Restoring a vintage vehicle can be challenging due to the non-availability of parts for certain models, and available but expensive parts for others. The end result can be worth your while in some cases, and not worth the expense or effort in others.
How can you decide if a car is worth restoring or not?
An evaluation of the following parameters will give you a rough idea of how much you would need to invest in restoring your vintage car, which in turn will help you determine if it’s worth the expense.
- Condition of the paint job
- Rust and other natural deterioration
- Condition of interiors and upholstery
- Condition of the engine and transmission
There are cases where just the paint job and interior replacements are known to exceed the value of the car itself. Sometimes making your muscle car roadworthy includes the additional costs of a new fuel system, engine reconstruction, transmission work, new braking systems, new tires, new exhaust and even new suspension components. The above list does not cover potential accessories and inevitable repairs like the radio, lights, gauges, air conditioning, heater, wipers and much more. After a careful analysis of certain cars, you may find that they are just not worth restoring, as in many cases the cost of restoration exceeds the value of the car itself.
Restoration jobs require an average of around 5000 shop hours. Repainting a car or setting it up with new tires costs much lesser than restoring the frame and replacing or re-plating every part of a car. The time and money differ from car to car, depending on how easy or difficult it is to obtain car parts. A 55 Nash and a 55 Chevrolet or 55 Thunderbird cost just about the same to restore in labor hours. The important question is what would their value be post restoration, or which of these classic cars will provide greater value when it comes time to send it to auction? While deciding to restore, calculate the total cost, how much you are willing to or can invest, how much liquid cash flow you have, how much time you can spend in restoration, and what the value of the car is likely to be when you’re ready to send it to its next home. If the net value of the car isn’t going to substantially exceed the cost and labor you’ve put into the car, it’s time to reconsider the investment.
Whether you are restoring or buying, you must get vintage car insurance to keep your investment safe and enjoy its value long term. Contact Classic Auto for a variety of muscle car insurance options to help you get the most money out of your classic investment. Call us today or visit us online for a free classic car insurance quote, and take a look at the wide range of policies we have available to suit all of your needs as a collector!
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.