Classic Car restoration - everything you need to know

By Pye Motors

Thinking of taking on a classic car restoration project? Or perhaps you already have one and are doing your research before beginning the restoration process. Either way this is our step by step guide for everything you need to know - from buying the car and purchasing parts, to insurance and total potential costs.

What kind of car to choose for restoration:

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of choosing a classic car in which spare parts are easy and affordable to come by. As special as it might be to have a rare classic that nobody else owns, there will be fewer examples for you to choose from when purchasing, parts to either repair or replace will be harder to source, and specialists will be few and far between.

Popular classic car categories to look at include:

  • Pre-war cars - Easy to work on, tend to be slow, supply can be tricky
  • Post- war classics - late 1940’s to 1950’s- Maintenance easy, lack in performance but lots of charm.
  • 1960’s-1970’s - Far more classics from this period due to production numbers, improved build quality and greater usability. Be cautious of rust and rot when purchasing.
  • Modern classics - 1980’s-1990’s - Just beginning to become collectable, look out for 1990’s models. Less likely to become rusty.

Where to buy a classic car

It’s essential to shop around and do your research before purchasing a classic car. If you purchase privately you’re more likely to acquire something which has been cherished. We would recommend joining an owners club of your chosen manufacturer for the best chance.

Purchasing from an auction can provide some bargains but make sure to check the car out first and set yourself a limit to bid.

Classic cars can also be bought from a recognised dealer. Here you are likely to pay a premium so make sure that you get the most for your money such as asking the dealer to fix smaller faults and providing a guarantee.

How much does it cost to restore a car?

This very much depends upon the type of car that you choose to purchase and the condition of it. Generally, restoration costs do not rise and fall if the value of your classic car is between £5k-£100k. For example, it costs the same to respray and prepare an Austin Metro as it does a Porsche 911. Don’t forget that, as well as restoring classic cars for enjoyment purchases, they can also be a great investment as the car is likely to increase in value so you can recoup your investment over time.

Classic car restoration place near me?

If you know your Pye history you’ll know that we love classic cars. The late Tony Payne, a key member of the Pye family, competed in many rallies from the 1960s right through to the early 2010s. He raced Hillman Imps, back when Pye was a dealership for them and many historic events in a Jaguar Mk1 and an XK140. He was a well respected member of Morecambe Car Club and we’re delighted to be sponsoring the club’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 4th June.

If you’re buying a project that requires restoration it may be worth asking a professional to do some of the trickier bits. It will take them a lot less time and will be done to a higher standard which is always good for peace of mind and may save you time and money in the long run. However, do your research to ensure that they have experience working with classic cars and there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion on the work which is required either.

Our bodyshops across the dealership can support you with panel work to elevate your classic cars bespoke style and specialist paint colours for resprays to ensure your completed project really looks the part. We are more than happy to discuss your ideas for customisation, and help bring them to life.

Contact our team today.