Restoration Project Planning
I have to admit that I hate this phase. I generally have an idea in my head of what I want to do
with the car, and I'm more interested in getting started working than sitting around thinking about
things. This being said, project planning is an integral part of the restoration process. Why? Because
this allows you to ensure that you're doing the right things at the right time based on the desired
outcome of the project.
- Stock Restoration
- From a planning perspective this is the easiest. You already know, down to each and every nut,
exactly what the vehicle will look like. If you can find the original shop manual for the car and
pair that with the technical services bulletin then it will not only be stock, but you'll be able to
incorporate all the fixes and repairs that would have been done at the factory.
- Councours Restore
- While a Concours Restore is very similar to a stock restore, the differences can be very costly
both in time and money. A Concours restore is generally done for a car that will compete for
authenticity against many other vehicles of the same make and model. The idea is that the car is
exactly the same as it would have been when it came from the factory/dealer. This
doesn't just mean year/made/model specificity, but also highly specific to the vehicle itself. For
example, if you have documentation that the vehicle came from the dealer with add-ons such as matching
luggage or other items like that, you'll need to ensure that you can find/restore those items as well.
This type of restoration can be hugely expensive. I recommend that you would only
try to do this for a car with a very high value at project completion.
- Resto-Mods are highly varied. What differentiates them is the number of items on the vehicle
that wouldn't have been present in a stock vehicle. Some of these are minor items, which won't
be noticed by anyone other than a competetive judge. Others may be very obvious, like putting a
completely different motor in the car. Many of my restorations straddle the stock/resto-mod line.
They have basic safety upgrades that drastically improve the vehicle, but still remain true to the
original car. Some good examples of this are Brake system upgrades (converting drum to disk brakes,
installing a dual master cylinder instead of a single), Basic saftey upgrades (adding or improving
seat belts, adding an extra or brighter set of brake lights) and simple power/performance/efficiency
upgrades (better spark coils, bigger cerburetors, MSD ignitions, 6 to 12 volt conversions).
- Complete custom cars
- These types of restorations may vary wildly from the original vehicle. Some common examples are
chopping/modifying the body, wild engine swaps/upgrades, modernized interiors, computer controls,
DVD players in the car, etc. etc. The outcome on something like this is limited solely by your
Planning Based on Outcomes
The reason why the final outcome it most important is it gives you a good clean picture of the final
product in your mind to measure the existing vehicle against. With this in mind you can properly evalutate
and dismiss ideas as they come during the evaluation. For example, if you know you're going to convert
your car from 6 volt to 12 volt, worrying about the existing electrical system is a minimal item vs. an
important item during the dissasembly. Also, it helps frame the types of costs you will encounter during
Because In-Situ restorations vary from Frame-Off ones, we will
discuss them on separate pages.
In-Situ Project Planning
Frame-Off Project Planning
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