What is "Automobile Restoration" ?
Automobile restoration is the process of repairing the deteriorated aspect of an automobile and return it to an overall "authentic" condition. Restorations should be historically accurate as a representative example of the production model.
Preserving its historical authenticity through restoration by keeping original surfaces and materials, some owners make changes or add modern upgrades during the restoration of their cars that may reduce or enhance the value of the vehicle.
A complete restoration includes not only the repair of parts
that can be seen – the body, trim, chrome, wheels, and the passenger
compartment – but also the components that are not necessarily visible,
including the engine and engine compartment, trunk, frame, drive-line, and
parts like the brakes, accessories, engine cooling system, electrical system,
A Complete Auto Restoration could include a total removal of the body, engine, driveline components and related parts from the car, cleaning and repairing each of the major parts and its components, replacing broken, damaged or worn parts, and complete re-assembly, testing, and quality control. As part of the restoration, each part must be thoroughly examined, cleaned and repaired, and if the repair of the individual part would be too costly, (assuming correct, quality parts are available) would be necessary to return the entire automobile to "as first sold" condition.
All of the parts showing wear or damage that were originally painted are typically stripped of old paint, with any rust or rust related damage repaired, dents and ripples removed and then the metal refinished, primed and painted with colors to match the original factory specifications. Wooden parts should go through the same meticulous inspection and repair process with re-gluing, replacement of rotted or termite-damaged wood, sealing and refinishing to match the factory specifications. Pressure treatment with preservative may be considered as preventative maintenance against future wood rot. Chrome and trim may require stripping and refinishing. Fasteners with tool marks, damaged threads, or corrosion need re-plating or replacement. The frame must be thoroughly cleaned and repaired if necessary. Often abrasive blasting of the frame is the most preferred method of cleaning, but may still leave microscopic rust pitting behind, so this should be followed up with a phosphoric acid 'rust killer' solution, before priming. Acid tank dipping of the frame and or body followed by primer after the repair is recognized as the most effective but also most expensive way to get rid of rust and to protect against future corrosion.
The interior of the vehicle should be examined and repaired or replaced to match what was available from the factory. The seats must be repaired before being re-upholstered and the coil springs repaired, replaced, or retied. The instrument panel or dashboard contains a number of gauges, each of which have to be inspected and cleaned, repaired, or replaced to be brought back to both operational and cosmetic standards of the car when it was first sold.