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Classic Car Restoration Do’s and Don’ts

There is something sensual and nostalgic about classic cars. They cut a fine figure with flowing lines and a touch of elegance. Having a classic vehicle that matches your personality certainly sets you apart from the crowd. Plus, the classic car takes you away from all the electronic gewgaws of modern cars, while increasing the value over time if you take good care of it.

Once you purchase a vehicle, it’s time to bring it up to full glory. But there are definitely some dos and don’ts in classic car restoration. Being experts in restoration and repair, we at JD’s have 30 years of experience in treating the classics with kit gloves. 

Ultimately, your first “DO” is figuring out your budget. Getting a classic car and restoring it can get pricey. There are a lot of little details, from finding the right parts and tuning the car up …well, detailing! You want to bring the auto back to life. Do it once; do it right. 

Your bottom line impacts the types of classic cars you can purchase. Suppose your budget is on the low end—scout around for a complete project (bumper to bumper). If you have a little more to spend, you can grab a partially restored project where someone got frustrated. They were exhausted by exhaust pipes!

Classic Car Restoration Do’s and Don’ts

DON’T skimp on time. Plan your work schedule. Rushing typically results in heartbreaking mistakes. Depending on the car’s condition, you can expect your project to take a year or more to complete. 

DO find a spot in which to work and seek out an owner’s manual. You want to keep the car shielded from harsh weather. You’ll also need a proper tool kit. If you have friends with restoration experience, they can help or even perhaps teach you a few tricks. 

DON’T think you can just drive the car as is. You need repairs and adjustments to meet modern legal standards. Unless you consider yourself an expert, it’s best to seek licensed professionals, like our classic car experts at JD’s automotive in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, for a safety check (think seatbelts and airbags).

DO use existing parts and/or OEM replacement parts. This effort keeps the car as close to the original as practicable. Yes, you can get refurbishments, which save money and time. It’s a personal choice. Try contacting salvage yards to see if they have a similar vehicle on the lot or if there are parts you can use. It’s definitely cheaper. Collectors groups are another excellent resource for ideas and leads. 

DON’T forget to assess and catalog the required parts. Keep a list and check it twice. Do you need wheels? Panels? Accessories? You’ll be glad you did. Or have our professionals at JD’s Automotive step in. Sometimes re-doing your car becomes a headache and stresses your free time with family.

DO consider adding some upgrades. For example, get an air conditioning unit or a great stereo system. This is where you start personalizing. 

DON’T feel bad about reaching out for help. You may run into issues you simply aren’t prepared or equipped to handle. Take, for example, the paint job. Of course, you want this to be perfection. But if you’ve never painted a car before, it’s time to contact us. You can call (215) 938-9270 or fill out our online form. We guarantee your complete satisfaction.

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