5 Automotive Restoration Project Pitfalls to Avoid

Everyone who loves cars loves classic cars, but those antique and vintage rides are rarely up to working condition, let alone restored to their original condition. Years of disuse, disrepair, and neglect can wreak havoc on a classic automobile, but returning the old beauty to her original glory isn’t a project for the amateur or the faint of heart – restoring antique cars can be a stressful, frustrating, and complex process, let alone the cost involved. Rather than stumbling into a car restoration project with blinders on, consider these common pitfalls and your entire experience will go a lot smoother.


Whether you decide to use your own garage or use a dedicated shop to complete your project, the questions are the same: what can you afford and how versatile is the location? Until you’ve answered these questions and consulted with a mechanic to assess the scope of the project, you can’t really begin in earnest. Minor projects can generally be completed with few tools or commonly-found equipment, but large-scale restoration projects that involve painting, engine rebuilding, and detail work are often best left to a professional, well-equipped shop.

Investment or Endless Money Pit?

Of course, if your car holds nothing more than sentimental value, there’s probably very little reason to invest in a restoration project. Even if you consider your car to be valuable, it’s pretty silly to dump several thousands of dollars into a car that won’t offer you a return on your investment. Consult with online resources, trusted professionals, and experienced restoration shops to find out more about your classic car’s value before you make a large monetary commitment in its restoration. 

Finding the Right Partner for Your Budget

We all understand the financial realities of restoring a classic car, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t outsource some – or even the majority – of the work. Finding the right partner to help you with the more difficult aspects of the restoration without breaking the bank is crucial, so we’d recommend contacting several restoration shops and finding one with both experience and the ability to keep you abreast of any complications or problems that may impact your stated budget. 

Working Beyond Your Abilities

Just because you change your own oil doesn’t make you a seasoned mechanic. Keeping your car on the road and rebuilding an entire engine are two very different things and as such, require different specialties and equipment. Rather than pushing your own limitations and causing potentially catastrophic damage to your precious vehicle, trust a trained mechanic who specializes in vehicle restorations and keep your investment secure. 

Sourcing Parts and Accessories

The older and rarer your vehicle is, the fewer chances there are original or even reproduction parts and accessories readily available. In order to return your car to its original condition, you’ll want to get as close as possible to the factory elements as possible. With a vast network of resources at our disposal, Interstate Auto Body and Truck can quickly locate and order every part you need to restore your classic car to like-new condition. Contact us today to discuss your project and find out how we’ve helped hundreds of classic car owners bring their beloved vehicles back to working condition.

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