The car restoration business is gaining traction as more people discover the joys of owning and restoring classic cars. Classic automobile experts may be in high demand in the coming years. According to ZipRecruiter, they can make nearly $70,000 per year. There were almost 234,700 automobile repair and maintenance shops in the United States at the end of 2020.
The number of shops is expected to grow to nearly 247,200 by 2029. The number of classic car collectors is also on the rise. A recent survey found that almost four million Americans own a classic car. With more collectors comes the need for more experts to restore and maintain these vehicles.
So, if you are considering starting a classic car restoration business, there are a few things you will need to do to be successful. Here are some tips:
1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Classic car restoration: Do your research
The first step is to research and ensure this is the right business for you. You will need to consider a few things, such as your passion for cars, your skillset, and the amount of money you are willing to invest. You should also take the time to learn about the classic car market and what types of cars are in demand.
Some cars that are in demand right now are the following:
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Ford Mustang
- Porsche 911
- Jaguar E-Type
- Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Those who want to work in this field should consider searching and taking some courses or attending a trade school specializing in automotive repair.
Get the right tools and equipment
The next step is getting the right equipment for the job. This will vary depending on the type of work you plan to do, but some of the basic things you will need include a lift, a welder, and a variety of hand tools.
The type of work you can do with a paint booth, air compressor, and other tools will be different from the type of work you can do without them. If you don’t have the right tools, you may be unable to do the work you want. This can limit your ability to offer services and may hamper your business growth.
1970 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda
High-end car parts
Restoration work is time-consuming and expensive, especially because many vintage car parts and components are challenging to find. Customers of classic automobile restorations are frequently willing to spend a lot of money if it means you may bring their dream vehicle back to life. You should, therefore, make a point of sourcing the best suppliers in the market.
These could either be new parts dealers or used parts sellers. It would be best if you had both options to offer your customers so that they can pick what works for them. Sometimes, high-quality auto components cannot be found in a local shop. You may have to obtain them from another country, which might be costly without the aid of an international freight mover.
Let’s say you need a part for a Land Rover Classic and have found a good deal from a supplier in the Philippines. To get that car part to your store, you’ll need a courier delivery to the Philippines, which can deliver it safely. You will want to work with them with the cost, time frame, and other special instructions to ensure you get what you need without any issues.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Split Window Coupe
Classic car restoration: Hire qualified staff
This includes mechanics, painters, and detailers. You should also have someone on staff who can handle customer service and sales. You may also want to consider hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to help with the financial side of your business. This is especially important if you plan to offer financing to your customers.
One of the most important aspects of any restoration business is the mechanic. They are the ones who will be responsible for repairing and restoring the vehicles. Finding someone with the proper skill set and passion for cars is crucial when looking for a mechanic.
You should also ensure they have a good reputation and are reliable. You can ask for recommendations from other classic car owners or businesses in the area.
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Custom Convertible
Market your business
After you have all the necessary tools, parts, and staff, it’s time to start marketing your business. You will want to let people know you exist and are ready to take on their restoration projects.
There are many ways to market your business. You can start by creating a website and social media accounts. You can also distribute flyers and business cards in your area.
You can also reach out to classic car clubs and events in your area. This is a great way to get your name out there and meet potential customers. You can offer discounts or promotions at these events to attract attention to your business.
1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird
The process of restoring classic cars can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. If you’re passionate about these vehicles and have the know-how to do all that work yourself, go for it! There’s nothing like taking care of your very own project car restoration business, which will provide income while fulfilling desires at once in this industry.
Top image: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss; Images courtesy Barrett-Jackson car auctions
1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger
1971 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda