December 9, 2020

How Hard is it To Restore a Classic Car?

At White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex, we’ve made a name for ourselves helping enthusiasts rebuild, restore and repair classic cars of all varieties.
There’s no doubt that restoring a classic car is a labour of love and it takes a special kind of person. But is it hard work?

Well, that all depends on the condition of the car, what parts need replacing or sourcing and what kind of skillset that you have. It all depends on why you are renovating a vintage vehicle in the first place.

Is a Classic Car Right for You?

The first thing you need to think about is whether this is a good idea or not. The team at White’s Bodyworks are often seen at local classic car meets and there are always a few people there who love the look of a vintage vehicle and start to consider whether they should restore one

  • A classic car is not just a hobby, it’s a long-term commitment. You have to be prepared to not only hunt for the right car to restore but put the hours and the money into doing getting it back on the road.
  • It can take as many as a thousand hours to restore a classic back to its former glory. You may have to spend a lot of time hunting for rare parts and you will need a certain amount of funds available. You’ll also need plenty of patience.

Choosing Your Classic Car

If this doesn’t daunt you, the next step is finding your classic car. You have two choices here: buy one that has been restored already or pick a doer-upper. Of course, there are varying degrees of restoration. If your classic car just needs work on the body and a tweak to the engine, it’s not a lot of effort.

If it requires more, however, you’re going to have to ask if it is worthwhile.

The people who go for major classic car restorations are usually those with some mechanical skill, a place where they can strip their car down and a real passion for vintage vehicles. Classic car restoration takes a lot of patience, so if that’s in short supply you may want to think twice and choose a model that only has a few things wrong with it.

5 Things to Consider Before Restoring a Classic Car

  • How much are you going to spend? The trouble with any restoration is that the budget can quickly get out of control. That’s why it’s important to assess your purchase and form a realistic budget for repairs and restorations. You’re never going to get this completely right but make sure the budget you set is manageable and leaves some leeway for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Where are you going to restore it? You need a garage to house your classic car while you restore it. This can be a big stumbling block if you don’t have the facilities though you can rent space. It’s worth joining a local classic car club, as you’ll be able to get plenty of advice from people who’ve been through it all before.
  • What are your skills? Yes, you can learn new skills as you go along and, if you have a mechanical bent, this will probably be quite useful and enjoyable. Be realistic, however, about what you can achieve and where you might need a little help.
  • What equipment do you need? At some point, you may well need some specialist equipment. For example, if you have to get the engine block out you will need some kind of heavy-duty winch or crane. You will need a decent, high-quality set of hand tools, maybe welding equipment and an air compressor to start with and it’s a good idea to get the very best you can afford.
  • Do you need a specialist classic car garage? It’s possible to learn as you go when it comes to classic cars but it’s difficult. Having the backup of a specialist garage means you can easily call on them when you have a job that you can’t handle. Many classic car enthusiasts want to do as much of the work themselves as they can. But they’re realistic enough to know when they need help.

Finding a Garage in Sussex That Specialises in Classic Car Renovation

If you are undertaking a major restoration, it’s important to look for a local garage that has some experience of classic cars. Ideally, you want someone that shares your passion and is willing to take on those jobs you can’t handle and at a price you can afford.

At White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex, we’ve got nearly 30 years’ experience handling a wide range of classic cars, helping with everything from stripping and repairing engines, mending bodywork and sourcing rare parts.

If you’d like to find out how we can support your classic car restoration, contact our team today.

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