Find a forgotten classic and then restore it. That's a dream isn't it? Finding forgotten classics is not the problem. You can find them everywhere, although they are usually not Ferraris. You shouldn't want to restore a Ferrari, by the way.
But also restoring a Beetle or Kadett is more difficult than is often thought
Because what is being forgotten in this fast digital age is that restoration is an old-fashioned craft. A job that takes time, a lot of time. Not as entertaining as they show at Wheeler Dealers in half an hour. And these days, apparently, a lot of people don't have that time, or the stamina. That is why there are not only many forgotten classics to be found, within a radius of a kilometer or two I know a DAF, a VW Golf convertible, an unclear Japanese pickup, a desolate American Ford pickup and a Midget, but there are also quite a few some stranded projects.
These are usually tired or dusty classics that have once been started. There are often boxes with stuff, including new stuff. At some point, something like that gets in the way. Marriages break down. People die or get a job somewhere else. And then another owner will come and possibly finish the case. There is often still a field of tension that the seller dreams about and the interested party thinks about. But if the project has already led to great domestic dissatisfaction, the asking price is usually very soft.
And then the rebirth can begin
Technically, nothing is usually impossible. In recent years, the range of special tools that was previously only achievable for professionals has grown exultantly. Take a look at our advertisers. And if you get some sheet metal from the waste bin at the local metal trade or at a car damage repair company, you can learn to weld very nicely together with Youtube before you start on your classic.
It's just technology
Restoration is a traditional business. No higher math. Many people do not start something because they are afraid of it. But with a calm, systematic approach you always get out. Look at what you have, make a plan, make sure you have your things ready during the journey and that you are not delayed for two weeks because you have to wait for parts. Do not assume that everything you order is a perfect fit. A lot of reference sheet metal is not only of bad material, but also has poor dimensions. Smart buyers who ordered sheet metal parts digitally in India, the Philippines or China have deeply regretted this. You can also buy these items in the Netherlands and Belgium. With real people with real companies. And if something goes wrong – that is always possible – then you have a point of contact that is not thousands of kilometers away.
Oh yeah. Keeping the workplace clean and organized and neatly storing all used items after work is the best day-end of all time.
You determine the size of the challenge yourself
There is a company here in the Netherlands that has made a 100% pure replica of a Bugatti Royale from just a few parts. That required inhuman craftsmanship, unbridled dedication and tons of money. And there is a happy early retired civil servant driving around here who, while learning and calmly, has made a Ford Taunus 12 M very neat, but certainly not perfect. He beams: “I finally got a job!”
So now enjoy the good weather. But just think how much fun the coming winter can be if you have a restoration or refurbishment project. Now take a bite! Summer will be over in no time!