The Times Journal & Russell County News
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Cruisin': Buying a classic car?
In Oct. 31 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

For beginners, buying and restoring classic cars can be a very hard task.

While it may be safer to hire a mechanic to do all the restoration for you, it  would be great if you also learn how to do restoration by yourself.

Aside from saving money paid for a mechanic, you get to have a stronger attachment to your car since you will be the one who will put in all the hard work.

Before you buy a car do a little research. Take your time and what’s really important don’t just buy anything. But something you really like even if it going to cost you a little bit more either for the car of the restoration itself.

Read up on everything you can read about your car. A decade ago, you would have a hard time finding which parts would fit a first-generation automobile.

But since you now have the power of the Internet, you can easily research on which parts and options your classic car has.

For some getting that part you need could take years or you may have to drive a great distance to get it. For example, in just a few days I’ll be driving to New York just to pick up a door for one of my cars. Take all that into consideration.

You can also look for restoration stories.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people who have been through this.

There is no greater information source than someone who has already restored a car or truck. Take notes of the problems involved in the restoration so you can be ready if the same problem comes your way.

Inspect your car thoroughly, parts which are heavily rusted need to be replaced. Will you be able to get those parts? Check everything under the hood.

Look for leaks, worn-out belts, and suspicious connections.

Another thing you need to do for inspection is to make a list of everything that needs to be replaced, repaired, or simply cleaned.

By doing so, you will know what to buy and where to buy them. One thing that judges look at is detail. Clean and paint everything possible to make your car look better than new.

for non-mechanical parts like rear-view mirrors or seats at junk shops, or look for parts on ebay or at car shows.

For all the other parts, like the engine, brakes, carburetor, piston, and even the a/c system, you need to find unused stock parts.

If you think your local shop does not have what you need, resort to online shops.

Online car part shops offer a wide variety, and would probably have what you are looking for. Don’t get discouraged, sometimes these parts are hard to find.

Create a color scheme for your car.

If you want to make your car really authentic, you simply need to find the original colors of the paint, not the brand of the paint itself. Find a shop that offers a variety of colors for your car.

In the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a number code that will tell you the type of paint that was originally used on your car.

Remember to do the paint job last. You would not want to scratch your newly painted car with a mishap while putting the engine in.

Take care of the engine first. If you are not going to replace it, you still need to take it out in order to clean it and perform maintenance work.

If the seats need to be replaced, take them out. Since you will probably be hiring someone to re-upholster the seat, take care of all the other replacements and repairs first.

At this point, the car should be very light, since the seats and the engine would be taken out.

Detach the tires too, and you’ll get a car as light as can be. In this way, you can start working on everything that’s under the car without worrying too much about accidents.

After doing the mechanical restoration on the car return everything that you have taken out or detached. Take the car for a test drive.

Do this before you paint the car also. This way, you can still take out the engine if it needs repairs. This will save you precious time in after-repairs and maintenance.

Now for the paint job, use old newspaper and cover everything that you don’t want to have paint on—glass, mirrors, tires, and chrome parts. DO NOT just spray paint over the old one.

Prep and prime it first, and spray the paint after. Use only one direction in spraying the paint, so you will have a completely even finish.

One final tip that I found useful, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you are having a problem or just not sure on how to attack the problem you are having.

You will find that most car people are more than willing to give some tips to a fellow Car person.

Next  week we will take a look at buying a classic car on eBay!

If your Car Club is having an event and you would like us to tell everyone about or someone who you would like to see featured in this article send all information to, .

All information on upcoming events needs to be in at least two weeks before the event.

If your Club or church or group is having an event and you would like to display some classic cars at that event let me know at least two weeks before the event.

I will put you in contact with one of the clubs that will gladly bring their cars out for display.

Until next time, Keep Cruisin’!

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