Monday, August 9, 2010

Defining Your Classic Car Restoration

I am sure we all enjoy viewing a classic motor car that has been restored, but what is a classic car? I guess it is a bit like defining an elephant, I struggle to define it, but I know one when I see one.

Yes it all becomes a bit fuzzy when we have to make a definition. One website I visited mentions that it must be a 'lady of a certain age'! I guess the lady bit is referring to the vehicle (apologies to the ladies).

If you do your research you can find some characteristics that are common when people are seeking to define a classic car. We must remember of course that this is only one of the many starting points to classic motor car restoration.

If you are intending to show the vehicle then it of course plays much more importance, whereas if you are undertaking a restoration just for your own personal satisfaction then you can define your classic car just as you wish.

Some of the more common characteristics we find floating around the net, for defining a classic motor vehicle, are:

· It should be built before 1948

· Asking price is in the order of ten to one hundred times the original price of the car

· Distinctive styling, innovative and attractive

· Seeking to have historic preservation of the original

· Innovative or trend setting engineering

· Value or desirability

· Supporting documentation, such as maintenance records and sales contracts

Of course the above list is not exhaustive and you can find other characteristics, but the above list is a reasonable starting point. The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) is an excellent association for us that are enthused with classic cars and their restoration.

And of course the USA has a wonderful history of classic cars to choose from, being one of the founders of the development of the modern mass produced motor vehicle. Henry Ford and the model T are legendary.

To define your classic motor car you need to first sit down and consider the purpose of your classic car restoration (or purchase). From this you can work out if you need to satisfy your criteria or someone else's.


  1. I also enjoy restoring classic cars and one important lesson I learned is that you have to know what you're getting into. You don't want to get stuck in a project and never finish it because you lacked the necessary parts, money or willpower. I learned that the hard way. It's best for first time restorers to use classic cars that still have plenty of spare parts like Mustangs and Dodges. Leave the rare ones to the pros as of now for you'll get there, soon.

  2. Hi, My name is Brian and I'd like to speak with you about your blog, please email me at your earliest convenience.