There’s something unexplainable about classic cars that fascinates a lot of people. Newer and more advanced vehicles have better MPG (miles per gallon), tend to run smoother, and have better technology, among other benefits. Why would anyone want to invest in a classic car in the first place? They are even expensive to acquire and maintain.
It may sound a bit absurd, but nothing would please a classic car enthusiast more than to trade his modern car for a classic car of his dreams. Plus, some classic cars are yet to be outdone by cars built from this day and age. If you want to buy a classic car and turn it into your project, you have to decide whether you’re restoring the classic car or going the restomod way.
First, let’s start by defining the three different terms.
Original classic cars
Original classic cars are extremely rare. A real original classic car is a vehicle that has been maintained both mechanically and aesthetically without replacing any parts or pieces. The repairs done are few and far between, and whenever possible, the parts that need maintenance have been fixed rather than replaced.
One way to determine if a classic car is original is to search for the “matching numbers.” This refers to the serial numbers stamped or cast on the car’s main components during its production. The serial numbers usually match the other components of the car or refer to the assigned number of the car’s production company series or date.
Since VIN’s weren’t standardized until the ’80s, the manufacturers then had their method of assigning numbers. Depending on the classic vehicle’s make and model, the transmission, engine, rear axle, generator, alternator, distributor, carburetor, heads, and water pump may have numbers.
A classic car with matching numbers is considered an original classic car and is more valuable than one without.
Restored classic cars
Restored cars are classic cars that have been reconditioned back to their original form using original factory parts. NOS or ‘new old stock’ means parts that are old, but have never been sold at retail. You can easily find these parts because there are many sellers nowadays, but the cost, time, and availability of some components used to restore a classic car may make it challenging. Therefore, you may find many classic cars that have been restored using new factory-made parts that have been created using the original specs. For a restored classic car, the goal is to repair and refurbish the car to make it look and run the same way as it was driven off the showroom.
Restomod classic cars
A restomod is described as a classic car that has been repaired and restored to its original form and modified using modern parts and technology. A good example is this 1967 Shelby GT500. Aesthetically, the classic car looks the same until you reach for the radio or check under the hood. When a classic car owner decides to enhance his classic car, it’s usually to comply with emissions standards, install safety measures like brakes, airbags, or GPS systems. Furthermore, they will also upgrade the classic car engine to enhance performance and increase fuel efficiency. The goal of restomod is to enhance the features of a classic car without altering its outward appearance.
Restoration vs. restomod
It’s not easy to pick a side and decide which one is better because both processes have their advantages. If the classic car you have your eye on is very rare, then going the restoration way may be a viable option for you if you wish to preserve the classic car’s history. But then, if you need a vehicle you can rely on to move around or take the kids to school, there’s nothing wrong with choosing the restomod route where you can update the safety measures of the car using modern technology.
Which one is the best to buy and sell?
When it’s time to purchase the classic car of your dreams, there are many factors to consider. First, you need to factor in the plans you have for your classic car. If you’re looking for an investment vehicle, you’ll likely not be driving it. Hence, an original car is the best for you. On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a project and are looking for an opportunity to bring a classic car back to its former glory, then buy a classic car to restore. If you’re looking for a classic car that’s fun to drive, but with a classic car’s appearance, buy a restomod, which has modern technology with enhanced speed and performance.
When you want to sell your classic car, there are also a few things you should keep in mind. Original classic vehicles are a rare gem, and therefore hold their value, and they would probably fetch you a lot of money. On the other hand, restored cars are transformed and may not bring in a lot of money enough to cover the amount you spend on fixing the classic car. With restomods, they are the hardest to predict if it’s worth selling them because of the intense amount of customization that goes into them. It may be challenging to find a buyer who’s willing to buy your restomod.
Ensure that you consider your resources, the time you spent making the classic car, and the budget before deciding which type of restoration is the best for your classic car.
Those who favor the restoration of classic cars want to maintain the history and form of the vehicle. At the same time, those who go the restomod route also maintain the car’s classic look, but with modern improvements like safety and comfort. Restomodders favor function over form, while classic car enthusiasts favor form over function.