Raise your hand if you spent hours as an adolescent carefully painting and gluing together a model Mustang or ‘57 Chevy. For those of you with your hands in the air, the thought of rebuilding a classic car has an undeniable nostalgic draw.
Want to know the great thing about being an adult? You now have the ability to get your hands on the real thing! You no longer have to snap plastic pieces together—you can play with steel and grease instead, and the best part is? You can actually get behind the wheel of the real thing.
Classic cars have an undeniable allure, and driving one is all the more satisfying if you were involved with building and assembling it. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a mechanic or an auto expert to rebuild a classic car. In fact, many people who have little experience beyond changing their own oil have decided to take on the challenge.
So where do you start?
Finding Your Car
It’s time to put on your detective glasses and your scavenger hunting shoes.
Good news! You’re right in the perfect place to start: online. By becoming a Copart Member, you’ll have easy access to live car auctions throughout the country, where you can browse through an extensive inventory of vehicles online and bid on them. Copart makes it easy for you to find the perfect classic car for your next rebuilding project. You no longer have to travel thousands of miles across the country to see that car you think might be the perfect fit.
The car you want to get your hands on and restore could show up anywhere, perhaps a salvage auction or an insurance auto auction. But as a Copart Member with access to used-car auctions, you’ll cut down on the legwork and be far more likely to find the classic car or truck you want to rebuild.
What You Need
Before you start rebuilding a vehicle you should ensure that you’re prepared for the adventure upon which you’re about to embark.
- Tools — Make sure you have a full selection of wrenches, sockets, pliers and screwdrivers. In addition, you’ll need an air compressor, a jack stand and a solid bench with a vice grip. Depending on what kind of restoration you want to do, you may need even more specialty equipment and tools.
- Garage space — You want to have a weather-proof space where you can house the vehicle, your tools and any large, additional components you’ll need.
- Instruction manual — You can and should pick up a repair manual specific to your car make and model. A repair manual will help guide you through the rebuilding process. If you can’t find the repair manual specific to your dream car, use your greatest resource—the internet!
- Friends — Especially if this is your first time rebuilding an automobile, having a friend or a family member who knows their way around the shop is an invaluable resource. They may also be willing to loan you some much-needed tools and equipment.
- Local car restoration clubs — Take some time to see if there are any auto-restoration or rebuilding clubs in your area. If you find one, you’ll be sitting on a gold mine of insight, help, advice and experience.
Make a Plan
Assess your vehicle, get a second opinion, and ensure that you truly understand the extent of work that needs to be done. Remember to ask yourself what you can do on your own, and what might require professional insight.
Whatever path you choose, rebuilding a car will test your patience and greatly expand your mechanical and automotive knowledge, but for those who are up to the challenge, there is no greater satisfaction than driving down the street in your slick, classic whip.
Get your next rebuild project at Copart.com!