Buying an old classic car to restore can be one of the most exciting purchases you make. Even if the vehicle is far from perfect, picturing how it will look when all the restoration work is finished is all the encouragement most people need to take the plunge and invest.
Whether you're undertaking your car restoration project for fun or profit, and whether you're doing the work yourself or leaving it to the professionals, one thing is certain – you'll want to minimise the time and money it takes to complete. That means giving your potential purchase a good looking over before you buy, and there's one thing in particular you should be wary of: rust. Here's why a rust problem could be bad news.
It takes more time to repair
Rust is no simple problem. It eats away at metal, leaving it weak and crumbling, which is not quick to repair. People often think rusted edges can simply be sanded down and repaired, but even small amounts of rust may mean whole large sections of bodywork need to be replaced.
While part of the fun is the process of restoration, you don't want it to end up taking much longer than you'd anticipated.
It can end up costing you more
As it takes more time, it will also cost you surprising amounts of money to repair rust. If there's a need for new doors or body sections, you could easily end up forking out far more cash than you budgeted for, which cuts into your profits if you're selling the car on and makes the project far more costly if it's just for fun.
You might have to put your plans on hold
While some rust can be repaired relatively easily, if it needs parts of the car's body replacing, you might find it difficult to get hold of parts. Searching for original replacements is time-consuming, and having new ones fabricated isn't always possible. Once you get started, you could find it's not possible to continue and the project has to be delayed.
The problem could be worse than you think
A little bit of rust on the outside or in other visible spots doesn't look so bad. However, it's unlikely that's all there is. You could discover much more rust in areas you can't see at first, which only gets revealed during restoration. Since a little rust could be a sign of a serious hidden problem, it's worth being wary.