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Create Your Own Classic

Restoring a classic ride yourself may be more satisfying than cruisin' — if you do it right

If the idea of restoring a classic with your own hands appeals to you, here are some things to consider:

Time
How long it will take depends on the quality and historical accuracy you desire. It may be as little as a few months or as long as several years. Face that reality before you commit. Don't create an insane deadline for yourself and end up crazed.

Labor
You'll save a few bucks doing it yourself, but there are a few tasks that you'll need to hire out: chrome plating, anodizing, and engine-component machining, for starters. You may also need to hire someone for upholstery, body prep, paint, and engine assembly, depending on your skill level.

Money
You simply can't build a champagne car on a beer budget. Plan to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000, not including the price of the car. That's a very broad range, but the final cost will depend on what you'll need, the condition of the car, and the extent of your detail fantasies.

Your Goal
Be honest with yourself. Do you want to produce a nice ride (looks decent and runs fine)?  Or do you want a perfectly restored car that's historically accurate, down to every screw and clamp? Your answers will determine the kind of time and bank you'll need.

Read More: Classic Gems Worth the Effort

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