The Basics of Classic Car Restoration

We have a lot of great classic cars here in Arizona that are reasonably well-maintained and rust-free thanks to the favorable weather in our state. There’s absolutely no salt on the roads that could cause rust in the winter.

However, if you have an older, slightly worn classic car, whether bought or inherited, you may want to consider a restoration. You can do the classic car restoration yourself, or get it done by professionals. Here’s how it works.

What You Should Know About Classic Car Restoration.

Restoring an old classic car is one of the most enjoyable things you will ever do. There is nothing quite like driving the same Ford Thunderbird driven by your great-grandfather at full speed. There are a few things you should know before getting started.

#1: Plan the restoration project systematically.

There are a number of decisions you need to take before getting started with the restoration. First, have the car evaluated by a professional.

Is it really a class car that can be restored or is it beyond redemption, damaged badly by accidents sustained over the years? Is the car in a good running condition? How long has it been off the road?

Do you want to do it yourself, or would you rather hire a professional for the restoration? What’s your budget?

#2: Find the right replacement parts.

It’s not so easy to find the right replacement parts for your vintage car. Ideally, you will want to get original or branded parts for the classic car, to make it look as authentic as possible, but that’s not so simple

Take an inventory of all the parts you would need. Original parts are hard to find and can be quite expensive. Nobody would judge you if you buy generic replacement parts because they are cheaper and easily available. But it’s up to you.

#3: What type of classic car restoration do you want?

There are 3 levels of classic car restoration.

The most basic level is the Driver Restoration. This involves correcting some minor issues with the car and making cosmetic changes. This should be good enough for cars that haven’t suffered much damage.

Then you have the Street Show Restoration which involves restoring the car and fixing the various aesthetic issues. This should be done by a professional.

The next level is the Concourse Restoration. This is for cars that you want to add to your private collection of classic cars. These are not cars that are designed to be driven around, but more of a collector’s item to be shown to guests. Worth considering if you are a connoisseur of classic cars like Jay Leno.

#4: What about the safety?

Old cars are not the safest. They don’t come with airbags and most don’t even have seatbelts. Adding seatbelts and other essential safety features is a must if you will be driving your vehicle. Also, you could consider upgrading the radio, electronics and air conditioning if you want to add some greater comforts to your classic.

Classic Car Restoration is not easy, and it is often beneficial to consult with a professional. There are many garage shops in Arizona that specialize in restoring classic cars to their former glory. You will find all the information you need about them here on