A Look at the Different Levels of Classic Car Restoration

high end restoration

You don't have to be a die-hard car enthusiast to want to own and drive a beautiful classic car -- although it certainly doesn't hurt! Here in America, our cities are designed around roads and a quick look at our films show that cars play an integral role in our culture. They are more than just a piece of transportation as the type of vehicle we gravitate to tends to say something about ourselves. As such, at our auto body and high end restoration shop of Customs & Hot Rods of Andice, we see all manner of clients looking for all manners of work and one of the first things we discuss is the level of classic car restoration they're prepared to invest in.

It's important to note that restoration can be a long and daunting task, particularly for those new to the hobby who are not sure what to expect or where to start. The following is a quick look at the four basic and recognized levels of vintage and classic car restoration to keep in mind as you start planning your project:

The Four Levels of Vintage & Classic Car Restoration

  1. Driving Condition. As its name suggests, this type of restoration is done with the primary goal of getting the vehicle in driving condition. For this level, there's a lower emphasis on authenticity with generally more reproduction parts used and modern amenities included to create a comfortable-to-drive vehicle. It's generally the least expensive and least time-consuming of restoration levels.
  2. Street Show Condition. In addition to getting the vehicle back in working condition, a street show conditioned restoration makes it so that the vehicle has no major cosmetic issues. In classic car shows, there is a 100-points universal system that is used to judge the look, quality, and condition of a classic car. The goal of a street show condition restoration is to get the vehicle to fall within 80 to 89 points by a professional judge. The right hobbyist with the right tools may be able to achieve this on their own.
  3. Show Car Condition. A show car steps up the game so that, when judged, it scores within the 90 and 95 point range. This is a high end restoration level and generally requires the assistance of a professional car shop such as ours. To achieve it, generally, most of the car will have to be disassembled as the frame and body panels are reworked from the ground up to remove all but the most minor of defects.
  4. Concours Condition. The creme de la creme of high end restoration, Concours condition restoration is generally reserved only for cars in national shows or private collectors who do not plan to drive the vehicle. In the restoration process, the car is completely disassembled and significant research is done to obtain original components, finishes, etc. so that the end result is without any defect at all.

Learn More at CHRA

Contact us to learn more about the different levels of restoration and get started!