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Randy Goodall
Randy Goodall

Old Cars Auto Restoration Guide, Vol. II

Cars have not always been the reliable and most efficient means of transport since its inception; rather, it is a story of grit, valor and passion. This is what gives classic cars their personality, an attitude that is simply unrivaled in modern society. Perhaps this is the reason why car-enthusiasts worldwide are drawn towards classic car restoration and are ready to shed a fortune in it.

Old Cars Auto Restoration Guide, Vol. II

Car Preservation refers to the act of carefully maintaining a vehicle through years such that it remains just as good as new. Car Preservation is more of a purist attempt at reliving the golden age of cars while Car Restoration is more like optimizing old vehicles to make them modern street-friendly. Researchers have often argued about the fine line between preservation and restoration and this is an ongoing debate even today.

Car Restoration can be dated back to the 1930s and 1940s but the movement gained traction at the end of World War II. This was a time of peace and restoration, and several parts required for such activities could be acquired easily post-war. Most factories that were dedicated to manufacturing machines of destruction now reverted back to producing more street-friendly counterparts further driving the popularity and demand of cars.

Also, parts could be salvaged from war machines themselves and used in the restoration process of old cars. This era also saw the emergence of the hotrod culture, a subculture in the USA where car-enthusiasts started replacing car engines from vintage cars with more powerful performance counterparts.

The hobby of car restoration began in earnest in the 1930s, but its largest expansion period was in the 1950s and 1960s. Car restoration is different from merely "fixing up old cars". It typically entails taking an old car apart, cleaning, fixing or replacing parts, and putting it back together with the idea of making it the same as, or sometimes better than, it was when it came off the production line. There is decidedly a lot more to car restoration than that involved in just fixing up old cars.

Here you will find solid, in-depth articles dealing with all aspects of the DIY classic car restoration hobby. Everything from Auto Theory to Troubleshooting Guides is presented as easy-to-read, concise articles. Over 600 car restoration articles are available so that you can learn to restore your own cars, add to your appreciation of Classic Cars, and generally make your interest in the old car hobby more fun.

If you want to do every single aspect of the restoration yourself, go for it! But more likely than not, it will make more sense to turn to the professionals for certain tasks. Whether that means rebuilding the motor, hand stitching the upholstery, or applying car-show-ready paint when the restoration is complete, knowing that you have a professional that you can turn to can take a lot of stress out of vehicle restoration. The good news is that there are reputable professional shops that specialize in restoration work all over the country. Old cars are big business, and a little research should be able to turn up some local shops that can help you out on the toughest tasks.

Getting started on your first vehicle restoration project is a major undertaking, even if you have plenty of experience working on your cars. However, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences for any car enthusiast. By the time you have finished, you will have gained a new level of expertise, and you will have a car that you know is truly one of a kind. Not only will you have touched every single nut and bolt on the vehicle, but your car will be a running embodiment of your craftsmanship. Sure, you might just cringe inside every time you see an imperfection in your work, but the car will be a part of you in a way that no other vehicle has ever been.

Before joining Wirecutter as its autos editor, Rik Paul, who wrote the initial version of this guide in 2016, was the automotive editor for Consumer Reports, where he edited car and car-accessory reviews, and the senior feature editor for Motor Trend, where he wrote a monthly car-care column. For this guide, he drew on his 25-plus years of personal experience maintaining and detailing his own vehicles and using many of the supplies included here.

Today, H&H is one of the largest online retailers of classic car restoration parts, with over 25,000 parts for classic Chevy and GMC pickup trucks and passenger cars. From replacement quarter panels and trim panels to wiring harnesses to weatherstripping to the latest air conditioning and hidden radios, we've got a huge selection of parts.

A new coating offering classic car owners superior rust protection waspresented for the first time at the NEC Classic Motor Show (12-14 November 2010,Stand 2T170). Developed for use on classic and race cars by leading chemicalcleaning and automotive specialist Surface Processing Ltd (SPL), the electrolessnickel coating provides a performance improvement over existing painttechnologies. The treatment is so effective that it enables SPL to offer tradecustomers a three-year warranty with every bodyshell that passes through thecleaning and finishing process. SPL will display a sectioned Mini Clubman thathas been treated with the new coating at their show stand 2T 170. 041b061a72


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