The difference between a classic car restoration and refurbishment.


There is a difference between a restoration and refurbishment. Knowing the terminology  is great help when doing classic project cars.

A restorations is lengthy process which requires the entire car to be disassembled. Every bolt comes off and then everything is refurbished and put back together. So, when referring to your project where you just rebuilt the an item as your restoring your car is not accurate.  Taking a piece off and replacing or refurbishing it is great but, not a restoration.

Restoration come with an expensive price tag and I have found that they cost as much a new car of similar cost and design plus, 30%. Case in point. We have a TR4A project car that has already reached $15,000 in parts and labor when we acquired it.  It is far from a perfect assembly. I would like to spend another $15,000 to put it right. In 1966 the TR4 cost about $2500 new of the showroom floor. Today that $2500 is equal to about $20,000.  Add another $10,000 grand and there you have the solution of the my formula.

A concourse Hagerty rated number 1 car insured cost for the TR4A is $48,200 which is great price determining factor for classic cars.  So, doing the math puts $18,000 of equity in the car after the $30,000 restoration. An its classic so, the price just keep going up, appreciating not de-appreciating, like the brand new car does as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Now, you don’t have to do a restoration. You can do a refurbishment. This is not as costly but, it doesn’t command the price of a concourse car. It can still offer some good equity. Refreshing and replacing parts that have had normal use and wear makes the car safe and fun to drive. So, the choice is yours. Restoration or refurbishment. Just don’t confuse the two.