There is a window of opportunity, usually just a few days, between when the classic car has been bought and when it comes home. These days, the calm before the storm must be used wisely to prepare as accurate a restoration budget as possible.
The restorer will have to consider that they will already have spent between twenty to thirty per cent of their overall budget acquiring the vehicle ( unless off course, they have gotten lucky and bought the car for a song.)
On the other hand, if the restorer has paid over the odds, their budget balance will be depleteld and there is a real chance that they will not have enough capital to complete the project to their satisfaction. In that case, their only options is to raise more money or begin to reappraise their expectations.
The restorer will need to be really precise and even cynical, evaluating each stage of the restoration process, how much they can do with the skills and facilities that they have at their disposal, while constantly weighing how much time each job will take, especially if it will hold up overall progress on the job.
Most restorers have certain car restoration skills at their fingertips, with a surprisingly large number having worked as professional mechanics, which allows them to handle some if not all of the mechanical aspects and repairs, restorations on the auto electrics, and underbody of the vehicle.
They will need to pay for the tools, materials, and replacement parts to do the job.
Certain specifice aspects of the restoration, such as significant bodywork and chassis repairs, renewing paintwork and repairing or replacing external and internal trim will most likely need to be farmed out to specialists.
If the vehicle being restored is a runner and street legal, the time and discomfort spent driving it to the relevant garages and workshops on a shortlist will be justified and save transport costs.
If the car cannot be transported under its own power, then price gathering becomes much more complicated and potentially very expensive.
To allow the subcontractor not to work in the dark, every item that looks like it will require refurbishment should be digitally photographed from every angle and as high resolution as possible.
With these digital images available to be clearly displayed, preferably on a laptop computer or at least a tablet, the restorer should make a tour of the relevant sub-contractors who would work on a particular segment of the restoration project.
Another factor that must be seriously considered is that the distance between the restoration nerve centre ( better known as the workshop) and the relevant service supplier is considerable; transportation costs will increase.
The restorer will need to find a cost-effective way to transport the restoration vehicle to these specialists, with logistics playing a considerable part.
If the restorer has access to a light van or pickup, it can be advantageous to deliver parts for repair and restoration and pick them up when ready.
When transporting the car or its body shell complete, a trailer can be hired when needed to transport it to and from sandblasters, acid dipping, bodywork shops, or paint shops.
All of the running to and fro is vital to any restoration project as any other function and should be costed into the project.
When it comes down to the bottom line, the restorer should have as much information as possible before the restoration gets underway of costs and time to complete the project, leaving reasonable leeway for the unexpected.
With that information, the restore will finally be able to give themselves the green light on their classic car restoration project
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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.