The question of just what is a “restoration” is always coming up. The term 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? Does one mean the other? The answers will be different as it depends on whom you ask. Purists (those who insist that the object be returned to its exact, as-original condition) will argue that restoration is only that: restoration. All other activities are just “fixing up.” This definition is too restrictive.
For most of us lowriders, we can all agree that car restoration, in general, is nothing more than taking a car apart, repairing/ replacing rusted metal, repairing/replacing mechanical components, etc., and then reassembling the whole thing after applying appropriate finishes. Other hobbyists could consider this is as 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 Chevy Impala that has had the front suspension beefed up. This refers to upgrading to a 605 gearbox or a modern day 350 or 700R transmission, plus air conditioning and other electrical changes. The car will look externally just like an original Impala, and under the hood it will be very similar, but it will drive like a much more modern car.
Ask a lowrider what they’re doing to their ride and most likely the answer will be “fixing it up.” Therefore, fixing up is 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 your decision. Whether you’re restoring, fixing up or resto-modifying your lowrider or classic car, we put together a list of products that should help you in your project. From sheet metal to trim, we have what you need for the restoration or customization of your ride.