A Guide to Restoring Your Classic Car

A Guide to Restoring Your Classic Car

Do you love classic cars but are not sure where to start? Do you need a Tempe car repair shop for your classic beauty? Do you already know a capable Tempe mechanic and just need to find your dream car? Whatever the case, restoring a classic car is a hobby not many can boast about entertaining. While you may already have a solid base of mechanical knowledge about classic car restoration and how it works, some owners may be starting from scratch and know very little. Regardless of your starting point, we have a few tips toward the ideal restoration process for you to follow.


Beginning with the proper classic car will go a long way in saving you headache down the road. Whether it is the rusty old truck from Grandpa’s barn, or a prize beauty found after searching for months, a few things need to get in order before beginning your restoration process. First and foremost, be certain to get the necessary paperwork, including the title, repair record, any accident information or damages, or any other pieces deemed important from the original owner.

Check that the VIN number printed on the car provides accurate information about the car’s history, make, model, and other information. If something does not line up correctly, it is likely some foul play is in order. However, take note that this principle only applies on cars crafted in 1954 or later.

Lastly, consider any additional costs that will pop up with your initial purchase. Potential shipping or hauling costs, possible customs regulations, or copious amounts of rust that need to be dealt with before anything else. Be certain to have a restoration budget in mind before beginning (allow for some flexibility as things come up throughout the restoration process), a Tempe repair shop you know will work with you, and a place for the restoration to be competed. Remember that no matter the starting point, restoring a classic car will demand quite a bit of time, so it is necessary to have a workspace large enough to spread parts out and clean them, and hold all the necessary tools.


Though at first these two concepts may seem similar, in the classic car world they are actually quite different. Essentially, restoration is defined as returning a car to its original self as closely as possible. Conversely, customization typically involves updating parts of the vehicle, and changing certain aspects of it according to the owner’s preference (loud muffler, special paint design, faster engine, adding air conditioning, etc.).

While there is nothing wrong with customizing a car to your own personal preference, every Tempe car maintenance mechanic will swear up and down that it should not be confused with restoration. When making your personal choice as to what process you will use on your classic car, remember to ask yourself if resell is in your future. If you hope to sell your classic car someday, customization will likely decrease its overall value since classic car collectors most often want it to be as original as possible. While customization is fun, keep your long-term goal in mind as you work on your classic car.


Classic car restoration can be quite an expensive hobby, particularly when seeking out original parts to use for repairs. While for some it may be feasible to purchase a second identical classic car just to use for parts, this is typically not the case. You may be able to get lucky and find some in a junkyard or on craigslist, but generally you will need to directly contact the manufacturer in order to find original parts. Though this is a much bigger investment, remember that if you want to sell your restored car someday, original actual parts for the car will increase the value quite a bit. It will be in your best interest to work with the manufacturer to find as many original parts as possible, except for little things that get more wear and tear such as belts or filters.

This is where it becomes very important to have a budget in mind and stick with it throughout the process. Some flexibility is okay, given that unexpected issues always come up when working with vintage items. However, just keep in mind that car restoration is an expensive hobby and be sure you will have the necessary funds to complete your project.


Know your limits! While on one hand it is totally acceptable to tackle a challenge and learn something new about car repair and restoration, be aware when it is beyond your knowledge and skill. Don’t be afraid to hire an expert to help you with some of the more complicated aspects. This is why it is important to know a reputable, trustworthy car mechanic around Arizona with classic car knowledge who will be willing to take on some of the more difficult work, such as the paint design or some engine work. Before you even begin the restoration project, find someone highly recommended throughout the community and your acquaintances, and be sure to communicate with them directly before tacking your restoration hobby. Be certain they will have some flexibility in their schedule to work with you when the time comes. They may also be able to give input or recommendations when necessary throughout the entire process.

Overall, classic car restoration is an enjoyable, albeit expensive, hobby. If you are considering picking up the hobby but need to find a trustworthy Tempe mechanic shop, look no further than Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive. Our techs love the challenge of a classic car restoration, and would be thrilled to help you through your process. We have years of mechanical experience under our belt and a commitment to professional and timely service. Scottsdale Muffler also specializes in a wide variety of vehicles, from domestic to imported. When you are ready to begin your classic car restoration, give us a call and let us know! We would be happy to provide recommendations and restoration work as needed.

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Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281

Office: 480-994-4741
Website: https://scottsdalemuffler.com

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.