There are a few reasons that may prompt a need or desire for classic car restoration, and one that's unfortunate but sometimes unavoidable is an accident that damages the vehicle. Accidents can happen even if you're taking all the proper precautions, and there may be some cases where they create damage to certain components that you want to restore.
At Andersen Restoration Parts, we're happy to offer numerous classic car restoration parts, from various suspension and bushing kits to torsion bar mounts, idler arms and more -- and we serve all the major classic car brands, including Dodge, Chevy, Oldsmobile and many others. How should you approach restoration of a classic car following any kind of accident? Here are some basic elements to consider.
Safety and Preparation
Firstly, before we get into how you may approach classic car restoration following an accident, we want to discuss the importance of safety and preparation before any accident ever happens. As we noted above, collisions and accidents are sometimes an unavoidable part of classic car ownership, but there are things you can do to help minimize the risk.
One important step is to ensure that your vehicle is properly insured. You should have comprehensive and collision coverage at a minimum, and we would also recommend getting gap insurance if possible. This type of policy will help pay the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what it's worth if it's totaled in an accident, which can be very important for a classic car.
Another key safety consideration is to make sure your car is in good mechanical condition before driving it. This means regular maintenance and inspection, as well as addressing any problems that come up as soon as possible. If you're not confident in your own mechanical abilities, take it to a qualified classic car mechanic for regular checkups.
You should also be aware of the risks inherent in driving a classic car on the road. These vehicles often don't have the same safety features as modern cars, and they may not be able to handle the same speeds or road conditions. Drive defensively and be aware of the potential risks involved.
Of course, even if you take all these precautions, accidents can still happen. And in any situation where you're involved in such an accident, all of your immediate attention following the collision should be on getting medical attention if needed.
If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, it's important to get professional medical help right away. Even if the injuries seem minor, it's always best to err on the side of caution and get a complete checkup.
Only once you've fully confirmed that everyone involved in the accident is okay and has been taken care of can you move forward to thinking about repairs and restoration for your vehicle itself.
Once you've handled medical and safety issues and have the time available to focus on your classic vehicle, we recommend acting quickly on restoration and repair needs. Classic cars are, naturally, often quite a bit older and more fragile than modern vehicles, and this is especially true if the accident has caused any significant damage.
The longer you wait to take action on repairs, the greater the risk that further damage will occur or that rust and other corrosion will set in. In many cases, it's best to get professional help with repairs as soon as possible so you can be sure the work is done correctly and your car is properly protected against further issues.
Importance of Documentation
Perhaps even more so than with modern vehicles, accidents involving classic cars reveal the importance of proper documentation for various work that's been done on the vehicle.
Whether you're dealing with an insurance company or a potential buyer down the line, having records of all major repairs, upgrades and other work done on your car will be very important. This documentation can help prove the value of your vehicle and ensure that you're fairly compensated for any damage that's been done.
If you don't have complete documentation for your car, now is a good time to start working on putting together as much information as you can. This process will be much easier if you've kept good records all along, but it's still possible to track down some of this information even if you're starting from scratch.
Beware of Your Own Skill Limitations
Many classic car owners prefer to handle most or all of their repair or restoration needs on their own, and in cases where you have the experience and expertise to do so, this can often be the best approach.
However, it's important to be realistic about your own skill limitations and to understand when it's time to bring in professional help. If the damage from an accident is too significant or if you're not confident in your abilities to handle the repairs, it's always better to seek out professional assistance. Being overly prideful and attempting to make repairs you're not qualified for will not only likely result in a subpar repair job, but it could also cause further damage to your vehicle.
With the right approach, you can ensure that your classic car is properly repaired and restored after an accident. By following these steps, you can minimize the long-term effects of the collision and get back on the road in your beautiful classic vehicle as soon as possible.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our classic car restoration products, speak to our team at Andersen Restoration Parts today.