Levels Of Restoration

Levels Of Restoration 

The decision to restore a car is a serious commitment of time and capital. It is very important for you to determine what you would like to do with the car in the future and how you intend to use it. The answers to these questions, along with the available budget will determine the level of restoration you will choose.

There are several different levels of restoration to choose from, Concourse, Show quality and Driver level. I will describe the levels and the major items they will include. Of course the list is nowhere near complete as a tremendous amount of work goes into all three levels.

Level 1 – Concourse:

In show judging, the vehicle is likely to win honors in its class. It has ceased to be an automobile and has become a work of art. Extreme care is taken during transport and storage, the car is rarely driven and will travel to shows in an enclosed trailer. Level 1 is for strict original authenticity and maximum professional standards in all areas. Requiring the use of specialized metal repair techniques, many hours of sanding, priming and blocking, the restoration cost for this level is considerably higher that all other methods and most often exceeding $100,000.

Things to expect:

  • This will be a frame off restoration.
  • Use of minimal amounts of body filler.
  • Use of all OEM parts whether reconditioned or NOS parts.
  • Priming and blocking will continue until the vehicle is near perfect, no waves in the body and all body lines will match uniformly.
  • Little amount of machine sanding, almost all sanding will be done by hand.
  • Premium primer and paint materials.
  • Color sanding with fine grit sandpaper and buffed to a brilliant flat shine.
  • Original fasteners or correct replacements plated to match original specs.
  • Extensive research to determine correct finishes for all components.
  • Assembly markings duplicated as close as possible to original.
  • Car is completely disassembled.
  • Drive train and components rebuilt as needed.
  • Most weatherstrips will be replaced along with body gaskets.

 

Level 2 – Show Quality:

Except for close inspection, this vehicle may appear as a level 1 car. This vehicle will place highly in its class at most car shows, except when competing against level 1 cars. This vehicle is meant to be driven often when fair weather prevails and will always attract a crown wherever you go.

Some minor defects may be present, as well as non-original parts and fasteners.

This is a superior restoration that does not have the extensive preparation of a level 1.

This is by far the favorite level of restoration that will provide you with unlimited wow factor.

Things to expect:

  • This will be a frame off restoration.
  • Fine tolerances of body filler.
  • Use of OEM, NOS and reproduction parts.
  • Vehicle is primed and blocked at least twice insuring a beautiful finish.
  • Mostly machine sanding initially and almost all final sanding will be done by hand.
  • High quality primer and paint materials.
  • Color sanding with fine grit sandpaper and buffed to a brilliant flat shine.
  • Original fasteners used as available with modern day fasteners filling the voids.
  • Most panels will be skim coated for straightness.
  • Most body lines will match if not all of them.
  • All trim and glass is removed.
  • Majority of car will be disassembled.
  • Drive train and components rebuilt as needed.
  • Most weatherstrips will be replaced along with body gaskets.
  • Replace interior trim as needed.

 

Level 3 – Driver Level:

This vehicle will look good from 10 feet away. However, up close it shows the chrome, moldings and glass have not been removed and were masked off when painted. The finish may show evidence of machine sanding and other defect in the paint. Chrome and trim are not polished and interior is treated to a minor level of restoration. This is a restoration suited for cars that are not collectible or rare only.

Things to expect:

  • Large tolerances of body filler.
  • Use of reproduction parts.
  • Trim may or may not be removed.
  • Car will be painted on the chassis.
  • Expect some waves in the body and some mismatched body lines.
  • Expect some orange peel and imperfections in the paint.
  • Doors, hood and deck lid will not be removed.
  • Weatherstrips will not be replaced.
  • Minimal amount of underhood and chassis work.
  • This is a mop n’ glow restoration, things will look good from 10 feet away.

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