Car Restoration: Make that Vintage or Classic Car Shine
Restoring a car can be an extremely rewarding experience. But before you begin, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. The Internet offers the resources you need to decide whether restoring a car is up your ally. If car restoration is a hobby you truly want to pursue, or if you’re an old vet looking for more sound advice, this guide provides the necessary tips and tools … but you’ll have to supply the gumption.
Before you begin, ask yourself this essential question: is it worth it? In other words, you need to ... read more »
So you’ve decided you want to restore a car. What do you do now? The sites below will hold your hand and then give you a push, so you’ll be well on your way to taking on the task of restoring a vehicle. You’ll find walk-through examples, tips and advice, and sources for all the parts you’ll need.
- Some of these sites reiterate the information listed in the last section of the guide. But for the most part, the sites in this section have either general or step-by-step instructions on how to restore a car. If the previous section was more theoretical, now you’re going to get your hands dirty. And that’s really what you want, right?
- You don’t have to restore a car completely on your own. Using the aid of a restoration shop can help get some of the grueling details out of the way so that you can focus on the fun stuff. If you find yourself in a jam and need some help, there’s no shame in contacting a professional.
- Two of the links below are a series of articles about car restoration. Unfortunately, you can’t access an entire series from a single link, because each part has to be accessed individually. For convenience, we provided separate links for each part of the series.
For tips and advice …
Second Chance Garage
wants to teach you how to restore your antique, classic, or just plain old car. The site’s writers use whatever car they are working on as an example, so you can follow along and extrapolate information relevant to your own car. You’ll find articles, how to’s, engine specs, and reader-submitted projects. Use this site as your car restoration handbook.
calls itself “the world’s largest collector-car marketplace,” and offers restoration tips, which feature choosing the best restoration shop for your needs and “21 detailing tips from the pros.” There is also a great section here called “66 Valuable Restoration Tips,” (scroll down to find it) which is a compilation of tips and photos from the Hemmings readership.
The Stovebolt Page
is a great source if you’re hoping to restore an old truck. The site promises “How to's, FAQ's, Don't Do's and Honey Do's,” to help you get the job done without making mistakes. Look for a substantial collection of over 600 links for truck restoration–related sites, and a discussion forum. While the site isn’t especially easy to navigate, it does offer lots of great information if you’re willing to browse around a bit.
offers how-to car restoration videos for sale, though you can glean some valuable information from the Web site for free. Take a look at the “Leading”
section to “learn the forgotten art of lead work.” The article includes step-by-step instructions and photos that help to illustrate each step.
is a blog about restoring classic cars, primarily muscle cars. The author notes that all of his facts may not be perfect, but that he loves restoring cars and wants to be as helpful as possible to others who share his hobby. He touches on topics like mechanical restoration, and deciphering VIN codes.
Hagerty Insurance Agency
is an agency that specializes in collector cars and boats, and has a section of its Web site called “Restoration Station.” Take a look at the “Project Profiles
” area for stories detailing the restoration process of lots of different cars.
For walk-throughs and examples …
has published a seven-part series on restoring a Camaro, but the article makes clear that the steps could be applied to any old vehicle, “from a Model T to a Lamborghini.” This is a long read, but if you want to know how to restore a car, it’s well worth the look. Continue with Part 2
of the series; Part 3
; Part 4
; Part 5
; Part 6
; and Part 7
The DIY Network
is the site for do-it-yourself projects. It features some examples of restoring cars. You can learn how to restore a 1962 Corvette, a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, and a 1969 Alfa-Romeo Spider. Keep in mind that the advertisements can be quite distracting on this site.
For restoration shops …
Hagerty Insurance Agency
provides an excellent directory of thousands of restoration shops around the country. Shops are reviewed by users and each is given its own rating from 1–5. Run your search by state or rating, and chances are you’ll find a reputable shop near you.
doesn’t tell you where to find a restoration shop but it does teach you how to pick the right one. If you don’t want to do the restoration yourself, or if you want to pay a shop to perform some of the work, look to this article for some beneficial hints. Issues like insurance and leaving a deposit are covered here, along with much more.
If you are looking to restore your car it may be difficult to find the part you lack, particularly ... read more »
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