A Lifetime Of Car Projects

Restoring an old car is hard work. There's plenty of obstacles. And it's even harder when you're trying to raise a family and working a full-time job. But we find ways to get it done.

author Mark Trotta

When it comes to finding a good and reputable (and reasonably priced) restoration shop, you've probably heard more bad stories than good. This alone has led many of us down the path of buying tools, learning new skills, and doing as much work as we can by ourselves.

I've been restoring old cars and motorcycles for over 30 years, and I've documented both my successes and failures with each step of every project. So I know what works and what doesn't.

Although I've owned and restored many classic cars, I've never had the luxury of keeping more than one or two at a time. I'd buy them, restore them, drive them for a while, then sell them and move on to another project.

author Mark Trotta

Learning To Weld

I learned to weld out of necessity. Back in the eighties, my first project car was a 1970 Chevy El Camino. It had rust spots everywhere and needed major sheet metal repair. Since I didn't have the money to pay someone to fix it, I enrolled in a vocational school and learned how to weld.

sheet metal removal Chevy El Camino

For 13 years, the old Camino was my work-horse and daily driver. With the exception of the hood and the roof, every panel needed rust repair. MIG welding is the easiest welding process to learn and is required for any automotive sheet metal work.

1970 Chevy El Camino restoration by Mark Trotta

I have also restored several classic motorcycles. My latest project is a 1961 Harley-Davidson Servi-car.

Harley-Davidson Servi-car restoration

Daily Driver Maintenance

If you're mechanically inclined, you're probably already doing your own vehicle maintenance. For some of us it's also a nice side gig. I have found that no matter how much you learn about computers and websites, someone will always ask you to fix their car !

Read: Daily Driver Maintenance

Aside from getting me back and forth to work faithfully and comfortably, my Ford Sport-Trac has transported bicycles, motorcycles, go karts, kayaks, lumber, mulch, furniture, kitchen appliances, engines, transmissions, tires, wheels, and on occasion has made a few trips to the local dump.

best way to transport a kayak

Read: Ford Sport Trac Review

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