Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Customize classic car restoration

Classic car restoration learning to rebuild and customize as you go adventureThis blog article is designed to take you on a journey, a collector car journey. When you're finished, you will have preserved more than just a historic remnant;
you will have visible proof of craftsmanship---a quality our society has nearly lost---on display in your garage. Before getting sidetracked by the end result, however, let's talk about where we begin the muscle car restoration.

Quite likely the starting point will be selecting and purchasing a collector car to restore. Although the term "old car" is frequently heard, "collector car" is a better descriptor. With cars, as with people, "old" is a relative term; it's said we're as old as we think ourselves to be: the age we'd be if we couldn't see ourselves in the mirror. Likewise with a collector car. There are bona fide collector vehicles less than 10 years old. While an owner of such a vehicle would feel foolish to say, "lets go for a ride in my 'old' car," we're talking about vehicles that have already achieved preservation status. From there the age of collector vehicles retreats to the dawn of the motoring age. What's important is to select the collector vehicle that fits your interest, resources, and purpose.
 Define Your Goal

Another reason not to start your restoration by taking the car completely apart: not all cars need to---or should---be reduced to their pieces.  There are different types of muscle car restoration. For some, the goal will be to make the car "factory new,"  actually probably better than it came from the factory, but looking every bit as bright and shiny as it did sitting on the showroom floor. For others the goal may be "nearly new," still bright bright and shiny but not so perfect that it can't be driven. Other cars that have received loving preservation may need minimal restoration--some chrome renewed or a worn seat cushion replaced to look nearly factory fresh. These lovingly preserved original cars possess a quality restoration can't duplicate---a slight patina that comes with age and gives the car an heirloom look. If you're fortunate to find such a collector car, hopefully you'll preserve rather than restore it.

 There's More than One Way to Restore a Collector Car

If you're like most classic car enthusiasts, as soon as you have your "new" old car at home in your garage, you'll be tempted to attack it, tools in hand. Repeatedly you'll be cautioned against taking this learn to rebuild aproach. A one or two day fit of disassembly can leave a car so scattered in pieces that 15 or even 20 years later there's a fender here, an engine there, a body rusting in outside storage, the title lost along with so many small parts and odds and ends that putting everything back together would daunt even a professional restorer.

Instead of wholesale disassembly, we'll proceed on a saner tact, a method loudly preached and wisely practiced by one of the nation's leading collector car restorers, John Twist, proprietor o University Motors Ltd., in Grand Rapids, Michigan. John Twist's approach : Take off one assembly at a time and rebuild it before proceeding to the next. "That way," says John, "if your boss suddenly promotes you to Istanbul, you can quickly put the car back together--- maybe even load it in a container and take it with you." Otherwise, if you're looking at a shop full of pieces, who knows the car's ultimate fate?

To guide your decision on the muscle car restoration approach, you'll want to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the car's original appearance (so you can determine what's been changed and what you want the car to look like), its mechanical specifications, its strong and weak points, as well as its history (how many were made, and its role on the automotive stage). Learning about the car calls for research, which is done in a variety of ways: attending shows, looking at similar cars, and talking to owners; subscribing to collector car hobby magazines; joining clubs; and aquiring service manuals, sales brochures, as well as more recently written books describing the car.

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