Restoring a car from the ground up is going to be incredibly satisfying, but it is important to remember that these types of projects can be frustrating and time-consuming if you aren’t careful. You will need to plan ahead and be as flexible as possible so that you can overcome any roadblocks that you encounter. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that people run into when restoring old vehicles.

Be Patient When Choosing

It might be tempting to pick up the first eye-catching car or truck that you come across, but that isn’t always the best course of action. You should consider quite a few variables before you even think about handing over any money for a vehicle. In addition to coming up with a solid budget, you should also do quite a bit of research on some of the vehicles that you are interested in. Once you have done that research, there is a much smaller chance that you will get ripped off.

Choose the Proper Type of Restoration

There are many different levels of restoration, and each level has its own pros and cons. A street restoration is a great option for beginners, but those who want a nicer vehicle should consider a street show restoration. That type of restoration fixes all of the mechanical issues as well as most major cosmetic issues. Show car and Concours (mint condition) restorations are much more difficult, and many experts spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on those vehicles.

Join a Local Makerspace

You are going to need a good collection of basic automotive tools in your own workshop, but you might not be ready to invest in specialized tools like an engine hoist or a car lift. Luckily, many cities throughout the country now have communal makerspaces that carry those tools. For a small monthly fee, you can join a makerspace and use all of the tools that they have. Some of those organizations even offer classes and one-on-one tutoring.

Find a Trusted Parts Supplier

One of the best ways to save money while restoring a vehicle is to find a local salvage yard with a good collection of vehicles. Instead of ordering custom parts online, you will be able to head to the yard and pull out any auto parts or components that you need. As an added bonus, whenever you take pieces out of your project car, you can then sell those items back to the salvage yard.

Once you are ready to hit the road in your restored vehicle, you must make sure that it is covered with the proper insurance policy. Generic insurance usually isn’t a good option for classic cars and trucks, and that means you will need to customize a policy if you want to protect all of your hard work.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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