Last year we introduced our first annual restoration guide. It turned out to be a complete success, so once again we’re bringing the DIY guys tips and pointers for 2009. Planning the initial steps in a car restoration project is very important: make a schedule, budget expenses, and get started. We figured we would try to get you ahead on your project by showing you some of the newest products that will help you restore your soon-to-be classic cruiser.

For years the question about what a restoration really is has come up. It usually relates to older cars, but what is a true restoration? Where do you draw the line between restoration, fixing up, and modification? Is there a line at all in our market? Does one mean the other? The answers to these questions will be different depending on who you ask. Some people will argue that restoration is only restoration and that all other activities are just “fixing up.” This definition of restoring, however, is too restrictive for us.

For most lowriders, we can all agree that car restoration in general is nothing more than taking a car apart, repairing or replacing rusted metal, repairing or replacing mechanical components, and then reassembling the whole thing after applying the appropriate finishes. Other hobbyists could consider this a resto-modification. This is what a number of lowriders are doing nowadays. It involves a full restoration but during the process major components are replaced with modern equivalents. A good example would be a classic Impala that has had the chassis beefed up-from the suspension to a 605 gearbox to a modern-day 350 or 700R transmission, plus air conditioning and other electrical changes, some even include disc brakes.

Ask a lowrider what they’re doing to their ride and most likely the answer will be: “Fixing it up-performing any other repairs or replacements in the process of resurrecting an old car but short of taking it completely apart.” There’s nothing wrong with doing this kind of work, it’s just not the same as car restoration.

Budget, time, and the ability to work on a car will dictate the decision used. Whether you’re restoring, fixing up, or resto-modifying your lowrider or classic car, we put together a guide that should help you in your project. Remember from sheet metal to trim, we have what you need for the restoration or customization of your ride.