6 Classic Cars You Can Restore on a Budget

Restore classic cars without breaking the bank!

Auto restoration can be a deceptive hobby when it comes time to make a budget. While many potential beauties can be found in old barns and farm fields for a relative steal (when compared to the amount a fully-restored version would cost), some of them will be missing parts that are so hard to find, and so expensive to acquire, that the cost can lead to a scrap of the whole project. The following six classic cars are sure to leave you with a great ride, and some gas money besides.


1953-’54 Chevrolet Bel Air


Chevys have their own classic look and appeal, and if you’re a fan, these make great project cars. Conservative and classy, these Bel Airs continue to turn heads, and reproduction parts are easily obtainable – in fact, the selection continues to increase. Better yet, performance upgrades and disc brake conversions mean that you can improve upon a classic


1968-’69 AMC AMX


The AMX retained the feel of the muscle car while making its own unique and distinct impression. These cars can vary widely in price range, but most models are quite affordable. They’re built on the basics, so they make great starter projects, and the availability of reproduction parts is increasing with regularity. Furthermore, if you choose to move on when the project is finished, the market for restored American Motors Cars is exceptional.


1971-’72 Pontiac GTO


Early GTOs will set you back quite a bit, but these early 70s models still have the aggressive look that everyone loves in the older GTOs. If you’re looking to upgrade on the basic package, the variety and quality of aftermarket parts available for this one will make your eyes pop. Trim and body parts are easily obtainable as well.


1928-’31 Ford Model A


The original roadster, a Ford Model A will lead to more gas station conversations than you’d believe. They’re incredibly basic builds, but you can go as deep as you’d like when it comes to aftermarket parts to add some vroom. Need help or have questions? The car’s two international clubs are huge, and full of people ready and willing to help you out with your restoration.


1972-’74 Plymouth Cuda/Barracuda


‘Cudas are fast and pretty, and if you’re willing to forego to the prestige of the Mopar-era 1970-’71 ‘Cudas, the 1972-’74 models are very affordable. Since there is no frame, you’ll want to make sure there’s no twist in the body (in other words, watch out for serious rust issues). Other than that, body parts, trims, and interior adornments are extensively reproduced.


1970-’73 Plymouth Duster


If you’re disappointed by the cost of a 1970-’71 ‘Cuda but want to get your hands on a Mopar, the Duster is the way to go. They were massively produced, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one, and there are plenty of suppliers who can help you out with parts. Get it soon, though, as these continue to grow in popularity.


With a little research and help, you can own your own dream restoration without having to give up the kids’ college funds. Find good auto parts like Gulftech Engine parts, and an auto club dedicated to your classic of choice, like an American Motors Club or the Model A Ford Club of America, and enjoy the ride.

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