Car Restoration Business Guide to Restoring a Classic

The market for original vintage cars is continuously flourishing. Classic car restoration multimedia coverage is increasing. From Netflix shows and YouTube vlogs to social media shops and hobbyist sites, you can see car restorations anywhere you look. More and more enthusiasts are starting to invest in collecting these automobile masterpieces themselves. But is there more to this current hype? Can this turn into something other than just a hobby?


Are you looking to provide services or do you plan to sell it as a product? This is the most important question you have to ask yourself before submerging into this industry. Your answer can be the difference between having a seasonal business and a 21st-century goldmine.

An Aston Martin that didn’t even win any races got sold at $21.455 million. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO shattered sales records by getting sold at $48.405 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2018. German collector, David Macneil sold a 1963 Ferrari GTO in a private sale for $70 million.

Restoring classic cars is undoubtedly fun. But doing it as a side hustle is even better. Here are three quick and easy-to-follow tips that you should know before you start your car restoration side hustle.


The profit comes from what you buy and not what you sell.  Contrary to what most people think, looking for classics to restore is fairly easy.

The easiest way is to network. Multiple hobbyist groups are already available on social media. Talk to people. Start a discussion online and let the car come to you.

Take advantage of Google Maps to hunt your target. By alternating the satellite and street view features, you can easily spot a vintage near you within the comforts of your home.

Finally, visit scrap yards and repair garages. The bigger, the better. It is highly likely that scrapyard owners also dwell in the art of classic car restoration. But with a busy schedule and more cars than they can account for, it is possible for you to persuade them to give, letting you take that auto problem off of their hands.

ford mustang steering wheel


Look better, drive better. The first thing potential buyers see is how amazing they would look grasping that steering wheel. But the thing that would always stay in their minds is how safe they would be when driving it. Finding the perfect balance between looking good and feeling good is the key to raising a revamped car’s value.

Knowing how to enhance a classic’s aesthetic while keeping its vintage elegance is something you can’t study easily. Take time to find the perfect hands. A suitable stylist for your project is a must.

Focus on safety. After all the flair, if that car can’t be ridden, then what’s even the point? Understand that no matter how an enthusiast wants to keep that car pristine, the dream will always be to drive it.

The problem with antique cars is the fact that they are antiques. Seat belts weren’t introduced until the late 1960s. It took two decades after the airbag’s invention in the ’70s for it to become mandatory.  Most classics don’t have the advanced crumple zones people got used to in modern cars.

Make sure that the car gets inspected. Investing in making an old car safe for the daily drive will only boost its value. Don’t just obsess over the engine and take time to work on the whole thing. Setting a budget for repair costs might be tricky but getting quotations from different shops is easy. Compare and contrast.

The price of wheels from a custom shop compared to an online shop may greatly differ. Look for the cost of Subaru brakes and compare it to the price your local dealer is offering. Keep in mind that choosing a service from shops that have already made names for themselves is the safer route to take.


Look at the big picture and study all that you can. Any information that you need is within the palm of your hands. Watch YouTube how-to videos. Read blogs. If you have the time, take classes online. Study the art of restoration to avoid getting hoodwinked.

Experience is the best teacher. Find ways to repair cars yourself. Start small and simple. Look under your hood. Check a friend’s engine. Be that guy at work. There’s nothing wrong with adding skills to your toolbox.

And lastly, do it legally. Get yourself a dealer’s license. All this hard work would be for nothing if you don’t do it right with johnny law. Expect to shell out around $1,500 to $2,000 to become legal. Remember that with your mind set and ready, that two grand can turn to millions.

Scroll to Top