Tata Motor’s Land Rover plans to bring back a dozen classic cars from its range later this year. For $169,000 each, the company will sell a range of cars that look and feel just like some of their most popular cars over the past century. It’s part of a new trend that involves resurrecting vintage cars that used to be popular.
But you don’t have to wait for the manufacturers to bring back vintage cars that you love. If you’re willing to do the research and find the parts, you may be able to restore a classic car all by yourself. Here’s what you need to know:
Finding the car
This one isn’t as easy as you’d expect. If the sort of car you want to restore is extremely rare, finding one could be either impossible or really expensive. You may have to settle for a classic car that’s not close to your heart but is easier to find. Once you’ve found it you may have to restore it from scratch or pay someone else to sell you a partially restored car.
The next step is finding the parts. Some brands are easier to scout for than others. Corvette parts and accessories, for example, would be easier to find than a rare 1953 Austin-Healey. Here’s where your research skill will be handy. You need to start your search online and reach out to other vintage car enthusiasts to see what they know about the model you’re working with.
The restoration process is time consuming but to keep the costs low you may have to do most of the work yourself. Make sure you have a way to authenticate the car you’ve bought, verify every spare part you buy, store the car somewhere accessible, and have a fixed budget before you get started. You can, of course, reach out to an expert consultant when you need help, but be prepared to pay a high hourly rate for this sort of service.
Finding the right garage is also essential. You don’t want this meticulous process to end in disaster just because you left the car somewhere unsafe.
Restoring an old classic car is a passion project. The project takes longer than you would expect and will almost definitely cost more than your budget. Most car enthusiasts never finish what they started and the car stays in the garage for years before being sold onto someone else. At the end of this ordeal, don’t expect to sell the car for more than you paid for it. Restoring a classic car is about passion rather than profit.
If you’ve been handed down a rare old car that your grandfather preserved, it may be worth restoring it. The thousands of hours of hard work and research you’ll spend on restoring the car will be perfectly justified if you’re trying to protect a family heirloom.