1960 Classic Cars
By Jerry Wright - 1960ClassicCars.com
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For Sale: 1963 Thunderbird
Needs complete restoration.
Does not run. $3,500.

We have all seen a similar ad on a classic car. To someone who has limited mechanical skills, the ad would be quickly skipped then on to the next one.
But to someone who has moderate to good mechanical skills it might be tempting. The joy of re-creating a car such as this is infinite and the value it would represent when finished is worth considering.

However, we also see many ads such as this:
For Sale: 1963 Thunderbird
Started restoration - Do not have time to finish.
Over $4,000 in new parts. Asking 4,500 or best offer.

In taking over a major restoration project, it is possible that you may not recoup your investment. What seems like a good idea in the first place can be sabotaged by many factors such as lack of: mechanical inexperience, replacement parts, equipment needed for repairs, money, space to work and spare time to work on the vehicle. In many cases, these types of jobs are left for the professionals. Someone who has access to everything necessary to complete the job correctly. Most novice restorers highly underestimate the task ahead of them. If you are in over your head and then turn to professionals to complete the job, then you will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars more than you budgeted for in labor costs. If you are just getting into owning a classic car for the first time, it might be advised to tackle a job that calls for a minor restoration. If that goes well then you can graduate to slightly more complicated projects in future years as your knowledge and experience grows. Of course, you could simply target a car to buy that already is in above average to excellent condition. That greatly takes away the worry, expense and time that you would invest in putting the car on the road. Yes you will pay more for the restored vehicle but it is a heck of a lot easier to hop in a car that needs very little repair and drive it today versus visiting the car in your garage everyday hoping that one day in the months ahead you can finally drive it.

Here are some great resources for classic car restoration tips.
Classic Car Restoration or Not
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