The Four Levels of Classic Car Restoration

Let’s face it, owning and driving a beautiful classic is a dream for most car enthusiasts. Restoring a beat-up classic to its former glory is another matter entirely.

Classic car restoration can be a long and daunting task. That’s even more so if you are unclear about where to start and what to expect. At Heritage, we like to use the four recognised levels of classic car restoration as a guide. Here’s how you can apply them based on your budget and purpose.

Driving condition:

This is for vehicles which are fully operational but may require replacement parts and some minor cosmetic adjustments.

To do this effectively, you may want to inspect your car very carefully, top to bottom, inside and out. This will help you see the kind of repairs that need to be done and how much they should cost. If possible, take it to a garage where a professional can lift your vehicle to take a good look from beneath.

Street show condition:

This applies to vehicles that are in working condition with no major cosmetic issues. The car will usually fall within 80-89 points when judged by a restoration professional.

If you are not sure what this is, the 100-points system is a universal system used in rating the condition of a classic car. This ranges from 100 being excellent to 20 being unrestorable.

In order to get your classic to a street show level, it is best that you start with a parts catalogue relevant to your model. This will allow you to get the most accurate parts and accessories as well as ensure that you don’t run over your initial budget.

Show car:

This level is most easily obtained by hiring professionals rather than relying on hobbyist tools and equipment. If professionally judged, a show car would score in the 90-95 point range.

You can still be a big part of the restoration process even after hiring a professional. How so? By studying the factory manual and understanding the different specs for your vehicle. Odds are you can find your vehicle’s old manual at the library, on eBay, or even in digital form online.

Concours condition:

This is considered the highest, most professional level of restoration possible. This work is usually reserved for cars in auto shows or destined for private collectors. These vehicles are typically not meant to be driven in order to safeguard the beauty and magnificence of the restoration.

Ultimately, regardless of which level of restoration you choose, it is important to get your restored vehicle to last a long time. This lies in giving proper maintenance to your newly restored classic using all the recommended parts and products. If the vehicle is properly maintained, it will become a valuable asset and a sure head turner in due time.

If you need to insure a classic car, call us today on 0121 248 9229 to discuss your options. We also provide classic 4×4 insurance, so give us a call if you’re about to gear up for the off-road season. In addition, we cover bikes, military vehicles and more.


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