For anybody interested in restoring a classic car, it’s a fun hobby with hours of satisfaction. Unfortunately, it’s also a process full of potholes, no pun intended. Here are a number of tips that can help you get started:
Look for the Easy Restoration
Depending on your level of knowledge, consider finding the easiest cars to restore. The makes and models that you see available in a sale qualify when they have a significant parts network and a robust Internet support base. The 1970 Ford Mustang and a second generation Chevrolet Camaro are good examples because the parts are around and enthusiasts come out of the woodwork. The 1928 Ford Model A and the 1929 Chevrolet Cabriolet were both hugely popular cars in their day, and you can still find them abandoned in barns or fields. The availability of parts is often a make-or-break aspect of car restoration. Many enthusiasts post thoughts on the Internet, so finding intriguing discussions can be an important resource.
Consider the amount of money you’ll need
Salvage yards should not charge more 40-percent of the retail cost of parts and could go as low as 20-percent, so the junkyard is an inexpensive source for parts. Be sure to know the price of new or refurbished parts before you crawl under cars with tools in hand. Newly manufactured or refurbished parts often sit on a shelf waiting to be sold, so you can purchase parts faster, but it’s more expensive too. The cosmetic parts of cars like trim pieces, side mirrors and headlight rims are often manufactured for the collectible market.
The real cost of restoration multiplies if you hire someone to do it for you. Unfortunately, you might find that you’re underwater with your investment after you hire a professional. If you can afford it, a professional car restoration can be the best way to go. On the other hand, if you do it yourself, you’ll save thousands of dollars. In addition, you must take care to get the right gas pump or canvas roof piece if you’re doing an authentic restoration.
Consider foreign made cars
European cars like the Volvo and Volkswagen from the 1960s and 1970s enjoyed significant sales in the United States. They’re in vogue today. Sometimes, they’re easier to find than the ’71 Ford Mustangs or the ‘62 Chevy pickups. Foreign cars also appreciate significantly in value so you could actually see a return on investment. It should be obvious that this is one item on your list that requires research.
The Bondo body repair on a car isn’t going to be even marginally acceptable with collectors, so unless you believe you can find a fender for a rusty ’71 Nova for sale, don’t buy the car. Some states use heavy road salt and it's not a good idea to buy that state's cars. Cars that lived their life near a saltwater body like the Atlantic Ocean are also suspect. Be sure to closely examine the body and the frame. If the frame has rust problems, do not purchase the car.
Anybody with an interest in restoring a classic car should never believe it’s out of their reach. Do your homework and get started. It’s a fun hobby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.