If you've never restored a car before, you might be wondering if you should restore your classic cars now, classic car restoration in a long process and you want to have all of your ducks in a row, spend some time thinking about what you want your car to be when it's done.
Think about how much money you want to spend on the restoration process, and make sure that you have the funds ready to go, a shop will need to know that you've thought it out, and planed an an out come for your car, they will need to know if it's a straight restoration to factory specs, or if you want custom work done, you don't want to be changing your mind in the middle of the restoration process.
Know what color you want the car painted, know how you'd like you interior to look and feel, know how you'd like you engine to perform, the more you think about it, the more you'll enjoy the restoration process, give it a lot of thought, I have seen a lot of people during my time in the business bring a car to the shop for a factory stock restoration, and then in the end not like it because it's is restored to the period that it was manufactured.
The best advise if you want to make you dream come true is this, think long and hard about what that dream is, do you want a show car, do you want a factory stock restoration, do you want some custom work, remember that a show car is not the same as a daily driver, if you drive you car on a daily basis, it will get door dings, rock chips, and scratches, and their is nothing you can do about it, if it has these things you won't placing in any car shows with it.
The judges have a job to do, and the job is to pick the car that looks the most like it did when it was first built, and no car comes for the factory with rock chips, and door dings, if your car is a custom then the judges will judge it based on quality of work an originality also, they won't miss anything, so if your thinking that you'll slide some minor imperfection by them, don't waste your time, or theirs.
My best advise is to make 100% sure that you car is exactly what you want it to be, don't listen to people who'd tell you that it not worth doing unless you do a factory stock restoration on it, the car is worth a lot more to you if it's what you want it to be, not what another person thinks that it should be.
I've seen a lot of cars get sold off after the restoration process because the owner didn't get what he, or she wanted, and they were not satisfied in the end, and this can make the entire process seem a lot harder then it has to be, it's all about what you want, not what somebody else tells you that it should be.
It's fine to get advise form other people, and then weigh that advise against your idea of what you think that your car should be, remember it's all about you, not the shop, not your friends, not mom and dad.
It's imperative that you car is the car of your dreams when it's all done, not something that you'd rather sell as soon as it's done, you usually can't make the money back that you spent to restore your car by selling it, unless it's a very special car, one that there were only a few made, or for some other reason.
Just plan on getting what you want, and then keeping the car forever, rather then selling it, this is why I say plan the restoration work on your car, and know what you want before the work begins.
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I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models, I just want to keep people interested in the old cars because it's where my heart is.