Restoration

The main reason for the large variety of brands, models, ages and manufacturing countries in the garages of the historical vehicles connoisseurs are their restoration workshops and skills. Dozens of cars were brought back to life exactly because of them. The precise work, high quality of materials used, original parts and accessories, and last, but not least, the attention towards the details contribute for the many national and international prizes won by these cars. The hundreds of working hours, the knowledge and skills of the restoration team, the financial scope and sleepless nights turn this activity in a sort of patronage for the engineering mind and art.

Many retro lovers have their dream car. In most cases, it is a luxurious car, often a sport coupé, but also one that brings about memories for times past - not everyone cares only for the high speed, large horsepower and latest fashion trend. Often you can spot a car on the road, which is of respectable age, but looks better than its contemporaries, especially in the active season in the months from April to October. Some of the owners of such cars are retro enthusiasts; others have decided to restore their old car for sentimental reasons. Absolutely all brands and models of vehicles are subject to restoration. Except Western, Japanese or American cars, many retro lovers focus on socialist classics, such as Lada, Moskvitch, Zhiguli, GAZ, Skoda or Trabant.

Before you decide to start restoring, you must be sure that it will surpass your initial budget and will approximate the value of such already restored automobile on the market. Depending on the state of the vehicle, the activities and purchases may amount from several thousands to several tens of thousands BGN, depending on the specific car, its condition, level of restoration and availability of parts on the market.

First, after you have chosen a car to restore, you must make a rough estimate of its condition, bodywork, driving assembly and missing parts. An incomplete set in many cases may cost you as much as you give for the work on the car. One of your first tasks must be to get to know the car as much as possible. Search information for the specifics of that particular model in specialized forums, technical books or directly from people who own the same car.

Figure out which of the activities you will do yourselves and for which you will seek the services of workshops, engineers and friends. If you find this impossible in terms of work and organization, you may delegate your project to specialized workshops for full restoration.

In most cases, the car restoration includes its full disassembly. It must be very slow and careful and the removed parts must be stored and arranged in a suitable closed and dry place. It would be good if these premises are your own and not rented. We recommend that you also keep a diary and film each and every step of the process. This is not only for keepsake, but because afterwards you will have to assemble everything back. Only when the car remains only a naked frame the actual restoration work begins. Depending on the need, it may include processes such as: cleaning the chassis with sandblasting, repairing the tin plates of the bodywork and replacing those that need to be changed, hammering out, welding, sanding, putting on primers and protective layers and painting the tin plates, refurbishing, repairing the engine, gears and other driving assemblies, replacing rubber items, maintenance of the cooling, fueling and braking systems, assembling the coupe. If possible and available, buy new old stock (NOS) parts, and if there are not any, find second hand and aftermarket solutions. Do not compromise on the materials, choose those of renowned international brands of medium and high class or recommended by FIVA.

The whole process may take from months to years, depending of your chosen path for its implementation.