Best Classic Cars To Restore

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A classic car has a certain timeless appeal that can never be matched by modern cars, and you can turn it into a hobby by finding the best one to restore.

There are many factors to consider when restoring a classic car. From the engine's condition to the body's shape, there is much to consider to restore it to its original glory. But with all these factors in mind, which classic cars should you restore?

The ten best classic cars to restore include

  • 1964-1967 Pontiac GTO
  • 1965-1966 Ford Mustang
  • 1967–1969 Chevy Camaro
  • 1966 Dodge Charger
  • 1970 Mercury Cougar
  • 1968–1972 Chevy Chevelle
  • 1961-1966 Lincoln Continental
  • 1978-1979 Chevy Corvette
  • 1975 Pontiac Trans Am
  • 1965 Ford Falcon

If you want to restore a classic car, then you need to make sure it will be worth your while, providing enough performance. We have compiled a list of the best classic cars to restore based on their popularity, desirability, and how much they cost. The time, money, and effort you put into restoring a classic car are what make it worth the investment.

Classic cars are one of the most popular types of vehicles. They have a timeless appeal that is hard to find in modern vehicles. The best classic cars to restore listed in this guide have all been chosen based on unique tests, pricing, and popularity.

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10 Best Classic Cars To Restore

Classic car restoration is a popular hobby and is a great way to preserve the history of cars and give them new life. This process usually transforms an old or outdated classic, vintage, or antique car into something more refined and modern.

Classic car restoration requires a lot of patience, as it can take months or even years to complete. You need to know which vehicles to look for because it requires a serious investment.

When working on your projects, you should always have some things like a bucket, some rags, and a cleaning solution. You will also need to ensure that you have all the tools to complete your project.

Below we have listed the nine best classic cars to restore, where to find them, and how much you can expect to pay.

1. 1964-1967 Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO is one of the most iconic American cars ever made. The first-generation PTO is considered the best classic car to try to restore because it has a lot of historical significance.

It was a favorite among many celebrities and race drivers in the 60s. It was also one of the most important cars that helped make Pontiac a household name. In 1964, the first release included a Pontiac LeMans package, and it was available in coupé, hardtop, and convertible body styles.

The Pontiac GTO's styling was unique, featuring split grille slats that got wider near the front of the car and narrowed towards the back, along with dual headlights on each side of square-shaped parking lights.

You also had plenty of variations to consider. This included two primary engine types, the 389 cu in (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 and 400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8.

There were also four transmission variations, and the true popularity began to take off before the end of the first-generation models in 1967. These are the preferred cars to restore because the design is timeless, and they hold value.

2. 1965-1966 Ford Mustang

The 1965-1966 Ford Mustang had a V8 engine that produced 289 horsepower and was also available with an automatic transmission. This vehicle also had many other features, such as bucket seats and a console between them.

The car was successful when it first came out and still has a huge fanbase today. It is not just popular because of the car itself but also because of its iconic design. The long hood and aggressive stance are what makes the Mustang so appealing to people all around the world.

The Mustang was a groundbreaking vehicle when it came out in 1964. It was one of the first mass-produced cars to have a V8 engine, which made it much more powerful than its competitors at the time.

The Mustang also had a longer wheelbase than previous models, which made for more interior space. The result was an American muscle car that looked good and drove even better, and this first-generation model still holds value today.

It is possible to find used vehicles in poor condition for under $10,000. This would be the ideal place for a beginner to look to restore this Mustang to its best condition.

3. 1967–1969 Chevy Camaro

The 1967-1969 Chevy Camaro was a unique car in its time. It was a two-door, four-cylinder, V8 engine with a convertible top and an optional hardtop. The 1967 model year had the same exterior design as the 1966 model year.

The 1968 model year had minor changes to the exterior and interior design of the car. The 1969 model year had major changes to the car's exterior and interior design.

The first generation of Camaros came with many different engine configurations, including a 230 cu in (3.8 L) L26 I6 base and options to upgrade to the 427 cu in (7.0 L) L72/ZL1 V8.  This is one of the most popular classic cars to restore because it has many customization options.

Below is a list of all the engine types available with this vehicle, and you also could choose between five different transmission types.

