A Lifetime Of Car Projects
Automotive restoration is much more than just about the old car in your garage. It's about having a reverence for the past and helping to preserve history. It's about meeting similar-minded people who share the same passion, and learning skills you never thought you'd have.
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 somehow, we find the time and get it done.
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.
Learning To Weld
I learned to weld out of necessity. Back in the eighties, my first full restoration was my 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. MIG welding is the easiest welding process to learn and is required for any automotive sheet metal work.
The Camino was my 'work-horse' and daily driver for 13 years.
I have also restored several classic motorcycles. One of my "keepers" is a 1961 Harley-Davidson Servi-car which I rebuilt from the flywheels up.
Emissions and Exhaust
Automotive emissions have always had a bad rap, mainly because it was forced on us by the government and slowed down our precious hot rods. But that's not why they were designed - they were designed to protect our earth, the air you and I both breathe. When I was younger I did not appreciate this, but now, being older with children of my own, I get it.
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.
Read: Ford Sport Trac Review
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You can contact me at: Mark @ Restore-An-Old-Car.com