Im in school for automotive collision repair...but my passion is for old cars and i want to get a job restoring them when i get done?

I want to attend car shows work on old cars ..restore them have fun but still be able to make good money in the process but i have no where to start

8 Answers

Relevance
  • M.
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    As a neophyte, you don't start alone.

    You work under an expert, and build an understanding and specialty tool collection as you go.

    That's how most things are accomplished.

    -Engine overhaul mechanic and general automotive mechanic since 1972

    • Login to reply the answers
  • not
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Body work is a portion of restoration. There is a bunch to learn. Hands on is how to learn. Odds are you will start with a regular collision repair job but take on side jobs relating to restoration repairs.

    Doing this well means you learn to repair garbage. It's not glamour like on TV. Spending countless hours reconditioning dull things like door latches, hinges, linkages.

    Most people can't do it all, they can only do their portion. A body guy, a chassis guy, a drivetrain guy, an interior guy. If you want to be good then challenge yourself with repairing anything and everything. Even get an old lawn tractor and restore it.

    Money can be tricky. Most people don't want to spend what it takes. I would restore all day long if people where willing to spend. I add up just parts alone and people freak out, they want to do it cheaper. Free labor and maybe they'll talk.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    You can attend car shows no matter what you do for work. It has NOTHING to do with your job. I suggest you pay attention while you're in school and learn the trade well so when you graduate you can actually go find a job.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 7 months ago

    There are differences between newer unibody cars and older body on frame cars and trucks. Learning the newest techniques means you're employable anywhere and gives you experience with panel repairs and thin metals, etc. Lots of older rigs used 18 to 16 gauge steel instead of the lighter stuff used now and the thicker metal behaves a little differently too. There are normally more rust issues with older cars too, so getting experience with smaller-scale repairs gives you an idea of what replacing a half or even whole floorpan might entail. Another aspect of older vehicles is you can't always just order up a new piece of body structure, often times you will need to use an English Wheel, bead rollers, and planishing hammers to fabricate what you need. I would look at it this way, get the job that pays your bills first, then hone skills that lead to working on old cars. And realize "restoration" is a precise process, I'm not restoring the 55 F100 I have, it would be too expensive and it wasn't intact enough to start with anyway. In a restoration shop, you'll be doing more tasks than just bodywork normally, so it's a more involved way of working.

    Once you get established, you can do what I'm doing and hot rodding an older truck or fat fender car, etc, when you start that you can see the differences in what shops do. Some shops simply do rods, some do restorations exclusively, some take everything, but in the long run, you'll find a good balance and find your niche.

    I learned airframe/aircraft sheet metal instead of auto stuff, some processes transfer, some don't, like welding on a car instead of doing multi-level patch repairs on planes.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 7 months ago

    I guess you're right.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    you could ask the people in your school about it

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Robert
    Lv 6
    7 months ago

    You start working in an auto repair facility doing boring oil changes and learning the skill. You move up to bigger jobs as you learn. You move on to body work and learn that skill. You move to places that specialize in that kind of work and learn still more. You earn money, buy a car and restore it on your own time using the shop that the owner allows you to use because he's known you and has appreciated your hard work over all those years. But all that takes time, knowledge and trust. So start on those oil changes because the sooner you start at the bottom the sooner you get up to the top of the stairs.

    • falconry2
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      I'm sorry I'd NOT be having a trained body man changing oil or swapping tires. Even a newly graduated sheet metal person/painter is worth way more per hour than an oil change person...

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    When you're finished your schooling, apply at shops specializing in classic vehicle restorations.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.