Classic car restoration remains a growing industry, although many people simply consider it a pastime that can take up long stretches of time. Although the Buick Riviera – a now-rare model that General Motors first manufactured in the 1960s as a supposedly revolutionary car – is among the most popular classic vehicles to restore, there are dozens of other models that can be restored in different ways. According to America’s Car Museum president and CEO David Madeira, the Specialty Equipment Market Association estimated that the automotive restoration market in the United States created approximately $1.4 billion in sales of retail parts in 2014. This figure does not include the amount generated by labor and installation or by the sale of collector cars.
It’s important to note that classic automobiles can generally be categorized according to one of three labels: original, restored, or resto-mod. Here are some details on these types of cars, and how you can potentially let your personality shine through them.
A genuinely original vehicle, which is rare to find today, is one that has visibly been maintained throughout the years, both mechanically and aesthetically, and that has had none of its parts replaced. Repairs for original cars are typically minor. “Matching numbers” are a distinguishing characteristic of original cars that makes them valuable. These are serial numbers that were cast or stamped on an automobile’s main pieces (transmission, engine, alternator, etc.) during production and should either match the vehicle’s other components or can refer to the numbers of the facility where the car was produced, the date it was manufactured, or its series. These numbers were used before the advent of VINs, which became standardized during the 1980s.
Restored cars are vehicles that have been revamped utilizing original factory components. New old stock (NOS) parts are typically used to restore classic cars. These are old parts that have never been sold at retail locations. The time and cost it takes to secure these parts are often significant. Thus, several cars are often restored with new parts that have been made to the original specs. Essentially, a restored car should appear and operate exactly as it did when it came off an assembly line. Chevy cars (Camaros, Chevelles, Novas) are often considered easy to restore.
Resto-mod vehicles have been restored, yet modified, by using contemporary parts and technological tools. You generally have to peer under the hood in order to see these changes. These types of interior modifications are often performed to remain in compliance with emissions standards or to add safety features like brakes, airbags or GPS systems. Upgrading an engine can also help increase fuel efficiency. In any case, the car’s exterior should ultimately remain the same.
Of course, it’s always imperative to set a budget and time-frame before undertaking a classic car restoration project, so don’t forget to do this. Additionally, don’t hesitate to ask for help from people who have more experience with car restoration projects. They may surprise you with the advice they offer.
Work With the Car Restoration Experts at Robs
Speak to the experienced professionals at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia to learn more about what type of car restoration project is right for you given your unique goals and interests. We have experience working with several types of classic cars and can help you get your dream vehicle, whether you’re simply seeking minor repairs or looking for a complete overhaul.
At Robs, the classic car restoration process involves both bodywork and interior modifications. After all, an adequately aligned and straightened frame is essential for any vehicle to drive openly on most roads. We will work tirelessly to disassemble any parts of your car and replace them with higher-quality components. We also provide rust repair, as no vehicle is entirely resistant to corrosion. In a humid climate, the oxidation of a car can rapidly reach a high level, especially if it has already sustained a large number of dents and scratches over the years. Finally, Robs offers custom paint jobs designed to reflect your unique tastes as well as four different types of engine swaps: an LS Swap, a Fuel Injected Swap, a Coyote Swap and a Hemi Swap.
Robs is dedicated to making customers feel like family as soon as they enter the shop. We will verify that your classic car surpasses expectations and passes any required inspections. Call us today at (703) 552-5001 or contact us online to receive a free estimate or for more information about our services.