What to consider when restoring a classic car?

When it comes to restoring a classic car, it’s never a quick fix job.

How many of you have a classic in your garage which you intend to fix up over this next year or so? We figure there must be a fair few, so this is why Heritage has decided to create a classic car restoring checklist.

Once you’ve bought your future pride and joy you should set yourself a quick tick checklist which will include all of the things you can consider before you dig in. So before you start ask yourself this; ‘if my project takes more than a year or so to finish, will I remember where everything goes?’ Although this is an obvious one, it gives you an idea of how you can plan your restoration project around your everyday life and plans.

We say this because a bit of pre-planning can save you a lot of time and effort, in the long run. As the good old fashion phrase goes, more haste less speed.

Usually the largest cost when restoring a car is the labour, unless you plan on doing the whole project yourself. But even then, at some point you would probably need some professional knowledge and help, even if it’s just for sandblasting the shell.

Checklist for restoring a classic car

Here’s a quick tick list of what to look for before you start restoring your classic

1/ Corrosion

You can’t always tell from images the true extent of how badly corroded the shell or engine is. If the car is left unused the oil eventually drains away, but dependent on what type of oil is used an acidic residue can form, this can then corrode any bare metal it comes into contact with.

It can also cause bigger problems in the future too, for example; if the fuel manifolds are corroded this can result in a fuel leak and can quickly turn to fire when the engine is started.

If you’d like some advice about rust treatments and preventions speak to our partner Buzzweld who offer Heritage Classic Car Insurance customers 5% off any of their products.

With years of experience and industry knowledge, Buzzweld are able to offer their customers simple, cost effective rust treatments with proven results. They’re happy provide your with the advice you need and will point you in the right direction with their unique products ranging from vapour release cavity waxes, top coats to tailored rust protection kits for your vehicle. Find out more about the products they offer or to get some advice on what to consider when restoring a classic car here.

2/ Seized Components

When car components are left un-used usually they start to seize, for example; Brakes start to seize when left unused due to previous owners not fully draining the brake fluids when putting the car away for storage. With fluids needing to be changed every two years, make sure you check this out.

Heritage Classic Car Insurance work with specialist partners who offer discounts on oils and lubricants for your classic. Take a look at our partner Retro Classic Car Parts who have 30 years of industry experience, they have a range of Penrite and Evans oils on their website and offer Heritage customers 15% off their orders. Frost Auto Restoration has been a family owned business supplying specialist products for your classic car restoration for over 100 years. They have a range of products on their website, and offer Heritage customers free delivery.

3/ Hoses

If the car has been left standing for a long period of time, the rubber hoses tend to harden and crack over time. This can cause all sorts of problems for the vehicle, including the dreaded fuel leaks. Dependent on how long the car has been off of the road, you should look at changing these when you restore too.

If you’re in need of replacement hoses for your classic, visit our partner Frost Auto Restoration who offers Heritage customers free delivery on their orders. Frost Auto Restoration is a 100 year old family business, offering specialist products for your classic car restoration find out more here.

4/ Electrics

Although it’s an obvious one, a car battery tends to go flat in about 4 weeks, so batteries should be replaced entirely if they have been left dormant for more than a 3 month period.

If you are looking for electrical components for your classic take a look at our partner Retro Classic Car Parts Ltd, who have a background in Lucas Electrics and over 30 years experience sourcing and supplying specialist classic car parts, both original and reproduction. As a customer of Heritage you’ll also receive 10% off your order from Retro Classic Car Parts, for more information click here.

Heritage also work in partnership with Powerlite who offer a range of specialist performance rotating electrics for classic cars including starter motors, alternators and of course Dynalite which replicated the original dynamo units. As a Heritage Classic Car Insurance customer you get 10% off Powerlite products, find out more about Powerlite here.

5/ Mould

Whenever anything is left for a long period of time there will always be some form of mould and this tend to spread throughout the entire interior. But don’t worry; there are plenty of cleaning products available to help remove the infestation. Well, that is if you don’t plan on changing the interior.

If you’re in need of specialist Leather cleaning, maintenance and repair products speak to our partner the Leather Repair Company, who has been injecting new life into scuffed, ripped and mouldy leather for over 30 years. As a customer of Heritage Classic Car Insurance you’ll get 15% off their range of products, for more information click here.

Looking to prevent mould build up? Our partner Specialised Covers offer tailored car covers for your classic, with a range of outdoor and indoor protection. Specialised Covers have been producing lightweight, waterproof and breathable classic car covers for over 35 years and offer Heritage customers 10% off their products. Find out more.

This is just a couple of areas we advise on checking when restoring your classic. But you should always double check with any mechanics and bodywork professionals before starting out on your restoration project.

If you have a restoration project and are in need of laid up cover, why don’t you contact a member of the Heritage team on 0121 248 9229