How To Restore A Classic Car When You’re On A Budget

On one hand it would be nice to have money be no object when you are restoring your classic car. Anything you could dream up could be done when you have an unlimited budget.

At the same time, some form of constraint is great for the creative process. When you don’t have enough money to do anything, you are forced to get creative and make things work. It’s more of a challenge but it can be a fun challenge.

Of course, it takes more effort and some things will need trial and error to get right. But, when you have a few tips to go by then it becomes easier. In this article, I will go over how you can restore the classic car of your dreams on a budget and still be happy with the results.


Make your own parts

One of the biggest expenses when you are restoring a classic car is from the vintage parts. And if the car is older than 50 years people can charge whatever they want for some parts since there are not many out there.

If you are having trouble getting the parts that you need because of how rare they are and your budget doesn’t allow it, then some parts can be made yourself.

You can get a budget 3D printer and make some of the parts this way. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way and machine some parts with a mini metal lathe. Now, you have to have real talent and some experience to make the complex parts, but many simple parts that cost way more than they should can be done this way.


Don’t buy your parts in advance

Let’s piggy back off the last section. If you go out and buy all of your parts up front, you may not have much money left over for some of the things you need later on. So, don’t buy the part until you need them or if you aren’t able to make them yourself.

Try to go with the homemade parts first, then buy if you aren’t capable of creating them. If you want to put in an order to save on delivery charges that would add up by buying one at a time, then go by systems. Pick a system you will work on and buy what you need for that system and that’s it. Then when you move to the next system, say the transmission or something then buy for that or make what you can.


Pick a car that isn’t a total project

Sure, it would be fun to buy a car that has just the basics and you fill in the blanks from start to finish. This can cost a ton of money though.

Your best bet is to find a car that could potentially run with a few tweaks and then doing a little at a time for a full restoration eventually.




Leave a Reply