The most expensive car ever built cost thirteen million dollars. To put that into perspective, that’s the cost of purchasing 553 Toyota Camrys.
While the Sweptail may be on the precipice of luxury, Rolls-Royces have been known for their reliability and splendor since their debut in 1904. And they continue to be popular cars, both for purchasing (they had their second-highest sales record last year ) and for hobbyists.
If you are purchasing/have purchased a Rolls-Royce and are planning on doing the restoration yourself, here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Rolls-Royce Restoration 101: Do Your Homework
Buying a car to restore–especially one with the caliber of a Rolls-Royce–can be an exciting and somewhat stressful task. While such a purchase can be exciting, it is critical that you take your time before selecting a car to buy.
Finding a safe jumping off point like a classic car site is the best place to start. It can give you a better feel for prices, models, and options within your location.
Yet, don’t let your research stop there. Once you find the make and model of the car you plan on purchasing, make sure you take the time to look into forums. You can also look at blogs, watch videos on YouTube about the make and model you like, and other online directories.
You do not want to be in over your head before the process even begins.
2. Have the Right Literature
There are several tips online through different car sites that can aid you in your Rolls-Royce restoration. However, nothing beats having access to the manual. So you should make sure you have one handy throughout your whole process.
With over thirty-five different Rolls-Royce models, you want to make sure that you have the manual for the type, grade, and year for the one you are restoring.
3. Create Your Own Story, and Take Several Photos Along the Way
Whether it is to have proof that car was missing certain parts when it came, if there was rust on the tailpipe, or you need to remember something from sequential disassembly, taking photographs along the way can be a major asset to you during your Rolls-Royce restoration process.
Sure, it can help you when you put the car back together, but it is also a lot easier to carry photos around to local mechanics and part shops to show them, or if you are having an issue with a specific part, having photographs can help you find aid online and in forums where people are putting in the same type of work you are.
Having these photos might come in handy in the future as well: in case you get bit by the restoration bug and need something to look back on.
4. Don’t Put Yourself on a Strict Timeline
While newer car restoration is a hobby for many, Rolls-Royce restoration (and other detailed car restoration) may take more time than expected.
Miles Collier, an automobile historian, says it is foolish to underestimate the amount of time it will take to rebuild a car: especially depending on its condition when purchased. Afterall, the average classic car restoration takes over 1000 hours of labor, and a majority of these are not as ornate as your Rolls-Royce.
5. You Get What You Pay For
Chances are, you wouldn’t buy a multi-million dollar home and fill it with furniture from Big Lots.
The same notion goes when it comes to your Rolls-Royce Restoration, just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it is a good option or the right option.
When purchasing the parts for your restoration, it is always important to pay attention to the specs of your car and try to purchase certified Rolls Royce parts.
While they may seem pricey at first, you need to think of it as an investment, several of these certified parts come with warranties and will save you both the time and money of continuously replacing shifty parts.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Call in an Expert
If someone scrapes their knee, chances are they can clean it and put a band-aid on it; if that same person cuts themselves with a butcher’s knife, they will more than likely seek professional help.
You need to be the same way–not cutting yourself with a knife, one would hope–but knowing if you can handle a restoration problem on your own, and when you need some help from the professionals.
Rolls-Royce is aware of how popular their cars are to restore, and because of this, have an international list of specialists to help you along the way. These mechanics and craftsman are assessed every year and are backed by the carmaker themselves.
Yet, just because Rolls-Royce restoration can be easier to guarantee with their list of specialists, this doesn’t mean you should be afraid to do some research on your own and see if there is a reviewed person in your area that is perchance more accessible to your location and your needs.
The most important thing is to know when you need help and to get it.
7. Once That Kitty is Purring, Make Sure She Stays That Way
With all the time, effort, and money you are putting into a Rolls-Royce Restoration, it would be nothing short of foolish to let yourself get behind on regular maintenance once the car is completed.
Of course, maintaining a Rolls-Royce can be an expensive venture, but like most things, the better you take care of it, the better it will take care of you.
A Most Worthy Cause
Henry Royce once famously said, “Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better…. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.”
Those words embody the feelings you should have going forth in your Rolls-Royce restorations.
It doesn’t have to be a thirteen million dollar Royce for you to appreciate the value and self-worth you will feel along your journey, and when the job is finally complete.
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