A Classic vehicle such as a classic dodge is priceless and a dream for many car enthusiasts to own one day.
The best part about having one is obvious, it’s one heck of an addition to the collection. Not to mention that you can show it off to some A* grade car shows with everyone appreciating it. Finding one of these classic Dodge cars is a pain in itself, but as always there is another small caveat.
Restoring one from the brink of death can be a deal-breaker for many car lovers. It’s not only a very expensive endeavor, but it is also hard to find vintage Dodge parts. The restoration of cars can have different levels of completion or different amounts of work done for certain aspects depending on the purpose of its restoration.
Why Do You Want To Restore A Classic Dodge?
There are a variety of reasons why you would want to restore such a car. The first and foremost is not just collecting a classic, but also a higher turn around because you took on the job and used your money to invest in it. This is why many places can sell these cars for a marginal profit. The classic Dodges are beloved by most car lovers, the older versions are more sought after and gets a price hike.
There are also the different levels of restoration you can attempt on this, the simplest one is to make it drivable and that’s all there is to it. Sure it might have some rudimentary cosmetic changes, but overall the parts inside don’t necessarily need to be the same or similar to the originals.
The medium level restoration is leaps and bounds higher than the simple restoration. This is the type for the most enthusiast, who wants to show off their cars to their peers and face off about who has the best-looking classic in street shows. Rev the engine, and boil some spirits up with it and give it a light spin to get the feel off. That’s something we all can get behind, but that car is not a daily driver. You can’t take a potentially riced up car to the dirt roads and have the risk of damaging it and ruining the bodywork and dirtying it.
The third type is the pure Dodge nerds (nerds in a good way, I appreciate them); I mean there is no other way around it. They are maniacs in terms of collecting and restoring them to the exact look, feel, smell and drivability like the car is factory new. That’s a professional plus level of dedication and its more than just a hobby. For that kind of work, you need heavy tools, customized parts made to look like original which are super rare to find.
The worst part is the bodywork, if that’s ruined beyond a point, it can’t be restored unless you strip off a good conditioned body part from another vehicle of the same model. So beware of the impending issues you will have to face to do that, this also includes that some of the older generation parts might get banned or made illegal for certain reasons.
This needs a lot of determination, and if you are not ready to spend an astronomical amount of time, money, and hard work. Then please avoid taking such a project, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Restore Your Classic Dodge Vehicles
Assuming you are gunning for a certain model, you need to research in-depth about the car. You will need to know what original parts were in it, what can be replaced for newer model parts, how can it be upgraded (For normal driver and some enthusiasts). You need to know where to find those parts and can save up as much as you can for the restoration of degraded irreplaceable parts. Online communities that are dedicated to such things is your best bet to start.
Inspecting a vehicle is the first and foremost job for you to undertake personally or with a very trusted and experienced person. The cars can have hidden oil leaks, rusted hoods, doors, and flooring. They can have decayed seats if any, and the engine in a good condition. For each level of restoration, you need a certain percent of the original car to be there for it to be an acceptable undertaking.
For example, say you want to just make it drivable and the shroud of a dodge car to be what you want and use it daily. For that, the car doesn’t need to be too complete and you can change many parts and seats to make it drivable. You certainly don’t need to care too much about how the car differs from the original, as that is not your goal, to begin with. But for the nerds this is not remotely acceptable, the more these care are complete and original, the easier it is for it to be turned factory new.
Working Engine And Mechanical Parts
The type of car you would want no matter what your restoration determination is to have a working engine and parts preferably. This is so that you can have less hassle later on and need to waste less money trying to get a replacement engine and mechanical parts. This is a great edge over a non-functional junk, and please avoid those junk buckets.
Rust And Part Availability
Rust is the biggest foe you need to contend with when trying to save an old time-worn car. This can ruin the whole vehicle and has to be taken to a professional no matter what. The part and sections that are too far gone need to be partially restored or completely replaced and wielded with new steel sections and parts. The whole body needs to be blasted with sand, it needs to be stripped off and removed if necessary.
Getting body panel aftermarket parts can be a hassle if the model is rare or the model panel parts are also similarly rare. So that can also be a deal-breaker in many cases, whether or not it’s worth using months to years to find certain parts. Keep all of this in mind before going headfirst to such projects.
Some stuff is better left to those legendary car nerds. They will most likely have the expenses and also are super capable of these types of work and better left for them. Also its always better to bring someone who knows these cars inside out in the best-case scenarios, or in the least favorable scenario, someone who has handled and worked with one of these Dodge classics before. Not only do they help you find a good car to restore, consulting on how to restore the cars, they can also help to find parts for it.
There is a huge online community for these kinds of restoration work. And that is the first place you should look before starting to restore a Dodge classic.
Legal Papers And Information
Always try to get a car that has no weird legal bindings, or has no proper paperwork. This can be a hassle and potentially put you in a legal problem. You will need to find whether or not the car is stolen, or can’t be sold without the DMV’s paperwork and needs new licensing. This all can be avoided if the original owner or the ownerless vehicle has the proper registration and serial number.
Restoring a car is a huge undertaking, so start slow and make your decisions accordingly. And also remember to keep that budget in mind before going for it.