Collaboration

A Hobby With a Purpose: Restoring Your Old Car

Pretty much every man over the age of 12, and a lot of women, too, have that daydream about restoring an old classic car. Whether the vehicle of your dreams belonged to Dad, to Grandpa, or it’s your old high school ride, those nostalgia feelings are hard to ignore…and many of us have spent countless hours dreaming about restoring that automotive beauty to its former glory. 

Photo Credit: Jose Mueses

For those of us who haven’t seen that dream realized: what are you waiting for? 

Restoring a car is one of those hobbies that’s great to engage in for myriad reasons. If you’re going to have a little mid-life crisis, it’s a relatively harmless thing to engage in, for starters. But also, there’s something special, something that’s good for the soul, about taking something that’s seen better days; ready for the junkyard – and bringing it back to where it once was with your own hands.

Studies have shown that working with your hands is good for the brain. It relieves stress, gives you something to focus on other than work, and gives you an end goal to strive for. It’s kind of its own form of therapy, in a way. Not to mention it can be a bonding activity if you enlist a buddy, your kid, your wife or a family member to assist. 

You don’t have to have a ton of money put away to begin work on an old car, either. Lots of folks start with just a shell of a vehicle and a few cans of paint. You can work at your own pace, buying and finding parts as you go; check sites like eBay, Amazon and more; peruse used car lots for parts on the weekends. You can even trade parts with other car enthusiasts all over the web. The beauty of restoring a car is that it doesn’t matter how long you take to get it restored. The fun part is in the work, rather than the finished result. 

Below are a few of the best parts of restoring an old car: 

Paint

The paint job is arguably the most important – at least among the aesthetic portion – parts of restoring a car. You want a sleek, shiny, professional paint job that makes your car look like it just rolled out of the showroom. Finding the best automotive paint supply is really important. Whether you hire someone to paint for you, or you’re doing it yourself, choosing the right paint is key. 

Tires and Rims

Another really important part of restoring a car. You’ve got to choose the perfect tires and rims to complete your classic car and make it stand out without looking like you’re trying too hard. This is one are where you should be willing to pay a little extra; it’s worth it. 

Interiors

We all want supple leather seats, but they can be pricey. Scouring for the right deals can help you find a great interior for your vehicle, at a fraction of the cost. You can also look into restoring the original interior, if it isn’t in terrible shape. If you’re not up to the task, you can hire a professional to assist you; they are often pretty reasonable, and it’s easy to shop around and get a few quotes. 

The Right System

Who doesn’t want a system in their classic car? But if you don’t know what you’re doing, trying to install a new system in an old car could really mess things up. Make sure you do some research, or better yet, hire someone to help you install the system of your choice. 

Though we’re partial to keeping it all original – those old timey radios are cool. 

The Guts

All that visual stuff is great, but it doesn’t amount to much of anything if the car doesn’t run. Before you even begin the visual overhaul, you should be looking at every aspect of the car’s engine, seeing what needs to be repaired, what needs to be replaced, and how best to fix any issues at cost. 

Before you begin any renovation work, be sure to remove the battery and drain the gas from the car for safety. 

Stop just thinking about restoring that classic car and get to work! There’s no sense in letting it just collect rust in your yard. Once you’ve finished, you’ll have a point of pride that’s also an amazing investment; best of all, you’ll have a gorgeous piece of machinery that will give you hours of driving pleasure for years to come. Enjoy the ride!