Part 3 of 5 – Is Your Pride Ride a Goner?
Here are some rules of thumb and warning signs you can use to help discern the hard-won victory of a beautiful showpiece from a never-ending money pit.
Classic cars can sometimes demand a specialized or outdated system of tools to be used in repairs. While a handy workman can figure out ways to make do, for the novices among us it’s possible that jerry-rigging a solution in pursuit of a better look or faster fix could end up costing more than the time it takes to understand the way a part is built in the first place.
You may seek out period-appropriate tools that would be cost and effort-prohibitive in most cases. But remember where your classic came from, why and how it was designed, and how to take those factors into account when determining how you’re going to rebuild or restore. If you don’t know the “why,” it will be a lot harder to make sense of the “how,” and in the end you could damage your project or even yourself. Have a good sense of the tools you will require before getting started.
Wheels and Tires
One of the most vexing issues with classic car restorations is the simple fact that wheels and tires can vary so much across the years. Tires are the only parts of any vehicle designed to wear out, which means that finding a suitable match can be one of the most difficult parts of any project. Once again, it’s important to keep in mind exactly what you’ve started on this project and what you wish to accomplish. Is it to have a car to drive, to exhibit, to preserve or just to show off?
There are as many reasons to begin with this tradition and hobby as there are cars on the road, and you should let this impulse drive your budget and the expenses you’re willing to take on. Obviously, a street-legal vehicle is less likely to be 100 percent mint once all is said and done, but you could spend a lot of time trying to find an acceptable substitute for something like the interior or a tire. Whether or not you’re willing to slide a little on authenticity, or pay more for it, depends entirely on what you want out of your car once you’ve completed the restoration.