To Do It All Over Again

Posted by Danny Howell on 3/26/2014 to General

We want to hear from people who have learned lessons while restoring their Chevy. What nuggets of golden wisdom are you able to pass along to someone who is just getting started in restoring their Chevy? We plan on compiling this list into a free guide that we will distribute for people who need help restoring their car. 

Here are some suggested questions to answer (but don't limit yourself to these): 
  1. What would you have wanted to KNOW before starting the restoration? 
  2. What TOOLS made your restoration easier? 
  3. What TIPS would you like to have known before/while restoring the car? 
  4. What did you LEARN from your experience? What would you do differently? 
  5. WHO did you wish you had known before getting started? (person and/or company) 
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and wisdom.  We look forward to sharing the results with everyone and making your restoration experience much easier.
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Mikey Jones Date 4/1/2014

Don't rush into anything. Plan everything out. Its exciting having a classic car to restore, and especially if it is your first one you can't help but get excited to have her on the road and cruise. But if you want your vehicle to look exactly the way you want it to, its going to take time, and much more time than you'll expect so be ready for the long haul. If you're restoring a tri-5 especially, you can never start looking for a good glass man too early. The windshields and rear windows on these vehicles are tricky and the skill/art form on how to put them in right the first time is hard to come by these days. It may take you 5 years (as it did me) to find the right person that knows how to put these windshields in. If you're going to pull the motor out and rebuild or put something newer in, do yourself the favor and put rack and pinion steering in the car, much easier ride. And if you live in Phoenix, if you want to enjoy your ride during the summer, spend the extra money to put AC in the vehicle.

Daniel Howell Date 4/1/2014

Mikey, Great advice ... especially about the AC. I remember driving my '64 in Florida with no AC and it was killer. I'd roll down the windows and have my left leg stuck out the window to allow the air to flow through my pants! It was stylish.

Marc Ellis Date 6/10/2014

As they always say, never start something without a destination in mind. If your goal is to have a driver car, don't buy a basket case needing everything. If on the other hand you want to own the finest frame-off restored whatever, purchase the best core there is and spare no expense. If you're going to have the work done, remember that for an expert, it's about 2500 man hours to completely restore a car. It's not uncommon to pay up to and exceeding $100k in labor alone, depending upon the restorers reputation and credentials. Restoring a car can be a very rewarding adventure, it can also literally destroy ones family life and cause a lot of undue stress, especially when the car is completely disassembled in the garage. Hope this helps!

Kyle Hutchens Date 11/22/2015

Greetings We are doing a body off on a 1965 Impala SS 396 car. It has been a great learning experience for me. We are about 80% complete. I would not have tackled the project had my best friend not already completed 7 rotisserie restorations. My advice for someone tackling a restoration for the first time is to be able to work with someone that has some expertise or at least know someone you can contact when you get stumped because you will. One other thing I would do different is take a lot more PICTURES! You can't take to many. For instance don't just take a picture of the dashboard you need to take pictures of the different layers as it comes apart. Lots of pictures! Be patient your investing to much money & time to half ass it. This was a bucket list item for me. To do a complete rotisserie restoration start to finish. Although after its done I don't want to die Id like to drive it for while Lol.

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