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The Car Guys: To restore or not to restore

The Car Guys will create an occasional feature on the process of recreating a car. The first is is on restoring cars: fun or aggravating? Some say both. What it really comes down to is a large wallet stacked full of cash and plenty of free time. We interviewed restoration professional Mike Young of Clovis in an effort to understand the hobby of car restoration.

Q: Why do you like restoring cars?

A: “Well I love the classics because most do not exist anymore. Their looks, sound, and speed are the joys of classic car.”

Q: What does it take to get started?

A: “A wallet with lots of time and patience. Because restoring the car right makes it well worth it in the end.”

Q: How can a high school student, on a tight budget, get started?

A: “Do not get near a muscle car. I recommend starting restoration on a Volkswagen or a less rare car. You can still make the car look good in the end and not spend a lot of money.”

Q: How long does it usually take to restore a car?

A: “From months to many years. It all depends on the car, the condition of the car and how sharp you want it to look in the end.”

So with the basics of a car restoration set out, an eager beginner does have some things to think about. The fact that it takes time, money and a lot of patience are strong factors on when to begin. Before deciding to start restoring a car, you should research the viability of restoring a particular car and whether or not the parts are rare, and how costly.

For more information on how to restore a car, a Chilton’s guide is the perfect initial investment. They can be purchased at or your local automotive store. The cost for most guides is around $20. The guides are very detailed, giving step-by-step instructions.

Research plays a key factor in restoring a car. Parts can be costly and hard to find. For further information for auto enthusiasts, visit For Volkswagen restoration parts, visit Also an excellent source for auto parts can be Pick a Part at 268-0216

In subsequent issues of The Feather, this column will continue detailing car restoration with Young. He will discuss his current restoration project and a project he completed in the past.

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