Considering Auto Restoration? What to Consider and What to Know

Considering Auto Restoration? What to Consider and What to Know

Prior to embarking on the journey of auto restoration, it is a great idea to first figure out what It is you are looking to accomplish, what your goals are, etc. There are many things to ask yourself which will ultimately determine the type of restoration that may best for you and your beloved vehicle.

Ask yourself these questions when considering auto restoration:

  • How much does your car mean to you or your family?
  • Do you want to bring the complete car back to new condition?
  • Do you want to drive and show the car at shows and events?
  • Do you want to have a trouble free car for years to come?
  • Has this car been a part of your family or past?
  • Is money a limiting factor?
  • Do you have enough passion and enough patience to see the project through to completion?

These may be some difficult questions to consider but very important ones nonetheless. Restoring a classic car or other vehicle is a serious endeavor and it is best to think it through very clearly for the best results.

Understand the Scope of the Restoration

When deciding to start a restoration project the things that should be of the most importance is that of understanding the scope of the project, what you want your restoration to achieve and if you have have anything limiting your budget. Restoring your memories can be one of the most rewarding things that someone can do for you. Imagine bringing your car back to its once-pristine condition, the joy this can bring is virtually immeasurable.

Vehicle Colors and Options

Another important consideration is customizing a vehicle the way you want it: color choices, design changes and options. It can be difficult, at times, to locate original or OEM parts, paints, trim etc. Defining your goals early on will help in determining the route to take for procuring some of the items necessary to restore your car to its original glory.

1958 Ford Custom 300 restoration parts Each part of a 1958 Ford Custom 300 is meticulously processed and painted during the restoration process.

Goals of the Restoration Shop

Once you decide you would like to have your vehicle restored, it is important to know if the restoration shop near you has your best interests at heart. Do they have the same passion as you in bringing not just a car back to life, but in restoring the memories and history of the vehicle? Are they just there for the money? Do you and the auto shop who is doing the restoring know the full scope of what the job will entail?

One of the biggest mistakes one can make is starting a job and finding out later your best interests were not taken to heart. You have spent thousands of dollars only to find out much later that the work performed was substandard and that now you will pay for it for years to come. Your dream has turned into a nightmare.

Attention to Detail

An auto restoration project form the ground up will entail hundreds of hours of prep work. Things that can’t easily be seen by the owner are addressed to make certain everything is done properly. If any of these steps are done incorrectly or corners are cut, everything done from that point on will be compromised. This is the most critical part of a restoration and the one most often overlooked. Prepping, blasting, dipping and then epoxying each and every part correctly will determine how your car will look in the years to come.

That’s why we at Competition Auto Body go far beyond what others do in the prep stages. We oversee, personally, all the media blast stages to make sure nothing is missed and moisture does not compromise the surface prior to the corrosion protection being applied. We have tested all the products we chose to use over the years and stand behind our work.

Our Auto Body Restoration Process

•We start with chromated (Chromated means treated with a solution of chromate, usually hexavalent (valence +6), as a corrosion-fighting passivation layer--usually applied to zinc and cadmium plated parts, or to aluminum.) epoxy primer which very few shops use or know why it is far superior. The chromates provide superior adhesion and stop any corrosion from working its way under the primer. Thus stops rust from spreading.
•We have developed our own unique body filler of German engineering and combined it with a carbon fiber composite. This product is unlike any other body fillers on the market and is used exclusively at Competition Auto Body on our restorations. This filler provides far superior strength and has the ability to flex without breaking or cracking. It provides a much more durable and impact resistance structure at panel edges and seams that may flex or receive greater abuse. No other filler we have tested can achieve this. Although this filler is custom mixed at our facility, it is limited in quantity and can be expensive. We have continued to strive to not just accept what the market provides if it proves to be substandard. We also use an epoxy hybrid body filler on the final fills as this provides greater sanding flexibility, less shrinkage, and a more moisture corrosion resistant substrate.
•We use Spies Hecker polyester primer filler because it performed the best out of all the other products we tested. It also provides the best sanding properties and its resin structure is much more durable than any other.

These are just a few of the many factors that separate us from many of the other Restoration shops out there and why not all shops provide the same level of service under the hood. The very most important thing you must decide on when choosing to restore your classic automobile is who you trust to allow to work on your vehicle and who will do the job right. 

Restoring Memories

Restoring an automobile from the ground up is something that the average person never will get the chance to do in their lifetime. For some, bringing the past back to life creates untold satisfaction. Being able to feel some control of regaining those past experiences and special moments and of bringing them back to life, including those that we have lost do to the passage of time.

View our classic car restoration photo galleries to see examples of our custom work. Have questions? Feel free to contact us at any time or call us at 503-668-9603

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OF 1984

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