Infographic: Steps for Restoring Classic Cars

Auto restoration may be just a hobby for some classic car-lovers, but for many auto shops restoring old cars is a full time job that brings in big profits. It could be a love of handiwork, an interest in the history of vehicles, or even just a plain old love for cars that inspires you to follow this fascinating career path.

Anyone considering an auto career or with a specific interest in say, automotive painting may be curious about the art of restoration, and what exactly goes into rebuilding a car. Here’s a quick overview of the basics:

Steps for Restoring Classic Cars

Choosing Your Car

  • Finding a partially restored car can save you labour, but a completely unrestored car will save you money
  • The internet is an excellent place to source rare finds

Most Popular Cars to Restore

  • 60s Chevy Camaro
  • 80s Chevy Corvette
  • 60s Ford Mustang

Be Wary Of…

  • Rust – Could force you to strip the entire chassis
  • Dead Engines – You may need to rebuild the whole engine
  • Rare Models – Specific parts will be very expensive, or extinct


  • Disassemble the entire car for cleaning and damage assessment


  • Most classic cars need engine replacement parts
  • Some manufacturers may still produce certain parts


  • Dents are hammered out or corrected with body filler.
  • Corroded parts may be treated with sandpaper or replaced entirely.


  • Always use a professional auto painter.
  • Reference old pictures to reproduce the original paint job – authenticity matters for collectors!

Trim and Moldings

  • Keep and use the original trim and moldings for a more authentic restoration.

Pro Tip: Reuse Parts

  • Cleaning and reusing original parts (even just bolts!) will increase the overall re-sale value of the car


Form is submitting