“The act of bringing something back to its former or original condition.”

The word "restoration" is used in many ways and for many things. For example, the paint was restored. Does this mean cleaned, polished, spot repaired or full repaint? Was the previous paint just sanded and re-sprayed, or was it stripped to bare metal, primed and painted? The same questions can be asked of the suspension systems, the electrical systems, the engine, the transmission and so forth. Get the picture? It is all a matter of semantics. And semantics mean everything in the restoration world. To what level has the car been restored? A daily driver, local car show competitor, regional car show winner, factory original, resto-mod or concours ... these are all variants of the “restoration”.

As you can see, the world of restoration is complex and not easy to navigate for the uninformed.

Before you start your journey, choose your destination.

  • What are you going to do with the car?
  • What will be its purpose? What kind, make, model, etc., do you want?
  • What do you want to spend? Are you willing and able to pay for it?
  • Are you willing to trade quality for cost?

The decisions you make here will heavily influence the value when you are done. The rarity of the car, the rarity of the options and combinations thereof and any special history should be seriously looked at. If you happen to already own the car, is it a good candidate or is it a rust bucket? Should you start with another car? Make your decisions early in the process; to change your mind midstream can greatly affect the overall cost.

The reality is, automoile restorations can take a great amount of time and can be very costly. It is not unusual for a restoration to take from 1000 to 4000 hours. A few very rare cars have been known to go as high as 8000 hours. Why so many hours you ask? Have you ever tried to disassemble something that was assembled 30 to 50 years ago without breaking it? Have you ever worked with aftermarket parts? Have you ever tried to put back together untold thousands of parts, nuts, bolts, washers, brackets, seals, etc., and get them to fit, line up and look like they did 30 to 50 years ago?


Fully Restored 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT

The body-off restoration of my 300SL by SLR was a masterly job that looks (and runs) as good today as when it was completed a decade ago, and Bjorn and his team were a pleasure to work with.Knight Kiplinger