Is your car old and decrepit, and in need of some extra love and attention to bring it back to working condition? Or perhaps you finally bought the 1970 Ford Mustang (or the 1930’s Model A) you have been eyeing since you were a kid, but it needs some work done to bring it back to life. If any of these situations apply to you, you may be looking into car restoration services. But what is car restoration anyway, and what does it entail? Read on to discover the answer to these questions and to find out about the different types of restoration options available.
What is Car Restoration?
Car restoration involves restoring a vehicle to its original working condition. This includes restoration of the exterior, interior, and possibly the engine as well. Not to be confused with refurbishment (which is simply a minor renovation, be it a reupholstered interior or a new transmission) car restoration leaves the car looking and running as it did when it first left the manufacturer. Literally, as good as new.
Exterior and Interior Restoration
So, just what makes a restored car worthy of being labeled “restored?” Truth be told, car restoration takes a lot of man hours (and skills) and compromises everything from interior fixes (be it an engine swap, transmission change or suspension upgrade, to exterior changes, such as a new paint job or fixes to the frame of the vehicle. Learn more about each of these restorations below:
Exterior restoration takes on the form of repairing or replacing areas have that accumulated rust, replacing faded or broken glass, removal of dents, and replacing headlights that have become foggy over time.
The most important factor in the exterior restoration of classic cars is making sure the car’s frame is aligned and straightened. If the frame is not properly aligned, your classic car is not going to get very far. Fixing dents, replacing mirrors, windows, and headlights are also common.
Anything older than 25 years is considered an antique car and may require more work depending on its condition. Cars back then were made of all metal parts, so rust buildup generally a huge issue among antiques. A lot of time will be spent either removing the rust, or replacing rusted parts (bumpers, fenders, hoods, etc.) with original parts that are rust-free.
Muscle cars are performance based, so if you have one that’s underperforming due to wear and tear on the body, an exterior restoration may be just what you need to get it back to its original working condition. Common exterior restorations include replacing worn parts with new factory parts, and a fresh paint job.
Just like restoring cars, rust can be a big issue on trucks, so a lot of exterior restoration will be spent on either fixing or replacing rusted parts. With trucks, however, you will often find ones that need a new tailgate, as this is the most used part of the truck body.
As for the bed itself, if the truck has had a decent bed liner all that may need to be done is removing the bed liner, cleaning out the bed (possibly touching up the paint), and then putting in a new bed liner.
When getting your car professionally restored, the interior is just as important as the exterior. Materials like wood, cloth, or leather will begin to fade and fall apart over time and need to be replaced. If the car has been sitting unused for a long time, there will also be mold, rotting, and other issues brought on by decay.
Seating may also need to be stripped and re-upholstered, and instrument paneling, car radios, and flooring may also need to be replaced.
The most common interior items to be fixed or replaced during a restoration are the seat covers, door panels, and headliners. However, the great thing about classic cars is that original parts can be easily purchased.
With antique cars, the most common restoration done on the interior is stripping the seats down to the wire frame. It is very rare for the seats to still be in good condition, especially if the car is more than 30 years old.
Restoring the interior of a muscle car is often more about ensuring one’s safety than mending aesthetics. Muscle cars tend to be driven a lot (go figure) which often causes their gauges to break from overuse. If your car’s gauges have stopped performing properly, you may find yourself more focused on that while you are driving, which could be dangerous. For these reasons, when it comes to internal restorations, replacing or restoring the instrument panel is usually the most common restoration, and generally a good call.
Trucks tend to be heavy-duty vehicles, and as such the inside will often take as much of a beating as the outside. Boots covered in mud and gravel will wear down the flooring, and the seats (especially the driver’s seat) will likely have seen a lot of wear and tear, as well.
Let Rob’s Customs & Restorations Handle All Your Restoration Needs
Whether you just want to drive your classic car around town, or show it off to your friends, it is important to make sure your restorations are done properly, so that your car looks and performs as good as it did in its prime. Fortunately, the team at Rob’s Customs and Restorations has years of extensive experience restoring cars of all styles and types. Bring in yours today to get your car or truck back to its original working condition in no time!
Have a restoration question? Give us a call at Rob’s Customs & Restorations to inquire about our prices and services.