By TCW Team - December 12, 2018
Should I Consider Restoring My Classic Car?
Again, another conundrum that haunts classic car collectors and aficionados. “I have a rust bucket that is a show car at heart. Is it worth restoring?” The question is quite simple. The answer, on the other hand, is complicated. But such is the world of classic cars.
Before you start pouring your hard-earned cash into a classic car restoration, you need to assess whether the project is a money drain or a genuine candidate worthy of bringing back to life. After all, you don’t want to invest way more than what the car would be worth once finished.
Before committing to restoring a car, here are a few steps you must take.
Attach A Price To The Car
This is a research-heavy yet fun part of the process. In order to assess how much you can spend on a full restoration, it is a good idea to find out how much the car will be worth when it is restored. Call on your inner classic car worshipper and gain mastery over the particular automobile you wish to restore. Ensure the accuracy of your price evaluation.
For a yardstick measure, it is a good practice to get three numbers for the project. First, find out the most expensive example sold of your car’s exact same make and model. For the cheapest bids, there is always eBay. Once you have both ends of the spectrum in sight, you will be able to price your car more accurately. To be on the safe side, attach a middle-of-the-road number. Here, you have those three numbers.
Evaluate The Car’s Condition
Things get a little tough here, as even the best of cars hold the darkest secrets. It is up to you how best to uncover them. This step is the one which can help you nail the difference between going through with a full restoration or just walking away.
Call in experts if you need to assess the drivetrain and the bodywork and frame. Getting expert advice can help you avoid going overboard with the project and see its true merits.
Make A Parts List
A word of caution: parts list can get disturbingly long. But the car needs all period-correct parts if it ever going to be restored to its former glory. Leave nothing out, even tiny pieces like rubber parts, weather-stripping kits, and so on.
Keep An Eye On Labour Costs
Labour costs more often than not slip under the radar while you are factoring in the costs of restoration. To get an estimate close to accurate, do ask service providers questions about what might happen if unexpected problems present themselves or if the budget is overshot. Many facilities will provide reduced labour rates when the original estimate turns out inaccurate.
Walk Away If You Need To
Add up the cost of parts and labour. If its exceeds the value of the classic car, you might need to walk away from the project. There are always exceptions to the norm though. If a classic car has documented provenance, it adds to the value and shores up its desirability as an investment. For example, if the classic car once belonged to a celebrated personality, it is bound to push up the car’s value.