It takes dedication, knowledge and patience to properly restore classic vehicles. When a classic car or truck is properly restored, it is valued at the highest possible price. Professionally restored cars also look more beautiful and run more efficiently. Proper restoration means using original or appropriate parts when making repairs or replacements. A classic car is only as valuable as the parts used to recreate it. Locating obsolete parts and making them work is part of the art of restoring classic cars to their original beauty.
When you decide to restore a classic car, enlist the assistance of professionals. Even if you are mechanically inclined, classic vehicles are a challenge to restore. Authentic parts must be used to ensure authenticity. Maintenance includes painstaking cleaning with specialized agents that won’t harm the delicate exterior and interior of your classic vehicle.
From antiques to modern classics, getting hard-to-find parts is a major job unless you deal with auto industry experts. Specialty parts and accessories dealers have access to unique original and after market replacement parts necessary to maintain your classic car.
Restoration begins with the engine, powertrain, exhaust parts and accessories. A totally restored classic car not only looks good but runs well, too. The engine should be clean and running smoothly. The transmission must be ready to run under all conditions. Exhaust systems and parts must meet current emission standards.
Once your basics are restored, you need to get the chassis, brakes and suspension in proper working order. When the engine is ready to go, the rest of the car needs to be ready to accommodate it. Part of proper maintenance is checking the fluids, chemicals and lubricants that keep a classic car running smoothly.
If you store your car for the winter or in between shows, it is essential to drain or change certain fluids. Universal joints should be freshly greased if the car has lube fittings. Grease suspension and steering fittings and pack the front wheel bearings. Bleed the brakes and replace old fluid with fresh fluid. If your classic car will be stored for several months, drain the fuel tank and cooling system and remove the battery.
Your maintenance routine is also based on where you store your classic vehicle. If your classic car is outside, more maintenance is required to keep the car in top shape. When you store your classic vehicle in a garage, it is better protected against the elements so less frequent maintenance is required.
Once your car is detailed and restoration parts are installed, protect your pride and joy with a cover. Cotton and flannel covers breathe so air circulates to keep your paint and wax looking shiny. Polyester/cotton blends trap in heat and moisture so they are less effective. Plastic covers do not breathe and should be avoided.