If you’ve finally acquired an antique car and are ready to fulfill your dream of restoring it, you may find yourself grappling with equal parts excitement and confusion about where to begin. The event organizers at Hornets Nest Regional, AACA, host of North Carolina’s most famous antique car show, know that this project needn’t be out of reach for dedicated car enthusiasts. Below, they share the first three steps to help get your project off on the right foot.
Determine Your End Goal
First, you should determine your end goal for your new dream car. Are you looking to restore the car to original condition? Do you want a car that you'll use for recreation from time to time? Or are you hoping to show off your new ride at antique car shows? Answering these questions will help you to set a budget. Restoring antique cars to original factory condition is an expensive endeavor—often much more expensive than one would realize at the project’s onset. Whatever your decision, be sure you are comfortable with the budget required to reach your goal for the car.
Set a Schedule
How much time do you have to spend on restoration? And what defines "done" for your car? Setting a schedule for the project will help push you towards a final destination. It will also help you to stay focused during those frustrating moments as the project progresses.
Disassemble & Inventory All Parts
Once you've determined your goal, the next step is to disassemble the car and inventory all parts. You'll need a camera, a clipboard, and paper for this step. Start by taking photos of the car from every angle. You'll want interior photos, exterior photos, as well as photos of the engine bay. Next, start stripping the car down to the frame. As you remove each part, give it a part number and write it down on a piece of paper. This inventory will help you keep track of the parts you have as well as where to locate them when you are ready for them again.
Antique car restoration is a rewarding experience. The Charlotte AutoFair offers car collectors and antique car enthusiasts alike the opportunity to gather for four days of classic car showcases, knowledge sharing, and the chance to get their hands on hard-to-find parts. Learn more about the event by visiting them online. You can also call them at (704) 841-1990.