Classic Car Restoration: What to Do With a Basketcase Car

Deciding what to do with a basketcase car is one of the toughest decisions for people who’ve already invested time, money, and love into their classic car restorations. At the same time, there are plenty of vintage car veterans who are always ready to finish a difficult project. Whether you want to put the final touches on a half-finished car or you just can’t find the time to complete your own, you need to know how to save yourself time, frustration, and money. Here are a few things to consider before you buy, finish, or sell a basketcase car.

When You Want to Buy a Basketcase
Restoring a basketcase can be a challenging but rewarding experience. However, there are often good reasons why other enthusiasts are eager to get their incomplete hotrods and muscle cars off their hands. Before you invest in an old project, you’ll need to make these important considerations:

*Safety comes first. If the car you’re considering doesn’t even have breaks, an engine, or a steering wheel yet, then you may not have much to worry about. Otherwise, you should test the car in a safe, empty area. You need to make sure the owner is being honest about the car’s reliability and safety – or lack thereof.

*Check the frame and body. Cars that look like they’re on their last legs can sometimes be restored to their previous luster – but only if they still have solid foundations. If a classic car’s frame and body are in decent shape, then there’s good chance you’ll be able to make some headway on its restoration. If not, you’re looking at a bottomless money pit.

*Look for cover-ups. Some restorers and shops will cover large patches of rust and even holes with sheet metal. They don’t always do so maliciously, but unnoticed rust is extremely dangerous. It’s especially important to check for defects in places where larger parts have been replaced.

Sourcing Your Parts
When you’re restoring a barely-finished basketcase, you’ll need to find the best places to get your parts. If a previous owner didn’t get the project finished, it may have been because the necessary components were hard to find, too expensive, or both. Before you even make the purchase, it’s important that you find out how you’re going to get what you need – and what it’s all going to cost.

Once you’ve figured out what parts are necessary, you can check the online inventories of specialty shops across the country. There are also junkyards full of classic cars with parts for the taking, though you’ll need to go in person to see what’s available. Ultimately, you’re going to incur the greatest costs if you need foreign parts or shipping for large items.

When to Call it Quits
Even if you’ve lovingly labored over a classic car for years, there may come a time when you have to move on. A project will sometimes seem too good to be true when you first start – yet it becomes nothing but a financial drain further down the road. Your priorities and interests might also change, leaving you with an immobile heap in your garage or driveway.

Whatever the case may be, you can still get back some of your hard-earned money. Contact a professional classic car restorer now and inquire if they purchase or are interested in purchasing a basketcase project from you.

Eight Critical Tips for Classic Car Restoration

Classic car restoration is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can have. However, it does require quite a bit of know-how, patience, and planning. If you’re thinking about buying a classic car – or if you’re already working on a tough project – keep these eight critical tips in mind in order to get the best results from your classic car projects.

1. Know your budget.
Auto restoration can quickly eat a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful. Before you ever decide on a make and model, determine how much you can afford to spend. When you negotiate with a seller or dealer, stick to your budget – and don’t be swayed by the allure of a specific car.

2. Plan for future costs.
Even if you buy a car in decent shape, you may still end up spending more on repairs and replacements than on the automobile itself. Think about the parts you’ll need, the time you’ll spend, and the professional services you’ll require. You may also want to consider resale value, though most enthusiasts aren’t looking to make a profit.

3. Find an appraiser.
Even honest car salesmen don’t always know the right prices. It’s well worth the additional cost to get an appraiser to determine the value of your potential purchase. Cars that appear well-maintained may actually have internal damage or faulty parts. You’ll also want to verify the vehicle’s correctness and originality.

4. Check for rust.
Rust is the greatest threat to your car’s appearance and safety. It can tarnish the exterior, wreck the framework, and allow noxious fumes to enter the cabin. You can fix small patches of rust yourself with special soaking chemicals – but large jobs are best left to the professionals. This is one job you can’t afford to botch.

5. Learn about bodywork.
If your classic car has large dents or deformations, you’ll probably need to take it in for repairs. However, you may be able to fix small imperfections on your own. Most automotive stores carry easy-to-use fiberglass kits, and basic welding equipment will allow you to make minor repairs to steel. Learning how to finish these small tasks will allow you to save money for important professional work.

