Which car to buy for restoration is a big decision. There are many things you need to consider, but the first question you need to ask yourself is how much money and time can I afford to spend restoring a car. When you have an unlimited amount of money to spend, then you can just buy the car you like the most. When money is tight, you have to be much more careful in your choice. Look for a car that is more common, for which parts are easily available and for a car that needs a minimal amount of work.
How much of the restoration work you can do yourself will also affect the type of car you can afford to restore. If you are very skilled then you can cut the cost of restoration by up to 50%. In this way, you can afford to take on a bigger restoration project than someone who has to pay professionals to do most of the work for them.
Before you buy a car for restoration check that you can source parts and skilled labour in your area. Speak to owners clubs for help with this part of the process. They know which garages and mechanics are used to working with the make and model of car that you are interested in buying and restoring. Speak to those mechanics that you find about how much they charge and how busy they are. Some are so in demand that they have up to a years worth of work waiting to be done. When you have found the car you think you want to buy and know roughly what needs to be done to restore it, ask them to give you a rough quote. Over 30% of restoration projects do not make it to the end, mainly because the new owners run out of money before the project is complete. Planning is everything.
Work out what the yearly maintenance and running costs will be for the car once it is restored. Some old cars are very expensive to insure. If you do not already have a garage where you can store the car factor this cost in too. Storing or restoring a old car on a drive is not practical.
Work out roughly how long the restoration work will take, in some cases it will be years. If you want the vehicle to use on a special trip, then you may be better off buying one that has already been restored.
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