A classic car can be a true thing of beauty, a timeless masterpiece that grabs attention wherever it goes. But if it's to get attention for the right reasons, a body restoration might be in order. After all, due to their age, classic cars have been through a lot, which takes its toll and often leaves them in a less than desirable state.
Fortunately, a classic that needs a lot of work done on its body can sometimes be had for a bargain price. If you're considering buying an older vehicle to restore, make sure you think about these points first.
Try and work out the long-term cost
This should, and probably does, go without saying, but a body restoration project could potentially cost a fair bit, so it's vital that you work out the sort of money you're looking at before buying a car.
If possible, get extensive and detailed photos of the vehicle and take them to a professional to get their opinion. They may be able to give you a rough estimate of the total cost so you can work out whether you can afford to invest or not.
When you're looking at a vehicle, keep an eye out for serious rust that's eaten away at the outer shell, chassis or any other parts of the body. This could be extremely costly to restore, possibly requiring the ordering of custom replacements, and could be a good reason to move on from that particular car.
Get a second opinion
Don't just trust your own opinion. If possible, get a professional to take a look at the car for you before you buy. They might just spot that expensive piece of damage you missed, saving you a small fortune.
If you can't get a professional, at least try and reach out to your wider circle of friends for someone with the experience and knowledge to take a look for you.
Find out the availability of parts
It's not just the initial restoration cost you need to think about. Over the course of its life, a restored classic car will most likely need more work done to it.
Get hold of some parts catalogues and look online to find out how easily available replacements are and what they'll cost you if you need them.
Make sure you're certain
Restoring the bodywork of a classic car is a potentially huge commitment in terms of time and money. Before you get your wallet out, make sure you're absolutely sure of the vehicle you're looking at. Only take the plunge if you're certain you'll want to keep it and enjoy it for years to come.