6. Shop in the right region.
Weather conditions have dramatic impacts on the longevities of automobiles. Colder areas subject them to snow, sleet, and ice, all of which can cause irreparable rust. On the other hand, dessert environments contain far too much sand, dirt, and other erosive debris. Temperate states like Florida provide the best environments for purchasing, repairing, and storing classic cars.

7. Store your car properly.
When you’re not driving or working on your car, it’s crucial that you store it properly. Reserve your garage space for your classic car restoration projects, and control the temperature and humidity if possible. If you have to stow your project for several months, make sure you add new brake fluid and drain both the fuel tank and cooling system.

8. Find qualified professionals.
Chances are you’ll need some professional work to fully restore your car. Even the most knowledgeable enthusiasts usually lack the equipment and experience for paint jobs, bodywork, and large-scale rust removal. When you do need to bring your car in, make sure you work with the best and most experienced mechanics.

Classic Car Transport Can Be Quick And Easy

Classic car transport is something that requires some special considerations in order to get the job done right.

You want to make sure that a classic care arrives at it’s destination safely and you should look for a company with an outstanding reputation to make the job happen.

You do not want anything to happen to your car during transport and you should work with a company that you can trust.

Car shows can provide a time when you need to get your classic car to a location, but you might not want to put the miles and wear and tear on this classic car. You will be able to use a transport service each time you need to get your car to the next show.

You will also need to use this service to ensure that your vehicle gets home safely. You will be able to travel on your own without worrying about the integrity of your car. This can help you to enjoy your trip more fully and this can be a refreshing time away from home.

When you arrive at your home your car will shortly follow and this can be a great way to attend car shows and show off your prized possession. You will be able to store your car and this will keep your car safe and sound. You will not have any problems with wear or tear or accumulated mileage.

There are some choices when it comes to transporting a classic car. You might want to choose a unit that is enclosed. This is something that can help to keep your car safer on this trip.

This will also help you to worry less while you car is on this journey.

Door to door delivery can also be a great choice for a classic car. You can choose between meeting at a drop off point, or to your door delivery and this can be a great choice that will help you to keep your car in the best condition possible.

If you have any concerns about the transporting of your classic car, you will want to contact the company and make sure that you are completely comfortable with the services.

This can help you to get all of your questions answered and this can help you to make a decision about the transportation of your car.

Classic car transport is something that will need some time and thought. Car shows are something that many car lovers attend. You can ensure that you get your classic car to this event without any problems and home again safely.

Classic Cars in Florida Withstand the Test of Time

Classic cars in Florida are the best choice for hobbyists who want their vintage cars in peak condition. Because of the state’s temperate climate, classic cars in Florida are not subject to the harsh environmental conditions of those in the northeastern and western states. Even the highest quality body work and paint jobs can be ruined by the elements, and environmental conditions can be extremely difficult to predict and control. Here are a few of the pitfalls you avoid when you buy classic cars in Florida.

Cold Temperatures – bodies, coolants
States on the upper east coast are often subject to extremely cold temperatures which can wreak havoc on restored automobiles. For instance, car batteries are always less efficient in the cold. While newer cars’ batteries may stand up well in freezing temperatures, older models often fail to start.

Also, older cars’ coolant systems are less advanced than those found in automobiles produced today. Even with modern antifreeze and lubricants, old transmissions can easily become clogged and sluggish. Finally, cold temperatures – as well as frequently changing temperatures – can shorten the life of tires by causing them to expand and compress. Replacing parts on contemporary vehicles is expensive enough, but finding parts for classic cars can cost a fortune.

Frequent snows in cold states greatly increase the risk of rust on classic cars. Many collectors prize their automobiles’ authentic steel bodies, but metal can easily corrode when it comes into contact with water. Snow can hit warm cars, melt, and cause a great deal of winter-time rust damage.

Road Salt
Most states with high annual snowfalls also have effective salting teams for clearing their roads. While road salt certainly makes streets safer to drive on, it can be horrible for restored automobiles. Salt acts as a catalyst in the chemical reaction between iron and water, accelerating the rusting process on original steel car bodies. Any classic car that’s been heavily driven in the snow has likely suffered more than its fair share of rust damage.

