspension system for lifting the body? Do you have air blowers and vacuums for rust removal and paint jobs? Is your garage large enough for all of the necessary repairs? These are all questions you should consider before making a final decision.
Help from the Pros
In the end, it might just not be cost effective to do all your repairs on your own. If you need help with tough jobs – or if you want to leave your whole project to experienced professionals – call a professional classic car restorations company now in order to ensure your project is completed flawlessly.