Restoring Classic Pickup Trucks Involves Thought

Thousands of people restore old trucks and cars, not only for the financial reward, but for the sheer pleasure of doing so. Believe it or not, there is a stereotype of individual who not only craves this type of hobby but also goes to great lengths to make it happen. So what does the avid enthusiast of vintage trucks think about when getting involved in the huge process of restoration?

First, there is the hunt. The perfect truck for each person is one that either invokes a memory of years ago or simply a love at first sight type of feeling. Classic pickup trucks have a way of bringing back the child in us or fulfilling an emotion by restoring the memory of a loved one’s inherited property after they are gone. For the restorer, half of the fun is in finding and procuring that truck. There is a thrill and excitement in this part of the journey that in some ways can be compared to an adrenalin rush. It’s a milestone in the completion of a memory quest. They may attend auctions or just scout out back country roads hoping to see their next project by a farmers’ barn with a “For Sale” sign on it. Some are hunting for a particular brand or model, while others may just look for an individual truck as a challenge, creating diversity in the types of trucks they restore. Once the project pickup is found, the race to the finish line continues.

The biggest and most important emotion a pickup truck restoration requires is patience. With that also includes practicality. The reason for the restoration would no doubt be the catalyst for whether or not timing was a factor. Some restorations are simply about turning over quick cash, in which case it becomes a simple matter of finding a truck, replacing any damaged parts and throwing a coat of paint on it. However, the true artist type of individual who restores classic trucks will agonize over the perfect color to paint it, they will put endless hours into researching improvements that can be made to brakes, steering and interior comfort. They will tweak and alter design elements in an effort to make what was great in the day, even better in the now. Much time and thought will go into whether or not any replacements on the truck will be original or modernized somewhat. If you have a family member or your best friend helping with the project, it now becomes part of a story that you will have for the rest of your life and to pass down to other generations. Taking photographs of your restoration and the people involved it the end result makes your story even more memorable.

Pain is one emotion you will want to avoid. Be realistic in your time frame for the project. If you rush things, you may risk damage or ending up with the complete opposite of what you envisioned when you started. Give your truck the special attention it deserves and you will save yourself many headaches during the process. Set a budget with a reasonable “wiggle room” amount before you begin and try to stay within that amount. Breaking the bank for your project will not bring you happiness. Restorations are considered a hobby which is supposed to make it fun, not agony. If things get too complicated, hire some of the work to be completed by a professional. If you would rather devote more time to the body and interior, you could leave the wiring and drive-train work to a mechanic, hire someone to concentrate on the upholstery and someone to work on the sound system or installation of air conditioning. Just be sure to figure in the extra costs for framing out the work instead of doing it all yourself.

The final emotion is intense pride. Pride in realizing what you accomplished in the before and after of your pickup truck restoration. During the course of your project you may encounter difficulties in obtaining older parts, or may have to alter your budget a bit, but you should have many days of pure pleasure eventually leading to an incredible looking classic truck makeover that you can pat yourself on the back for. Now you can take it to car shows and feel the pride over and over as thousands of people admire what you have accomplished.

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