Chop or not to chop, that is the restoration question?

I have been in the car-truck restoration business for many years now and have a few restorations under my belt – I have learned the hard way more than once.  No one can say they are the “know-it-all” of the trade because it is an ever-changing industry, but in 22 years I have definitely learned a few things more than the average guy wanting to re-build his “one and only” dream car or truck.

There are a lot of people out there that have something old that may be worth fixing, or know of something vintage they could get their hands on or really have nothing but a passion for fixed up trucks – but for each type of customer, my questions for them are the same:


What is it?

I have a pretty good handle on my knowledge of vehicles, and before I can get down to the details, I need to know what you have in mind. You name it -make, model, year, I can picture it in my head and will have an idea of the possibilities.


Rarity of the Vehicle?

How rare the vehicle in question is has a big impact on the direction of the restoration. Something rare has the potential to draw a lot of attention and a high appraisal, however, it can make ordering replacement parts a real challenge and expensive.

Something more common can still draw attention and a good appraisal if restored right and/or is accessorized in one or more unique ways.  The positive about restoring a common classic is that parts are easier to come by and their prices can be more reasonable too – not to mention will challenge my imagination and fabrication efforts to make it stand out from the herd.


Is it Complete?

Something many customers don’t always know or think about is whether or not the vehicle is complete; are all the original parts on or in or around it somewhere?  You may have a vehicle with a great deal of restoration potential, but if it is missing emblems, chrome trim, and other key distinguishing accessories, they could be a real challenge to track down and if found, pricey to replace.


Chop or not to chop, that is the restoration question?

Now that you have a better understanding of your vehicle and its restoration potential, its decision time.  If you are up for the challenge of creating something unique or needing an alternative if missing too many rare parts, then a hot rod restoration may be the choice for you. Don’t fall for fads!  So many people want to do a chop or the latest thing, flat black.  You need to consider the fact that you will likely do one resto in your life, so you have to restore in a fashion that you are proud of 5 years down the road.  A lot of fads look cool but cut the functionality or drive-ability of the vehicle substantially.


Hot Rod it Up

[list style=’2′]
[li color=’#314257′]compensates for missing parts[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]cheaper[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]improves overall look[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]improves drive performance[/li]


If you have a real gem in hand with close to or all of the original parts, keeping it real could earn you some stares and some dollars.


Keep it Original (OEM)

[list style=’2′]
[li color=’#314257′]go for it, you have all the original parts[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]maintain the vehicle’s integrity[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]more value[/li]
[li color=’#314257′]originality[/li]

…Realize the dream

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *