I admit I'm a neophyte when it comes to restoring a classic vehicle. If you read the "About" page on this site, you'll see that my interest and expertise lies in late model "performance" cars.
Several times a year I get the "itch" to purchase and restore a classic American car. If you haven't guessed by the photos, the 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air is one of my favorite classics. There's just something about those rear fins.
Every time this "itch" comes around, I have to stop, take a step back, and remind myself that there are a number of obstacles holding me back.
The first is my skill as an auto mechanic. While I wouldn't call myself mechanically challenged, I'm certainly not a mechanical savant.
Next is my set of tools. Yes, my tool chest has grown over the years, but It still lacks the necessary tools to do any major auto repair.
And third is finding adequate garage space and equipment. As one who only has a two car garage, doing a restoration project at home would require parking two of my cars outside on the driveway and the third on the street. Trust me, my better half is never going to stand for her vehicle parked outside for any length of time. And definitely not during the winter. This means finding garage space somewhere else.
Taken all together, these obstacles force me to look at local shops to do much of the work. And there in lies the rub -- who, what, where do I go? A search of the internet for classic car restoring in central Ohio doesn't exactly bring up hundreds of shops devoted to vehicle restoration.
This is where I need to turn for some help. If you've done a restoration project, or are currently restoring a car, please share the places you used for body, frame, engine, and interior work in the comments below. If they're central Ohio businesses, that's even better.
I'll compile a list from the comments and post it to the community page. This should give neophytes like myself, or those with mechanical challenges, a good starting point for their restoration project.
Just as I was getting ready to post this article, I received this flyer in my inbox. I hope to make it over to the open house on the 25th and report back.