  • 230 cu in (3.8 L) I6
  • 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
  • 283 cu in (4.6 L) small-block V8
  • 302 cu in (4.9 L) Z28 V8
  • 307 cu in (5.0 L) V8
  • 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8
  • 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8
  • 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 (SS350)
  • 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 (SS396)
  • 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8

This is one of the best cars to restore due to its popularity, high demand, and parts availability. The restoration process will take time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end because of how valuable these cars are.

4. 1966 Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger was first introduced in 1966 and has since been a favorite among car enthusiasts. The vehicle has undergone many changes but remains one of the most sought-after classic cars to restore.

This vehicle comes equipped with a 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 engine and 3-speed manual transmission. There was a small percentage of automatic transmission models available too.

The Charger was originally designed as an affordable alternative to more expensive vehicles like Ford Mustangs or Chevrolet Corvettes. It’s also known for its aggressive appearance, which makes it easy for drivers to identify it on the road.

The exterior of this vehicle features a slant nose design with round headlights and a split grille that gives it an aggressive look when driving. The Charger has a classic appeal that attracts many people and is considered one of the best classic cars to restore.

The car is known for its fast acceleration and powerful engine. It also has a stylish body design that distinguishes it from other cars on the market.

5. 1970 Mercury Cougar

The Mercury Cougar was a coupe produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company from 1967 to 2002. The Cougar was based on the Ford Mustang and was marketed as a luxury performance car.

This car came equipped with a 289 cu in (4.7 L) V8 engine, and the option to upgrade to 390 cu in (6.4 L) "Marauder" V8 and 320 horsepower was available.

It is considered one of the best classic cars to restore because it is easy to find parts for and has a lot of potential in terms of customization. The first Mercury Cougars were introduced in 1967 as an upscale variation of the Ford Mustang.

The interior design also changed for this generation, with more features and luxury options available. This generation also had bigger engines than the previous one, making it faster and

more powerful.

The 1970 model is the final release for the first generation, and we love this one for car restoration because it is the most refined option that still maintains the vintage look.

6. 1968–1972 Chevy Chevelle

The Chevy Chevelle is one of the best classic cars to restore because it offers many features and benefits. For example, it has a powerful engine that can go from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds.

The 1968-1972 Chevy Chevelle also has many engine options, ranging from a small V6 to a big 8-cylinder engine. This makes it easier for you to find an option that will suit your needs and budget.

This classic car has many features that make it worth the time and effort to restore. There are many different styles and colors that you can choose from, which makes it easy for anyone to find something they like.

This second-generation release was important because the body received a complete upgrade and a more rounded beltline. There were ten different engine options to consider, too, including the most powerful 454 cu in (7.4 L) Big-Block V8.

The 1969 Chevy Chevelle was also awarded the most popular mid-size car in America. During this year, major upgrades happened with a new front-end design and refined chrome bar addition with the quad headlights.

7. 1961-1966 Lincoln Continental

The 1961-1966 Lincoln Continental is a car that is considered to be one of the best classic cars to restore. This was the fourth generation Lincoln Continental and the best option because of the rarity and new style.

The car was modified in 1961 and made several changes during its production. Some of these changes included the addition of a four-door sedan and increasing engine size from 292 cubic inches to 352 cubic inches.

The engine had an aluminum block with cast iron cylinder heads, which resulted in an engine that weighed less than its competitors at the time, like Cadillac and Chrysler.

It has many features that make it worth the time and money to restore. This vintage car is always in high demand, so you can easily sell it for more than you paid for it if you want to upgrade your vehicle in the future.

The vehicle is often considered to be one of the best classic cars to restore. It is one of the most luxurious cars that has ever been built, and it is also one of the most expensive American cars ever made.

8. 1978-1979 Chevy Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette is a classic American sports car. It was first introduced in 1953 and has gone through many changes over the years. The 1978-1979 Corvette is considered one of the best to restore because it has a powerful engine, sleek design, and high-quality interior.

This year saw significant improvements in safety features for drivers and passengers with headrests that could be adjusted from inside the vehicle, three-point seat belts for all passengers, and an energy-absorbing steering column that would become the new standard.

They also had a new interior design and were available in two colors, silver, and black. The exterior paint colors were limited to silver, black, red, white, and blue. It also had an AM/FM stereo radio with an eight-track tape player option.

It also impressed with its high speed and the ability to go from 0 to 60 MPH in only 6.6 seconds. This included a maximum top speed of 127 MPH.

