One of the biggest barriers for many who want to get into classic muscle car restoration is cost. Any restoration is a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to eat up your bank account. If you play it smart and plan ahead, you can restore the car of your dreams without winding up in the red.
Set Aside Space
Restoration can mean taking an entire car apart and putting it back together, so make sure you have enough space to do so. Don’t rent from someone else; this will drain your budget before you even start. Instead, clean out your garage or spruce up the shed you never use. The area can serve as storage once the restoration is complete.
Have a Complete Plan
Knowing what you have to do for each step of the restoration before beginning will save you from surprise expenses. While it’s not possible to foresee every potential expenditure, a plan helps you work within your budget by allowing you to project costs. You’ll also have a clear list of all the parts and tools you need so you won’t wind up having to spend extra money and time fixing unintended mistakes.
Do the Work Yourself
Sending parts of your muscle car out to be restored by professionals is too expensive when operating on a budget. Be prepared to do as much of the work as you can on your own and ask knowledgeable friends for help if you get stuck. As long as you have the necessary skills or know someone who does, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the restoration done.
Always Shop Around
Over the course of the restoration job, you’ll need to invest in different parts and tools. For example, finishing the bodywork will require paint and something to apply it with. Refer back to the plan you made when starting the restoration and use it to compare prices on everything. Be meticulous about authenticity, but don’t spend yourself into debt trying to get every detail perfect. Know where you can make compromises while still staying true to the muscle car spirit.
Don’t Expect a Profit
Never go into a classic car restoration with the idea that it’s going to give you a big payback. Even when working on a budget, you’ll put in a lot of money as well as a great deal of time. Don’t expect to get back what you spend buying the car and investing in what you need to return it to its original condition. Choose a car you love and do the restoration because you want to return it to its former glory. If you do decide to sell it, set aside any preconceived ideas about what the model should sell for and simply enjoy the enthusiasm that others show for your hard work.