By Mike Atwal
27th June 2019

DIY Classic Car Restoration – Road to Happiness or Hell?

It’s easy to underestimate how much work a classic car project needs.

You fall in love with it, you put on your rose tinted glasses and say out loud “a little bit of welding, good service and it’ll be spot on”. Besides, the Internet will show you exactly how to do everything – won’t it?

You’ve got this.

You smile one more time looking back at your new beloved before heading off home on a low loader; because of course it is not quite usable yet.

Once home the YouTube and Google search begins.

You stay up all night in this honeymoon state of classic car ownership elation and you can’t wait to remove the thermostat housing.

You begin.

And contrary to what the YouTube videos you watched all night promised, the first bolt of the day you touch, yes you’ve guessed it – SNAPS.


You gasp your first sigh of many and with oily hands you dig out your phone and open YouTube. Search; “How to remove a snapped bolt” – and it turns out you don’t have the tools for it.

This ‘just married’ period of classic car ownership quickly ends and the realities of what your car needs in stark comparison to what you can actually do begins to stare you in the face.

So if you love getting your hands dirty and are patient and happy to invest in tools and thrive from learning as you go – happy days. It will be rewarding and you will get there in the end.

Another way; you could give the car to a professional and just cover the bill. Failing all of the above, buy one that is ready to hit the ground running and just enjoy it from day one.

Have you got a classic car project love affair story to share?