It’s a simple fact, but car owners love their cars. So much so that according to the International Carwash Association 64% of car owners talk to their cars and 27% give them pet names. An estimated 8 million vehicles a day are washed at car washes and that doesn include professional auto detail cleaning services. One of the many reasons people develop such a close relationship with an inanimate object is because they spend a lot of time and money on them, especially when it comes to classic car restoration.
There are a lot of resources available when it comes to classic car restoration tips and advice, but before you get to that point you must first decide what your final objective or goal is going to be. In order to do this efficiently you must determine what your budget is going to be and how you’re going to have the work done (professionally, friend, yourself). The answer to these questions will help you decide which of the following three levels of classic car restoration you’ll be able to afford.
1.) Driver Restoration: This is the basic level of car restoration. Typically very little cosmetic work is done, which saves a lot of money, but the final product will not be as flashy. Car detailing is usually about as far as you’d go in terms of cosmetic investments. The goal of this level is to restore the car to a point where it is fully functional and can be driven every day. It can be done professionally, but this might also be the kind of project a father and son would partake in as a bonding experience.
2.) Street/Show Car: Street show and show cars are two very similar levels. In both cases the car in question is restored to fully operational standards and all major cosmetic repairs and auto detailing is taken care of. Show cars are a small step above streets in terms of how they would be judged at a car show. A street show car would be in the 80-89 point range, while in order to qualify as a show car it would have to hit the 90 point standard.
3.) Concours: Concour cars come from the French term, Concours d’Elegance, which basically means competition of elegance. These are the cream of the crop in the show car world. You can expect to have to spend a significant amount of money on a classic car restoration project of this caliber. Virtually all of the work should be done by a professional with the ultimate goal being to enter it into a competition. In most cases, due to the time and money spent on them these cars are meant only for show and not to be driven.
Most of the repairs done on cars relate to their overall durability (four out of every five), but when it comes to certain levels of classic car restoration a greater emphasis is put on cosmetics and visual appeal. Depending on your budget and preferences you can decide which is right for you, but make sure you do before you get started.