The car

Some car fans can already imagine what type of car they want to restore. Some might want to restore a classic Ford Mustang like the one they drove in high school, while others with a passion for automotive history might want to restore a 1930’s classic. Whatever your preference, make sure you find a car that doesn’t break the bank. Even the initial cost of buying the car from a local junkyard can be deceiving. Some cars may only be affordable because they have been damaged so badly that the cost of restoring them is particularly high.

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It’s good to know what you’re looking for when you start browsing classified ads in newspapers or visiting local junkyards. However, leave some leeway for the type of car you want to restore. This can ensure you don’t immediately blow your budget or become overly involved in a project that may be beyond your capabilities. Online car forums can be great places to learn about restoration, especially for beginners.

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The 14th Annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance returned to Carillon Historical Park on Sunday, September 19, 2021. Cars and motorcycles of the Roaring Twenties were celebrated. Last year’s show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TOM GILLIAM / ASSOCIATE PHOTOGRAPHER

Photo credit: Tom Gilliam

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The 14th Annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance returned to Carillon Historical Park on Sunday, September 19, 2021. Cars and motorcycles of the Roaring Twenties were celebrated. Last year’s show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TOM GILLIAM / ASSOCIATE PHOTOGRAPHER

Photo credit: Tom Gilliam

Photo credit: Tom Gilliam

The project

Car enthusiasts not only need to determine which car to buy and how much time and money they can realistically devote to the restoration project, but also determine what tools they will need, where they will be working on the project, and the availability of discounted parts. Discounted parts can help offset significant restoration costs, so having access to a local seller or junkyard can be a significant benefit.

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The internet has made finding parts easier, as resources like CheapAutoParts.com can be invaluable. A workspace is also a must, so garages may need to be outfitted to make projects more enjoyable. Tools can also be costly, although CarsDirect notes that different steps in the process require different tools. This can make it easier to spread the cost of buying new tools.

Restoring vintage cars can be an exciting hobby. Beginners are strongly advised to learn as much as they can about restoration before deciding to fully engage in this potentially rewarding endeavor.