Restoration process: Disassembly, assessment, repairs, paint, reassembly. Requires extensive knowledge and skill

The Costs and Processes of Classic Car Restoration

VWB Blog 1 year ago 21

A rusty old classic car sitting in your barn can be much more than a piece of pointless junk.

Classic cars are an undeniable treasure trove of automotive history, representing the pinnacle of design and engineering from past eras. However, restoring your own classic car will require more than just a good cleaning.

But where do you begin? What are the estimated costs of a classic car restoration? What will the whole process entail?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

The Restoration Process

The restoration process of classic cars typically involves the following steps:

Assessment of the Car’s Condition

Assessing the car’s condition includes checking for rust, dents, and other damage. A thorough inspection will help you determine the extent of the restoration required and the cost involved.

Sourcing Parts

Sourcing parts for classic vehicle restoration can be a challenge, especially for rare models. Original parts are preferred, but they can be expensive and difficult to find. In some cases, aftermarket parts may be used as replacements. It’s important to ensure that the replacement parts are of good quality and fit the car properly.


Bodywork is often the most time-consuming part of restoring a classic car. It involves repairing dents and rust and repainting the car. The bodywork process requires a lot of skill and attention to detail, and it can be expensive.

Mechanical Work

Mechanical work involves repairing or replacing the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and other components. The extent of the mechanical work required will depend on the condition of the car. In some cases, the entire engine may need to be rebuilt.

Upholstery and Interior

Upholstery and interior restoration involve replacing or repairing the seats, dashboard, door panels, and other components. This can be expensive, especially if the original materials are used.

Electrical Work

Electrical work involves repairing or replacing the car’s electrical system, including the wiring, lights, and gauges. This can be a complex process and may require the services of a specialized mechanic.

The Cost of Classic Car Restoration

The cost to restore a classic car can range from a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars. Some of the factors that can affect the cost of restoration are:

Labor Costs

Labor costs in a classic car restoration are a significant part of the restoration process and can account for the majority of the total cost. Restoring a car involves disassembling it and restoring each part individually, a process that requires a significant amount of time and expertise.

Cost of Parts

The cost of parts can also vary depending on the rarity and availability of parts. Parts of some classic cars may be challenging to find, making them more expensive.

Cost of Transportation, Storage, and Insurance

The initial costs involve the car towing from its current location to the shop or garage where the restoration will take place. Storage costs also need to be factored into the process, which can vary based on the condition of the car. Insurance for the car during the restoration process is also an important factor to consider, as an accident or theft can significantly impact the costs.

Learn the Joys of Classic Car Restoration

Car restoration is an expensive and time-intensive process, and not all vintage cars may be justified to return to their former glory. Research the costs, processes, and classic car restoration services available to you beforehand. Talk to an expert and get started today!

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