9. 1975 Pontiac Trans Am

The 1975 Pontiac Trans Am was a car that had some of the best features at the time. It had a V8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and power steering. The car also had front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, and an independent rear suspension system.

It is not just about restoring this classic car but also about maintaining it as well. You have to ensure that you have all the parts needed to restore this vehicle back to its original form or as close as possible to its original form.

The reason for this is because it has a lot of parts available and they are not too expensive, which means that you can find everything you need if you are looking to restore it.

This is one of those cars that people are always looking for because it has so many features that make it stand out from other cars. One thing about this car is that it has a V8 engine which can take up to 140 mph on the highway, making it great for racing.

This vehicle’s design included the standard L75 455 7.5L V8 engine with an additional upgrade option available. You could expect around 200 horsepower on this classic car too.

10. 1965 Ford Falcon

The Ford Falcon is a great car to restore. It is considered one of the best classic cars to restore. The Ford Falcon was first introduced in 1960, and it was a popular car for ten years until production ended in 1970.

It had an innovative design with a powerful V8 engine. The car had many features that made it stand out, such as its independent rear suspension, making it more comfortable to drive than other cars on the market.

The Ford Falcon came with a modern design. That's why this car is still popular today, as it has aged well, and there are not many other vehicles from that era that can offer the same quality at such a low price point.

The 1965 model was the only year in the second-generation release, and the design was built around strength and power. They also decided to simplify the exterior with a smaller grille and reduced side panels.

Other features exclusive to the 1965 Ford Falcon include power steering, an alternator, disc brakes, bucket seats with a center console, and a three-speed manual transmission.

What To Look For In A Classic Car For Restoration

We will first need to decide whether we want to restore the car ourselves or hire someone else. You may want to hire someone else if you are not skilled with cars.

However, restoring the car yourself can be very rewarding if you are confident in your abilities and have the time and money. To find the best car, consider the following factors to help find the perfect match for your needs.

Check The Title

When a vehicle is bought or sold, the title of the car follows along with it. This is a way to keep track of the car’s ownership, and you can track if the car is in good standing.

This is especially important for classic cars because they are older and likely being purchased without a dealer involved. The title will tell you if the car is paid off and any tax liens that might exist too.

Vehicle History

When you are considering buying a classic car, it is important to do some research into its history. This will give you an idea of the costs and effort that may be involved in maintaining the vehicle.

It is also worth looking at how many owners the car has had, as this can give you an idea of how well it was looked after. The history report will also tell you if there have been any odometer rollbacks or whether there have been any title issues with the vehicle.

Condition

Another thing you want to do is check the car's condition. You want to see if the car has been in an accident or if it has rust.

If you are looking for a classic car, you want to ensure that it is not too old. You also need to inspect the engine and make sure that it will last for at least a few more years.

You should also look at the general health of the car. Ensure no warning lights or strange noises are coming from the engine compartment.

Price

You should also consider the cost of restoration and the cost of the car. This includes what the car costs up front and the amount of work you need to factor into the pricing as well.

This can include labor costs, new materials costs, and anything else you might need to restore the car successfully. Setting a budget early on is the best way to find the best prices too.

Mileage

The mileage of a classic car will have a major impact on the price you pay. This is likely one of the first things you will notice, so it shouldn't be overlooked.

Many older muscle cars do not withstand extremely high mileage counts, so the lower, the better when buying a classic car to restore.

Service Records

Lastly, you should check any service records available. This will tell you about the major upgrades and repairs the vehicle has received in the past.

Where To Find The Best Classic Cars To Restore

Classic cars are a timeless part of American culture. They are often the epitome of nostalgia and are a reminder that not everything has to be new to be good.

For those who love restoring classic cars, there is no shortage of places to find them for sale. However, before you start looking for your next project, you might want to consider which type of car would be best for your needs.

You can save a lot of money if you know where to find them. Here are some of the best places to start looking.

Local Auctions

Local auctions in your area are an awesome way to score good deals, but they require the most work. However, keeping up with them is a good strategy for searching for something specific.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are the best way to find classic cars. This can be done on social media like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist or on reliable dealer sites like AutoTrader.

Other places like Hemmings and Classic Cars have a huge selection of classic vehicles for sellers around the country.

Friends & Family

Asking around your circle with friends and family is a good way to find a deal for a classic car to restore off the market. You could also save money this way because the transaction process should be smoother.

About THE AUTHOR

Matt Lane

Matt Lane

My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.

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