Choosing to build a classic car is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly. It can be expensive, difficult and time consuming, but few can deny that it isn’t a rewarding experience. There’s nothing that beats the feeling of looking at something brilliant that you’ve made yourself, and classic cars often have an excellent resale value if that’s something you’d be interested in.
Now, a guide to building a classic car is well beyond the scope of this article, but if you’re thinking about doing it, then the following points are the things you need to think about.
Classic cars cost a lot of money, and building one is no different. It will be tricky, but you need to work out your budget, and how much the build is going to cost. Overestimate too; there’s nothing worse than getting part way through something before you discover you can’t afford it. The main cost will be for the parts, but you might also find that you need additional tools to do the job, especially if you have to custom make parts like body work.
You have to be absolutely sure that you have the skills to pull off the build. You’ll have to be knowledgeable in all aspects of automotive engineering in order to get everything to work properly. There will be all kinds of problems along the way, and although it’s ok to get help, you might find that this adds a lot more cost. The more guides you can gather together the better, but it’s essential to have a good understanding first.
You’re unlikely to be the first person to have built the car you’re making, and if you can find other people who have experience, then they’ll be extremely useful. You’ll be able to find them in classic car and owners clubs on the internet. These clubs are also useful in that they’ll have contacts to source parts and information, so joining one is always a good idea.
You’ll clearly need a good place to work on the vehicle, and a large garage is ideal. The space need to be large enough to accommodate the vehicle once it’s complete, but also for all the tools and equipment that you might need. Some pieces of machinery, such as those that work with metal to make bodywork, will be large. You also need to make sure there’s plenty of space to work on and move different parts, such as the large engine block.
You’ll need just about any tool you can think of when building the car, and be prepared to buy some more. Think wrenches and sockets of all sizes, power tools and more. You may also need to get large items of machinery to work with sheet metal, which you can get from Clarence Jones Machinery. It will depend on how readily available the parts are, and whether or not you decide to use a donor car.