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Restoring Your Classic Car

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An alluring part of the American Dream, owning a classic car captures the imagination of Americans everywhere. These vintage beauties hark from a simpler time, but slowly deteriorate with each passing year. Restoring your historic-era car takes dedication and skill — but when done correctly — heads will turn whenever you take it out for a  spin.

The heart of any car — the engine brings the vehicle to life. A dead engine probably requires a certified mechanic’s expertise. If the engine runs smoothly, steam or power wash the engine compartment and repaint it. Next, check the gearbox and transmission and change the oil. Also replace any worn parts, such as drive belts, radiator hoses or spark plug wires. Add transmission fluid if need, and check the clutch if restoring a manual shift car.

Polish the car with chrome polishing to return the exterior to its former glory. Coat the rubber that lines the doors and windows with silicone spray to help them operate smoothly. Repair any cracks in the windshield, no matter how small, or replace the windshield entirely.

Just as important as the exterior, the interior should provide the same luxurious comfort that it offered in its heyday. Install new upholstery if required and replace dirty floor panels. Stain remover can remove most upholstery stains. For stubborn, worn-in stains or upholstery with cracks or tears, replacement might be necessary.

Body Painting a Vintage Automobile

Often major roadblock to completing restoration, body panels require extra care. To add more value to the vehicle, restore the original paint color for authenticity.. Even if the original paint seems fine, a new and healthy coat of paint protects the frame from rust. Rusted, dented or damaged body panels need to be replaced completely. Contact a professional to carefully replace or paint historic body panels.

For more information about restoring your classic car from the experts at O’Neill’s Body Shop, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.949.6840.