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Restoration vs. Modification: Finding the Balance for Your Classic Car

Most classic cars need some TLC to eliminate damage and make them road-ready. There are two possible solutions in the improvement process: modification or restoration. This article will look at both options to help you determine which is right for you.

Restoration and Modification: What’s the Difference?

Restoration involves upgrading a car while maintaining its DNA. It requires finding all original parts for the vehicle. If the restorer cannot find the original pieces, an expert will find or customize pieces that are true to the car’s DNA.

There are two types of restoration as follows:

  • Frame On: A frame restoration involves upgrading the car’s body, motor, interior, paint, and trunk. The restorer will replace damaged parts only.
  • Frame Off: This more expensive process involves disassembling the car to examine the frame and all the parts to determine which will be replaced, repainted, or reconditioned.

Modification (often called restomod) involves upgrading the car to feature modern comfort and conveniences. Owners may want to remodel the vehicle so it features GPS units. Or they may change the interior to make the car more comfortable.

Some people have different opinions regarding which category a car falls in: restored and or modified. Most agree that a car with upgraded original parts is a restored vehicle. 

Others say a restored car must bear its original rust and dents.  Owners may replace nonworking parts if necessary. 

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Pros and Cons 

Car enthusiasts have long debated which is better, a modification or a restoration. Here are the pros and cons of each.

  • Cost: Restoration is more expensive. It will cost owners more to find all-original parts for their vehicles.
  • Resale: Restored vehicles tend to fetch more at resale. However, they may be harder to sell. Some buyers may prefer modern amenities in their vehicles.
  • Drivability: A modified car with modern parts will hold up better for people who plan to use it as an everyday vehicle.
  • For Showings: If you plan to enter your vehicle in car shows and hope to win awards, you will be better off with a restored vehicle. 
  • Insurance: The modifications you make to your vehicle can affect your insurance. Talk to your agent to ensure your policy covers all losses and damages.
  • Registration: Vehicle modifications can put your car in a different registration class. Review your state requirements to ensure your car is street-ready.

Modification or Restoration: Which is Right for Me?

There is no right or wrong when choosing between modification and restoration. Your choice depends on your budget and what you plan to use the car for. Consider all factors before you decide which is suited to your needs.

JD’s Auto Restoration Handles a Variety of Services

JD’s Auto Restoration is a recommended choice for modifications and restorations. We provide various services and performance upgrades. We handle any vehicle make, model, or year.

Determine your classic car goals. Then contact JD’s Auto Restoration. We will make your dreams come true.

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