Who Restores Old Cars? 

Maybe you want to bring a classic hot rod back to its prime. Or perhaps you’re a gearhead that just loves hitting up the show circuit. Then there are the hobbyists that love the challenge of taking an old car otherwise relegated to the scrap heap and bringing it back to its glory days.

Whatever your motivation, one thing is for sure: car restoration is a labor of love. In fact, it’s estimated that the average classic car restoration project can take more than 1,000 hours to complete. For reference, if you were to work 1,000 hours straight, you’d be working for 41 and-a-half days. Aside from the time commitment, there’s also a cost commitment with this time of restoration. In fact, estimates state that projects like this can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 depending on the extent of the job.

As we said, vehicle restoration is a labor of love, and in this post, we’ll discuss some of the people who often undertake it. Here’s a look at some of the key people who often take on such an extensive project:

Who Restores Old Cars?

Before we get into some of the people who are interested in restoring old cars, it’s worth taking a closer look at their motivations for doing so when you consider both the time and financial commitment. There are a variety of reasons why one may undertake such an extensive project. For starters, it can preserve a piece of American automotive history. Classic cars are also very valuable and sought-after vehicles, so if you ever go to sell, you could claim a significant return on investment. And perhaps above all, it’s fun to bring a classic vehicle back to its glory days.

Here’s an overview of some individuals who are particularly interested in classic car restoration:


Collectors typically both buy and sell classic automobiles. They attend shows throughout the country, offer expert advice on vehicles, and are always looking to bolster their collection with additional models. Collectors also always have an eye out there for other vehicles that they can acquire to return to their glory days.


Don’t confuse collectors with dealers. Collectors are more on the side of the vehicle enthusiast, with the goal of establishing that dream fleet. Collectors also serve as experts and as reliable sources for classic car advice. Some may even have their own showrooms or classic car museums. Dealers are those who tend to collect just to sell. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with dealers, they just come into classic car restoration with a different mindset than most others on this list.

Car Enthusiasts

Finally, there are car enthusiasts. Car enthusiasts typically aren’t motivated by money, but by their love for putting in the work to bring a vehicle back to its glory days. Car enthusiasts love restoring vehicles and then showing their work off at the bevy of classic car shows held each year.

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