Classic car or truck restoration can be an addictive hobby; but it can also be a risky one.
Stories pop up every now and then about how do-it-yourself projects can go horribly wrong when somebody doesn’t realize that there’s gas leaking in the garage, or perhaps when someone doesn’t use the proper safety equipment while operating power tools and other heavy machinery during a vehicle restoration. These stories never seem to work up enough chatter in the vintage car community about how important it is to stay safe when working on a vehicle.
While getting a manual on the car and finding spare parts to restore your classic car may be easy enough online or locally, restoring a car on your own involves a lot more than just a garage and a whole range of tools. Begin with a workable budget that includes the cost of every accessory you might need from doors to engine parts. Get in touch with a known collector car insurance company to help work out a good plan that serves for both restorations as well as on-road running after. Speak to friends who have experience working on old cars or get the help of a professional when you feel like you’re getting stuck on the job. Schedule how much time a day/week you intend to spend working on the car, so you can also focus on other important personal or professional priorities, while being able to complete your restoration project within a specific period.
Most importantly, get some safety guidelines in place before you actually begin your project.
Make sure your work area is filled with light and has windows that open up and give good air circulation. Never start an engine in a closed room; carbon monoxide poisoning kills quickly.
Ensure the work area is free of grease and oil spills, wires and tools lying around. Sectioning off areas where your tools are kept, from normal screwdrivers to larger power tools, not only keeps your work area neat and organized but helps you find what you’re looking for without tripping over dangerous wires, slipping on loose tools or accidentally injuring yourself on a sharp object.
Do you have little children in the house who might want to come visit you while you’re at work? Try and make your vehicle a “visitor-free” zone, especially when you’re in the middle of work, to avoid unwanted accidents with children around.
A fire extinguisher is a basic necessity that needs to be installed before you open that hood and take your first look.
Always ensure you are wearing protective safety glasses when sanding or blasting, helmets and hearing protection and, if spray painting, a respirator or a dust mask. The last thing you need is to spend more of your restoration time and budget, firefighting, troubleshooting or on doctor’s visits.
For the best quotes on collector car insurance, get in touch with Classic Auto, and our customer representatives will speak to you about the best plan that can suit your classic car restoration project.
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.