Classic Car Owning and Restoration for Beginners

December 9th, 2016 by

Classic Cars

If you want to make classic cars your hobby, go for it. We have all the tools to help you, but before you get too invested, there is a lot to know about owning and restoring classic car. Depending on what kind of shape the classic car is in, what you want it to look like, and how much money you are willing to spend, restoration is basically limitless when it comes to time and money.

Whether you want to do a couple things your most recent barn find, also known as “survivors”, put the finishing touches on a classic clone, or just do a few things to make your vintage car look nice, Mark Leslie in the University Mitsubishi service department can help you out.

Aesthetic Restoration

This is one of the more affordable options when it comes to restoring a classic cars and it is exactly as it sounds, you make the car look good. Maybe some new paint, new exterior finishes and maybe some interior restoration if needed. This doesn’t cover any mechanical or engine restoration, which means, it won’t necessarily run as good as it looks, but that depends on the kind of shape the engine is in.

Survivors/ Barn Finds

The purchase and restoration process of barn finds is another affordable and easy way to restore a car. Basically what this entails is going to an old lot, junk yard, or a sale at someone’s home and picking up and old, beat up classic. Generally, people like barn finds because they are very inexpensive to purchase and can be restored to an almost new looking condition (once again depending on how much money you are willing to spend).

Restored Mod

This is where you are going to spend the big bucks. However, if your are a true classic car nut, this is probably what you will want to do. This process involves full restoration of the vehicle. Some parts of this process remain the classic parts, while others are new parts. A full restoration means interior, exterior, and performance parts are restored and/or replaced. At the end of the process your classic will look like it is still in the 60s (or whatever year you like!).


Clones are basically perfect replicas of a classic car that may not be widely available. Depending on the vehicle, some are worth A LOT, while others may not be worth much at all. This is great if you want a rare car but can’t find or afford the original.

Things to Keep in Mind If You Want to Buy a Vintage Car

  • Driving a classic car is way different from a new car. Get used to the handling and brakes before taking it out on a busy street.
  • Original brakes on classic cars are drum brakes and in comparison to disc brakes (used on cars today) their braking quality is pretty poor. So beware!
  • A/C did not become popular on cars until about 1970, so if you buy something made before then, there’s a good chance it might not have A/C.
  • Cars that don’t have hydraulic rollers (a part on a vehicle’s drivetrain), which is typically cars made before 1980) need engine oil that has zinc, and zinc is no longer used in the oil used in newer cars, but it can still be found in auto stores or purchased online.
  • Also, engine control units (ECUs) were not used in cars before the 1980s, so your chances are your car’s RPMs may not be electronically limited. Therefore, you will need to make sure you do not push your car to its RPM redlines because you can do severe damage to your engine.

How to Know Your Classic is Original

So, you’ve bought a classic whether it be from an auction, barn find or a sales lot and now you want to know if it’s real. There are numbers that are stamped on or cast into basically every part of a car and if a car is entirely original all of the numbers will match up with the car’s VIN number. If some parts are not original, you still have a classic but it’s not 100 percent original.

Finding all of the numbers is actually really difficult because they are often put in very hard-to-find places and you actually need to take the car apart to find all of them. So if you really want to find out how authentic it is or if you want to get it certified, you will need to contact a professional. Professionals will examine every number on all of the parts of your car and then tell you which parts are authentic and which are not. Some of the better professionals will actually tell you where you can find original parts for the parts that are not original.

If you have a classic you are looking to restore and need help, call our service center (954-745-9375), and ask for Mark! If you have benefited from Mark’s restoration in the past, please feel free to share your finished product with us on Facebook.

Classic Car