Automotive Careers: Classic Car Restorer

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As a society, we’re getting more and more obsessed with looking back into the past – we love nostalgia. From vinyl records making a comeback to people reliving the fashions of the 80s, nostalgia is all around us. We remember things from long ago that made us feel happy or sad, or just plain feel, and we want to experience that again. The same goes for the automotive industry and the climbing popularity of restoring classic cars. Beautiful relics of the past like the inimitable Pontiac Firebird or the Oldsmobile Cutlass have never gone out of style, with enthusiasts everywhere striving to find old models in decent shape and make them purr again. However, did you know that restoring classic cars doesn’t have to just be a fun pastime? Becoming a classic car restorer is one of the coolest new trends in automotive careers.

The Two Types of Classic Car Restorers

When it comes to restoring cars, there are two very different but specific camps of classic car restorers. There are the classic car purists, who will only restore cars in the ways they were originally built and maintained, and then there are the forward-thinking restorers, who will use the latest technologies and innovations to make a stronger, faster and more modern restoration of a classic car.

The upside to being a classic car purist is that you get to recreate the beauty of a classic automobile just as it was when it was built, as a testament to the staying power of iconic cars. The downside, however, is that finding original parts that are in good shape can sometimes be a huge challenge, and often there are complications.

For classic car restorers who are okay with using new technologies and new parts, finding them isn’t really an issue, and by and large they experience much fewer problems with restoration because of it. However, the classic car loses some of its allure and appeal when more and more of it becomes made up of present-day parts, and at some point it may defeat the purpose of the restoration in the first place.

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How Do You Get the Job?

First of all, to become a classic car restorer, you not only have to be extremely familiar with classic cars – inside and out. We’re talking really familiar, like knowing everything there is to know about a 1961 Lincoln Continental. It can be a tall order, since there are fewer and fewer classic cars around these days – something that’s hopefully going to be changing – but there is a wealth of information on the internet about pretty much any make and model you can dream of, so there are options.

There are even great web series about restoring classic cars, like this one:

Secondly, it’s imperative that you have training as an automotive technician, or you’ve at least completed an auto mechanic apprenticeship, because you’re going to be getting down and dirty with these cars. You’ll be taking them all apart, cleaning them up, swapping out parts, and ensuring that everything goes back together as smoothly and tightly as possible.

So, if you’re someone who’s obsessed with old muscle cars or 1930s Fords, maybe a job as a classic car restorer is right up your alley!

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