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Car Restoration

Car Restoration

Car Restoration – A Comprehensive Guide on Classic Car Restoration

Automobiles have become symbols of modern society, that we cannot even imagine a life without them. It’s been more than 150 years since they first appeared on the road and we always appreciate their presence in our lives. However, it should be noted that this did not come easily. The technological challenges and challenges that have been overcome are innumerable.

It is a fact that automobiles were not such reliable and efficient vehicles at first. Rather, they were a sign of power or a luxury passion. As a matter of fact, these features are the basis of the passion that keeps the interest in classic cars alive in modern society. That’s why car enthusiasts around the world have such a keen interest in classic car restoration. As Key Garage, we are inspired by this passion and reinvent classic cars for you.

However, the prices of classic cars are proportional to their age, and it can be difficult to buy one right away and have it restored. Therefore, proper care and proper guidance should be followed before undertaking such projects. You are in luck, because at Key Garage we are ready to guide you.

Restoration vs. Preservation

Auto Preservation refers to the effort to carefully maintain a vehicle over the years to keep it as good as new. Speaking of which, we would like to point out that while “car preservation” represents a purer effort to relive the golden age of the automobile, “car restoration” means doing whatever it takes to ensure that classic cars can drive safely on modern streets. Debates targeting the fine line between conservation and restoration continue even today.

Types of Restoration

Car restoration, an area we specialize in as Key Garage, can be dated back to the 1940s or even the 1930s. But we can say that this mechanical effort gained its real momentum at the end of the Second World War. Restoration of cars was no longer a problem, thanks to the large stock of spare parts that remained after the war. Moreover, when the factories dedicated to the production of war machines remained empty, considerable potential for the production of civilian needs emerged.

This era also saw the emergence of a “hot-road” culture in the US, a subculture in which car enthusiasts began replacing the engines of vintage cars with more powerful performance counterparts.

As the number of people interested in classic cars increased, so did the market value of these cars. Literally, “rise of the flea market.” People began to appreciate the cultural and historical value of such vehicles and were willing to pay a fortune without hesitation to have a similar one. Therefore, car enthusiasts around the world have embarked on a feverish effort to affordably buy damaged classic cars and restore them to their former glory for sale to the wealthy.

However, as the market grew, the demands also changed and developed. Controversy has also arisen about how close to reality such restoration projects are, as many use contemporary pieces to replace hard-to-get ones. The result was a tougher and purer group of restorers who went to great lengths to restore the car to its original specifications.

It goes without saying that these are more valuable than those with contemporary counterparts and are auctioned at much higher prices. This situation, which has created a kind of “class” in the restoration community, can inevitably lead to a prejudice in modern environments where classic cars are concerned.

Classic car restoration can be basicly divided into 4 stages:

Concours d ‘Elegance

The highest level of prestige a restored car can achieve is called the ‘Concours d’Elegance’. A click below this level is ‘Concours Ready’, which, although lower in prestige than the other, is more popular because it does not require certain criteria in terms of marketing.

The term is most often used for cars that have been restored with the highest level of craftsmanship in keeping with their original construction. It usually takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the best results in automobile restoration at this level.


Conventional restoration means returning the car to its original condition at the time it was manufactured. While modern parts can be used to replace old and defective parts, efforts should be made to obtain original parts if possible.

While some may focus on fully restoring the car with modern parts, there are those who want to keep it purely with traditional parts. However, it is also possible to use both approaches in combination, depending on the possibilities and the condition of the car. The authenticity of such restorations depends more on what the owner wants to see in the end than on the purpose of the restorer.


Restoration modification is the art of restoring an old car in such a way that it can be restored to its original condition using modern parts and peripherals. Not all restoration modifications will fit this definition, and this process is mostly driven by expectations and available parts.

Most restoration modifications include steps to improve quality of life such as air conditioners, power steering, power windows and stereo systems, which may not have been specifically included with the original make. However, in some restoration modifications, the engine, suspension and brakes can be replaced with modern ones to improve performance. Although some ‘resto-modists’ are not accepted by pure restorationists, there are not few who support this approach. One of the most prominent supporters of the restoration modification is television celebrity Jay Leno, who said in an interview, “If it’s going to make the car better, safer, more reliable and faster, why not?” he supported.

External Protection

Many believe that the wear and tear that accumulates on the exterior of the car due to age and weather conditions adds to its personality. For this reason, many restorers around the world choose to leave the car exterior “as is” and focus more on enhancing the interiors and performance of the vehicles. If this is your desire, we at Key Garage promise you the best exterior protection.

It may sound impossible, even unbelievable; but all dents, scratches, soiled original paint coat and all traces that give the car its character are covered with a protective varnish. As a matter of fact, this process, which can increase restoration costs several times, is an effort that adds to the originality and value of the car.


Now that you know the basics of car restoration, let’s talk about the process of restoring the car. Since the whole process is quite expensive and time consuming, very good planning is inevitable before embarking on such a project. If you think you are ready for this job, keep the following points in mind:


First of all, you need to decide what motivates you to restore. Will you drive the car yourself after the restoration? Is your goal to make money by selling at auction? Are you restoring the car for its sentimental or historical value? Are you going to attend auto shows or similar shows? All these questions will help determine the nature of the vehicle, as well as the restoration process.

What Will You Restore?

Now is the time to choose a suitable car. Let’s just say that all classic cars may not have equal values in all areas. For example, the car you choose to restore for your own personal use on the streets will be drastically different from the car you restore for commercial value. Not all classic cars are of equal value, and models that were released in limited numbers at the time are preferred over more readily available models. A rare Pontiac GTO will certainly cost more than a Mustang. For this reason, do not make a decision right away when making your choice and fall in love with the model that is worth your effort.


The primary challenge of automobile restoration is the budget. Most beginners tend to choose their favorite car and then build a budget around it. The budget for the restoration process will often exceed the originally anticipated budget. We do not say that this happens all the time, but it is useful to be prepared for unexpected surprises in the budget. In order to have an idea about the availability and costs of products and/or parts, make sure to do a detailed research before starting the project or get consultancy service from the experts. Thus, it will be possible for you to progress your project within the prescribed budget limits and to evaluate the factors that may affect financially in a timely manner.


Be sure to ask yourself this? You have the car and the necessary parts for the restoration process; So, do you have the skills to restore the car to its original state? Always keep in mind that the build of a classic car is very different from a modern one and you may find it difficult to run such a project with your usual skills! So you will need some preliminary information before attempting the restoration. Fortunately, there are a number of information resources and tools available for a project like this today. But nothing can replace years of experienced mastery. We strongly recommend that you contact an experienced restorer who can guide you through the entire process. As Key Garage, we are happy to offer you the highest quality restoration service that exceeds your dreams.

Time and Space

Automobile restoration is a long process. Be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort right from the start. If you’re new to this hobby and think it’s just a regular weekend pastime, you’re wrong! The restoration process can take from several months to a year, depending on the make and condition of the car. Before starting the project, make sure you have enough time and space so that it doesn’t conflict with your personal or work life. Most enthusiasts don’t realize how quickly a restoration project can turn from a fun activity to a big headache!

At Key Garage, we’ve outlined the main points to keep in mind before embarking on a comprehensive project. We understand that there are many factors that can affect a project from start to finish, and such projects can seem overwhelming to a beginner. But when you plan in detail what you need to do, your restoration project can be extremely fun. Most importantly, the big prize – a beautifully restored classic car – awaits you at the end! If you have any other questions about the process, you can call us. Or best of all, bring your car to Key Garage and leave the rest to us.