How Do I Become a Classic Car Restorer?

Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch

To become a classic car restorer, you must have a love of antique cars, the skills of a mechanic, and an abundance of patience. An auto body repair degree from a technical school is an excellent starting point. You might follow this with independent research into classic cars and attendance at various classic car conferences and shows. Look for an online classic car parts dealer before gaining valuable experience by working on a friend’s car. Be prepared to pay the costs of repair, as most clients will only pay the full amount upon final completion of the project.

Restoring classic cars takes skills and patience.
Restoring classic cars takes skills and patience.

Classic car restorers are dedicated to preserving the beauty of antique vehicles. To become a classic car restorer, you must have superb mechanical skill as well as a genuine love of antique cars, and the restoration of classic cars can become a professional vocation as well as a hobby. Look for a certification program in auto body repair. There are a number of technical and vocational schools that offer them. Generally speaking, they are two years in length.

Restoring classic cars can be a hobby or a vocation.
Restoring classic cars can be a hobby or a vocation.

In order to become a classic car restorer, it is essential to have a wealth of knowledge relating to old cars. This includes the special care they require as well as information on the availability of parts for each individual make of car. Go online and to a public library, and search for magazines relating to classic cars.

Classic car restorers are dedicated to preserving the beauty of antique vehicles.
Classic car restorers are dedicated to preserving the beauty of antique vehicles.

It is also a good idea to seek out classic car shows in your area. This will give you an opportunity to network and to find a potential client or two. Find an online dealer that works specifically with classic car parts when you need specific items for a vehicle.

To become a classic car restorer, it is essential that you have prior practical experience. If a friend or relative has a classic car, this provides a perfect opportunity to gain experience. Although the job may not pay much, if anything, the knowledge that you gain by working on the project will prove invaluable.

Restored classic vehicles can draw attention to a business.
Restored classic vehicles can draw attention to a business.

If you want to become a classic car restorer, you must have patience, as the process of repairing vintage vehicles is long and laborious. It can be difficult to find the requisite parts, and they are extremely expensive. The expense is likely to come out of the pocket of the restorer, who will generally only receive payment from the owner when the project is complete.

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Discussion Comments

Drentel

@Laotionne - You are right about car restorers being able to turn a nice profit on those old classic models. A long time ago, I knew a man who started buying old classic cars that were all but abandoned. He would then bring them back to life from the inside out. The problem was that once he got the cars restored he didn't want to sell them anymore. He ended up with a garage and a couple of barns filled with old restored cars.

Laotionne

My uncle is a mechanic and in addition to the work he does on cars at the garage where he works, he also has a shop at his house where he does work for people who know he will do a good job at cheaper prices than they will get at garages. Basically, my uncle just loves working on cars.

I have told him that he should get into classic and vintage car restoration because that way he could do what he loves and make some real money. Those old cars can be bought cheap and then fixed up and sold for a small fortune to the right person.

Feryll

How cool would it be to be able to make a decent living doing only vintage car restoration as a means of earning money? There is a local parade we go to every summer in a nearby town. The parade has all different types of floats and entries.

Without doubt, the highlight of the event is the long line of vintage cars that cruise along the parade route. These cars and trucks bring out the kid in most grown men who used to push those old toy cars along the floor. After the parade, the cars are all parked along the street and in parking lots so people can walk around and get a better look at them.

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    • Restoring classic cars takes skills and patience.
      Restoring classic cars takes skills and patience.
    • Restoring classic cars can be a hobby or a vocation.
      Restoring classic cars can be a hobby or a vocation.
    • Classic car restorers are dedicated to preserving the beauty of antique vehicles.
      Classic car restorers are dedicated to preserving the beauty of antique vehicles.
    • Restored classic vehicles can draw attention to a business.
      Restored classic vehicles can draw attention to a business.