Restoring a Classic Ford: How to Choose

Restoring classic cars, returning them to their past glory has been a hobby, and indeed a passion for men – and women – since cars have existed. Classic car restoration doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a hobby that demands dedication, attention to detail, and immense patience. For that reason, it is often considered an excellent family bonding project, although inevitable one member of the family (Dad?) takes it more seriously than everyone else!

More than that, auto enthusiasts consider that restoring old cars is a duty and a responsibility, helping to ensure that these wonderful works of art do not pass from memory, and are there to be enjoyed by future generations of car enthusiasts.

For many restorers and would-be restorers, Ford has always been a natural choice, for many reasons. In existence now for over a hundred years, and present in many countries around the world, United States, Australia, the UK and Germany, to name only a few, there are hundreds of different Ford models and option configurations to choose from.

1967 Ford Fairlane Ranchero
1967 Ford Fairlane Ranchero

This, of course, leads to another decision. For many, choosing the car to restore will be an emotional, personal one. Perhaps a childhood favorite, or maybe a great-uncle’s car that’s been sitting in a garage for 40 years. It could be anything. For others, it will be a researched decision.

Restoring a popular car, such as a Mustang, or a Ford Fairlane, has many advantages, both emotional and financial. Having a popular, easily recognized and well-known car is fun for the restorer, who can proudly display his restored vehicle in classic car shows and meet hordes of other enthusiasts eager to discuss his technique, sources, and more. A popular, well-known classic can also be easier on the wallet, as good parts are much more common and easier to find. In addition, when the time comes to sell your car, a very well executed restoration can bring in a lot of money, although very rarely more than the time invested in the restoration is worth.

On the other hand, a less well-known Ford model can bring just as much satisfaction. For example, the Ford Del Rio, which was built to compete with the Chevrolet Nomad, only had about 12,000 units built, making it a relatively rare car. While it can be more difficult to obtain parts, subscription to the right websites and specialized publications, along with proper networking, can make things easier. The recognition of your peers, fellow restorers and enthusiasts of your dedication to a rarer model can be greatly rewarding, as is the knowledge that you are helping a new generation of car fanatics discover something new!