Hope for Hoopties: How to Restore Your Old School Car

Sat., Jul. 9, 2011 7:00 AM EDT
by A.R. Shaw

There is hope for that old car that has been parked in your garage or backyard for years. This summer, take time to bring that forgotten vehicle back to life. Here are several steps that can help you turn that hooptie into a dream car. –amir shaw

Study Your Car – If your car is over 10 years old, it’s likely that some of the parts aren’t being manufactured anymore. Take time to study reference manuals on what parts are needed and where they can be purchased.

Engine Work - Some cars are equipped with engines that can last for decades if maintained properly. Thoroughly inspect your car’s engine, transmission, suspension, brakes and electrical work to find out if you should restore or replace the parts.

Strip - After years of neglect, your car’s exterior will probably suffer from rust. If that’s the case, you will have to strip your car to bare metal by sandblasting. Depending on your personal style, you can get an elaborate paint job for $1,000 or more. Or, you can choose a basic paint job for $500 or less.

Interior Maintenance - If the upholstery isn’t damaged by mildew or other foreign substances that can’t be removed, it may be best to give your car’s interior a good cleaning and keep the original parts. But if the seats and other areas are damaged, you can purchase an interior kit or get custom-made features that will make your car as comfortable as a living room.

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