How to Pick a Car for a Restoration Project

Michigan Classic Car Restoration King Brothers CollisionSick of your old wheels? Up for a challenge? Automobile junkie? Or simply looking to invest? Have you thought of trying your hand at car restoration? It’s easier said than done, believe me. This is not for the weak of heart. Car restoration projects can quite possibly eat up your time, money and energy. But if done right, the rewards far outweigh these costs.

Imagine taking your new baby out on its first drive with its newly painted cherry red coat. Listen to its engine purr like a kitty having a good stretch. Picture yourself waving at your neighbors while they admire your new ride as you cruise along. Now snap out of it. It’s time to get your head out of the clouds and in the game. It’s time to put some work in.

This beginner’s guide will give you the simplest, most basic information you’ll need to know if you want to get into the restoration game. We have divided this guide into three easy sections: planning, purchasing and restoring. The most important thing to remember is to just have fun with it. Now, let’s begin.


We cannot stress this enough: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t throw caution into the wind and go into this endeavor without a solid plan. First thing you have to do? Determine exactly what it is you wish to achieve. Is this car for you to drive around when it’s done or something you want to sell? Because if it’s the latter, you may need to look into resale values and demand. Where will you park the car for the entirety of the project? Do you have ample space? Make sure that you won’t encounter problems with your use of that space for the duration of your project. Do you have substantial resources to see the project through to the end? From the get-go, it’s good to determine your total budget. Remember you need money not just to buy the car, but also to fix it up with. Which bring us to our next section.


The type of car you purchase will depend largely on your budget and goal, but also on availability. Be patient during your search and hold out for a good deal. Luxury cars will fetch a heftier price compared to your simple, economy cars no matter how old or used they are. Of course, you also want to narrow down your search to cars whose parts are easily available to you. You will want to stay away from models whose parts have been discontinued or are rare in the market.

Once you’re decided on the type of vehicle you wish to restore, it’s time to check for the amount of restoration needed on said vehicle. It is advisable to stay away from used cars that have been heavily damaged by rust as they are extremely difficult to fix. A car with a well-maintained frame and chassis is a better choice as interiors, engines, electricals, hydraulics and paint are easily replaceable compared to a rust bucket.

Next step is to take your potential purchase on a test drive to determine its state. Have a checklist of everything that needs to be restored and do the math if it fits your budget. If this is your first time or have little experience with restoring automobiles, it is highly advisable to have a professional assist you before purchasing.


Finally, let’s get to the juicy part, the actual restoration. This is where it all boils down to. Park your project car somewhere nice and comfortable for the both of you. You will be spending a lot of time getting to know each other. Remember your goals and reasons for doing this because these will get you through the speedbumps. Be patient through the process and don’t forget to have fun! It could take as little as a few weeks or as long as a couple years, but one thing is for sure, nothing beats the sweet satisfaction of cruising down the highway on something you worked on with your own bare hands.

Let King Brothers Collision help you with your car restoration needs from professional advice, part sourcing, actual restoration and more. Contact us at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia) for any of your vehicular inquiries. You may also reach us through our on-line contact form or request a quote right from our website!

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