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Classic Restoration Car Tips


First decide what level of restoration. There are four types or levels.

Driver restoration – This is the most basic restoration where the vehicle is repaired to make it operational and safe to drive. Only minor cosmetic flaws are fixed. This is the best option if you want to have a working car for personal use.

Street show restoration – Under this level, the car is restored to full working condition, major cosmetic work is carried out to ensure looks good as new.

Show car restoration – The vehicle may need to undergo major repairs with professional assistance required. Once restored, you can display your vehicle in classic car shows and exhibitions.

Concourse restoration – This is the highest level and most expensive type of restoration. This is done on cars that are placed in private collections and exclusive classic auto shows.

Read The Owner’s Manual

Take the time to read the owner’s manual. A simple mistake caused by a lack of knowledge can lead to budget blowout. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, look for it online.

Use Existing Parts

You don’t have to replace every part. By repairing or refurbish existing components, you can save some money on your project.

Upgrade Parts If Needed

It’s a good idea to upgrade some parts. First on this list is the safety equipment. Many old cars have substandard seatbelts and do not have airbags. This is something that you have to prioritise if you are restoring your vehicle to use it again.

You can also upgrade the electronics, radio, and other systems including air-con which is a must have living in Australia.


Do not skip the mock-up. This process involves pre-fitting and gapping all body panels while they are in raw steel or primer before doing any finish work and paint job to ensure they all fit. If you skip this step, you will end up having doors, fenders, hoods, and other sheet metal that do not fit.

Don’t stick to old engine technology. To have a more reliable and safer driving experience, replace some components with newer, better versions. These include spark plug connections, air filters, brake lines and hoses.

Don’t set an unrealistic low budget. Classic car restoration projects are expensive. So, make sure you can afford it before committing to it. You also have to be ready for those unexpected costs.

Our knowledgeable team at American Auto Parts are passionate about car restorations and are here to help you find the quality, authentic parts you’re searching for. If you need some advice, call us on (02) 9769 0655 and we’ll be happy to help. Good luck

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