Ever day dream about a classic car restoration for your classic motorcar? Most car enthusiast will say ‘yes,’ with many aspiring to one day do it all themselves. If you know a good deal about restoration and the labor involved, that might be a possibility. It can be the greatest labor of love, and with lots of spare time and patience (and the right tools and know-how) it can become your greatest achievement yet, or very least an ambitious hobby.
For the vast majority of people, unfortunately, classic car restoration is best left to the professionals. The steps are intricate and detailed, with the mistakes costly, (and quite noticeable). Car restoration, after all, is a specialized form of art, following very distinct steps, and requires the most skilled of hands. But if you think you are up to the task, so be it: here’s a handy guide to help get you started.
Steps To A Classic Car Restoration
There are several intricate steps involved in a classic car restoration, all of which require a keen and skilled eye and hand. The car needs to be broken all the way down, worked on in distinct sequential phases, and fully reassembled. Each step requires a great deal of patience, skill, and time. That said, the end result can truly be worth all of the work and time required.
Disassembly is the first step in any classic car restoration. There are varying degrees of disassembly, depending on the project. This can range from taking off a few parts to breaking down the entire vehicle all the way to its bare-bones frame. The disassembly step can be quite an endeavor and is usually very labor-intensive.
You’ll also need to take inventory of every part you take off, and take note of the ones that need work or repair. That way the parts that need to replace or restored are done so, and so you do not lose any parts.
Sheet Metal Repair
Sheet metal repair can use different techniques including bending, beading, and stamping for specialized metal forming.
Beading can be used for the detail work found on car panels or for doing edging. It most often involves bead rollers that have a set of round dies to roll shapes into the metal panels.
Bending entails using a metal press brake to create curved surfaces on the sheet metal. If straight sheet metal brakes are used, sheet metal can be bent up to 135 degrees. More advanced sheet metal machines can also create panels that have unique designs or shapes. The work can become quite intricate.
Stamping makes use of a stamping press which has numerous dies, allowing for forming and cutting metal into more specialized shapes. The most experienced classic car restorers often prefer stamping to recreate inner panels and fenders.
Fabrication can include a variety of actions in a classic car restoration. It can mean repairing corrosion and making panel form corrections. It can also mean fitting the suspension with the tires and wheels to make sure that the clearance needed is verified.
Bodywork on a classic car restoration is one of the biggest tasks you can undertake. Not only is your car likely to have typical scratches and dents but depending on the age and overall condition of your car, it may also have areas that are corroded to some degree. If the corroded areas are rather small, it is possible to use acidic rust treatments to repair them. However, if the area is large, you will need to remove the corroded area in order to weld in new metal plates. You are most likely to see this type of restoration needed along sill panels or around wheel arches. Keep in mind that as this work requires a great deal of skill and experience, it is best to leave bodywork up to a professional.
Take it from us, paint is messy. It is temperamental. It can make or break a classic car restoration. And it is also a health risk. In other words, unless you know what you are doing, you likely want to make sure that your paint job is done by a professional paint sprayer. They will make sure that the original colors are used, and that the painted is sprayed on perfectly. Plus, a pro paint job will give your vehicle a more authentic feel, adding to its resale value and street-cred.
Assembly is just that: the step where all of the pieces come together, putting the car back together like an intricate LEGO-build. It showcases all of the work performed on the vehicle, and is very intricate and time consuming (and a nightmare if you make a mistake). Best to leave that one up to the professionals, as well.
Work With Robs Customs and Restorations On Your Custom Car Restoration
Do you have a classic car restoration project in mind? Consider working with Robs Customs and Restorations. Whether your classic car requires just minor restoration work or if it needs a completely new body (and upholstery), our shop is equipped and ready to assist you on your build. We will handle all of your restoration needs from beginning to end.