Car Restorations Return Cars to Original Condition

by Alison Palmer, freelance writer of Benfield's Auto Body ( 16-Apr-2010 )

Most antique, classic, or vintage cars are not in the original condition they were created in. Often, their paint has faded, their dashboards have cracked, and other more serious damages have been incurred, such as those to the engine and other mechanical features. Automobile enthusiasts often purchase these vehicles with the intention of returning them to their original condition.  Automobile restoration is the process of repairing or replacing all parts of a car in order to return it to its original condition. Car restorations are a popular hobby for many car lovers, and they are also a service provided by many mechanics.

 

A complete restoration of an automobile requires more than just repairing the body and other visible features of the car; it entails repairing all aspects of the car, including the engine and components found within the engine compartment. Car restorations also help restore the trunk, upholstery, driveline, woodwork, frame, brakes, paint, electrical systems, and any other part to the condition it was in when the automobile was first offered for sale.

 

As a part of most car restorations, vehicles must be almost completely disassembled so that each part can be cleaned and repaired individually. As the parts are being cleaned and repaired, mechanics may find that some parts need to be replaced or will require testing before being reassembled. In most cases, the original paint of classic car must be stripped. Mechanics then repair any rust damage as well as any dents or ripples in the body. Once the bare metal body has been repaired and properly shaped, paint that matches the exact original factory colors is then applied.

 

Similar processes are followed for other parts of the car, such as the chrome and trim, which often require stripping and refinishing. After the interior, exterior, and engine have all be thoroughly cleaned, repaired, or replaced to match the original specifications, the automobile is then reassembled. After reassembly, the vehicle usually undergoes another thorough inspection to ensure that everything was done correctly and that the vehicle appears exactly as it did when it was first sold.

 

Depending on the extent of the car's damage, car restorations can be a long and costly process, and they almost always require someone with specialized knowledge of antique or vintage vehicles and someone who has access to antique parts and specifications information. Car restorations, however, are also a way to add an enormous amount of value to a classic automobile.

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