How To Restore Your Collector Car

by Tom Brownell

Any book that gets reprinted after 25 years on the market must be doing something right! Written by an author with a long string of how-to books to his name it is aimed at the DIYer as opposed to the checkbook restorer and thoroughly covers every step of turning a rusted hulk into gleaming concours queen.

For this new edition the author is joined by automotive writer Jason Scott who also has multiple car books under his belt. He provides updated information on newer domestic and foreign collector cars and current techniques and products. Also new is the section on recent laws pertaining to auto modifications and environmental considerations.

You can read the book cover to cover or hunt and peck as needed. Colored tabs on the front edge of the pages correspond to chapter titles, making it easy to find your place.

The reader new to the subject is best advised to start with the first few pages of Ch. 1, not because they are first but because they pose a pivotal question: Why do I restore? Everyone can recite countless stories of restorations that were aborted, sidelined for years if not decades, were ruinous, and soured the restorer on future projects. The reason often enough is that the merits and scope of a project were not properly balanced against the inevitable lifestyle consequences: time, stress, unpredictable drain on finances, domestic peace. So, better make sure you know why you are doing it and if you are willing to see it through no matter what.

Despite its relevance to the general restoration process—which necessarily involves some degree of improvisation—the book is not quite applicable to full classis with their very specific requirements and exacting restoration and judging standards.

From how to find and buy the right car to what tools to buy/rent to restore it, and from shop techniques to taking the car to shows once its done, the book walks you through all aspects of collector-car ownership. Unless you’ve done this a couple of times already, this book will probably save you money and headaches!

Some mechanical ability and a well-stocked shop are prerequisites. Lists of resources/vendors; Index


Copyright 2011, Charly Baumann (

How To Restore Your Collector Car
by Tom Brownell
Motorbooks; Second edition (June 1, 2009)
272 pages, softcover
List Price: $34.99/£16.99
ISBN-13: 978-0760335413

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