Extreme Heat
The dry heat of dessert states is horrible for both the look and performance of classic cars. Exposure to the hot sun causes paint to fade, peel away, crack, and bubble. Even the upholstery of cars can fade or become excessively dry in high temperatures.

As for performance, the cooling systems of older cars are often ill-equipped to handle extreme heat. The hoses which feed essential lubricants and coolants to the engine and other critical components can crack or melt during the hot summer months. Classic cars from extremely hot states often require additional work and replacement parts to mitigate such heat damage, and they may even need entirely new paint jobs.

Dust and Sand
The excessive dust and sand found in dry climates can easily damage a classic paint job. Over time, small particles can scratch away paint and gloss, causing a car’s color to fade. Dust can also make its way into the engine and other critical components. Classic cars which have spent years or even decades sitting in dry states may have accumulated a great deal of dust damage.

Avoid these headaches and get a restored automobile that will look and perform the way it’s supposed to. Buy your classic cars in Florida – the perfect weather is as good for vehicles as it is for people.

Classic Car Restoration Services: Blasting Vs. Chemical Dip

Classic car restoration projects €” especially Corvette restorations €” require the owner and shop to make the critical decision between blasting the car and using a chemical dip service. Comprehensive classic car restoration services will make this determination based on the particular car and the type of body materials it is comprised of. In order to understand which process will work for your restoration project, it’s important to comprehend the basic differences between blasting and a chemical or acid dip.

Classic Car Restoration Services: Blasting
When it comes to classic car restorations, blasting refers to the process of stripping paint, enamel, finish and other coatings from the body, frame and other areas of the vehicle. This is accomplished by literally blasting particulates at the car at high velocity and intensity. These particulates are referred to as the blasting media, and can consist of different grades of sand, glass beads, crush walnut shells and other media. This process strips the paint and other surface materials off the body and leaves a workable surface that is generally ready to prime.

However, there are a number of things to consider when working on your Corvette restoration, antique Chevy pickup or other project. The most significant problem is that despite the best blasting efforts, it’s impossible to get the media into every space on your body and frame. Weld points, joints and inside the rails of the frame are all areas that cannot be reached with sodablasting, sandblasting or other blasting techniques. In some cases this issue can be corrected by filling these spaces with a waxy filler substance, but even this material will not be able to penetrate all areas where rust may be developing.

Working with a professional classic car restoration services firm is critical for a number of other reasons related to blasting. This includes the fact that blasting leaves a significant amount of particulate materials that are difficult to clean and may cause problems during the final paint coat application process as the particles work their way out of the car and onto the surface. Additionally, inexperienced restorers can actually warp the body elements of your classic car if they are not properly trained or provided with adequate equipment.

If done correctly, one of the most significant benefits of blasting your classic car is that the surface will be instantly ready for primer. Additionally, blasting does not strip the vehicle of sealants and primer in areas that you want left un-blasted.

Overall, blasting is cheaper than a chemical dip, and there are more classic car restoration services offering this particular method than there are those offering a full acid bath. Nevertheless, there are distinct benefits to a chemical dip as well.

Classic Car Restoration Services: Chemical Dip

One of the most significant problems reported with chemical dips is that the neutralization process isn’t always completed properly. In many cases the job simply can’t be completed properly (for the long term) because the acid neutralizer €” applied to the car after the dip to stop the acid from doing residual damage €” isn’t able to get into all of the same areas that the chemical dip reached. This means that over time, some of the acid may leech out and corrode paint or otherwise damage the surface of your classic car.

The trade-off here is that a chemical dip can force its way into every nook and crevice of your car- even attacking the rust on the inside of the frame rails. A chemical dip also means that there is very little preparation work needed €” all undercoating, sealers, oil, resin, tar, dirt and anything else will be stripped away without any manual intervention before or during the dipping process.

Some classic car restoration services have reported that after an acid dip, the resulting surface of the car is so smooth that it’s difficult or impossible to get it to take a coat of paint. Couple this with the fact that an acid bath is often more expensive and less easy to obtain than blasting, and it’s easy to see why so many people complete their classic car restoration projects with blasting services.

However, a true professional classic car restorations shop will carefully analyze your vehicle to determine which the right choice is for you. Because there are so many variables involved and because even the slightest mistake can prove disastrous, it’s best to leave your serious, committed project to an expert classic car restoration services firm.