RAC Cars News


The Best Classics For DIY Restoration

By raccars Published

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DIY car restoration leads to numerous levels of finished product, from wallet busting bodge up, to gleaming, concourse condition dream. Essentially, what you get depends upon the quality of your raw material, your skill and the depth of your pockets. If you are a novice, opt for something simple with good club support and parts availability.

Citroen 2CV

The 2CV is ideal as a DIY restoration project. All the material you need is out there and is affordable, including rear wings for £60, front wings for £130 and bonnets for £600. Go for a project with a sound chassis and you'll be able to have great fun completing the cosmetic work.

Ford Cortina

The 1976-1982 fourth and fifth generation Cortinas feature the kind of traditional engineering that is within the grasp of most DIY restorers. They're affordable but you still need to keep an eye on the budget, as their finished value may not yet be enough to recoup the outlay.

Land Rover Series III

Made from 1971, the Series III is a little more comfortable than previous models and features simple mechanicals for a rewarding DIY restoration. Parts are plentiful and the result is very usable, if rather slow.

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 is only a quarter of a century old, so it's very much in modern classic territory, but is still a favourite on the vintage car scene. Early models are characterised by willing performance, entertaining handling and cute good looks. There's a good availability of parts, with front wings going for £75 - which is welcome news, as rust can be a problem even at this age.


MG restorers can count on the support of some of the most enthusiastic classic car members in the world and excellent access to spares. Panels are well priced or you can even order a whole new bodyshell, if you're getting impatient and want to spend £8,250.


Not as easy as its small size would suggest, a Mini could be worth a bit of extra effort. Fortunately, there is plenty of club support on hand and spares, including complete bodyshells in some cases. This is also one case where a careful restoration can make you some decent money, with classic Mini prices on the rise.

Morris Minor

Everything you need for a DIY Minor restoration is available for a reasonable price, while simple mechanicals keep it within the skillset of the amateur mechanic. The result is also particularly charming looking, with a noble gentility absent from sportier classics.

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