It is very easy to underestimate the hidden costs of car restoration. Our clients typically forget to budget for the hidden costs like suspension and running gear. Re-building and re-bushing suspension can add £1000s to the cost of a restoration and a complete set of rubbers for many classic cars can easily exceed £1000. Before purchasing a car to restore it is worth having it inspected by a restoration company who will be able to spot the hidden investment required.
It’s important to remember that each model of car went through subtle changes over the years of its production. One of our clients bought a US specification 1968 Porsche to restore and based his budget on the restoration cost on a 1967 model. He later found out that Porsche introduced a number of one year only design features onto the 1968 model. Amongst these were a one year only door card design and today these are almost impossible to find with original sets commanding many thousands of pounds. These simple door cards along with the different US specification one year only features added nearly £4000 of extra costs to the overall restoration. An example of why it’s important to really understand not just the model but the intricacies of the manufacturing year.
BMW CS and CSA examples from the mid 1970s are extremely popular cars to restore at the moment. But because they have only recently become desirable there are very few reproduction parts available and so finding replacement parts is both a time consuming and costly exercise.
Compare that with Jaguar, a brand that has been a classic car restoration favourite for years. Modern versions of vintage replacement parts can be easily found from variety of suppliers. You can have a Mark 2 Jaguar centre grill in your hands the day after you order it – we will happily challenge you to find an original mid 1970s BMW CSA centre grill for sale anywhere within a month.
So, pick your restoration vehicle with care – or better still get a restoration business who have restored other examples of the same car to advise you before you buy.