Restomods or Restoration?

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C2 Restomod


Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C2 Restoration









If you don’t know what the difference is between a Restomod and a Restoration, You’ll just have to read on! What option do you think is better? What option looks cool to you? What option will cost more to build? What option brings more value to the car? We’ll tell you in this Restomod vs. Restoration article. Keep reading for some very interesting view points about both types of cars and both types of processes. It will be very clear by the time you read through this explanation, which one is which and which is the best option to go with if your thinking of a project car.

Restoration Process

Example of C3 Corvette Restoration

In a Restoration process, the basic car is restored to its like new and original condition the day it rolled out of the production factory. During the restoration process, the car can really look the worst its going to look. Many parts must come off the car to get to the parts that need restoration. There are different levels of restoration, some more detailed than others.

The objective is to have almost all original factory parts in tip top condition. Sometimes the original parts can be repaired or rebuilt back to their original factory quality and condition. Other times new parts can be purchased that look like the brand new original part, called re-manufactured parts. Some of the re-manufactured parts can include body fenders and panels, trim, bumpers, interior parts, convertible roofs, wheels and tires, electrical harnesses, suspension, brakes, and even some engine parts. After all is said and done, the final product looks and drives just like it did when it was delivered to the dealership many years prior.


In the Corvette world, that’s were we live, there are also different levels of restoration. There is even a club for Corvette restorers called the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS). The NCRS was formed in June, 1974 and their main purpose was to come up with some standards as to the judging process of restored Corvettes. They were also very interested in providing restoration guidelines for all the guys that wanted to rebuild their Corvette as to the original factory standards making it look brand new again.

Corvette Restomods

1962 Corvette Restomod

First off, Restomod is a newer term in the automotive industry. It basically spells out a vehicle restoration with modern technology modifications to the vehicle. It delivers an end result that is sleekly vintage car style and looks with the advancements in technology to give the vehicle better performance, better handling, while providing a safer vehicle at the same time. Here is where creativity kicks in. We have seen some restomods that resemble most of the original vintage classic car, however someone with a wild imagination pushes the limits on what the car originally looked like.

A Corvette restomod can take a classic car from the ’60s with old tired worn out parts, no power options, drum brakes, old style suspension and a lead guzzeling enging and turn it into a gorgegous smooth riding comfortable machine with newer technology of the mid 2000s and add an engine that came out of a 2005 Zo6 with hundreds of horsepower under the hood. If your looking for a classic look with all the new car features, a Restomod is the way to go!

Now, lets get into the meat and potatoes of this two options. The costs involved in Restoration or Restomod can be relatively the same. This is mainly due to the amount of restoration work done to your vehicle or the amount of new technology you put into your restomod. We have seen the general costs go from $50,000 on and upwards of $100,000. There is also a price on the time it takes to locate fully restored parts for your restoration vehicle project.

Major Differences

Now here is where the major difference that we have found comes into play. The value of the restored car can be high only if the car is a very rare vehicle. This means that very few were made with the high options and features of the original version of the car. It can also mean that production of that particular car was low in that model year. Just because a car has been restored back to its original factory showroom condition, doesn’t necessarily mean that car is very valuable.

1966 Chevrolet Corvette Restomod

The restomod on the other hand draws the higher value card most of the time. This is mainly due to the vehicle still having the cool classic look of the original automobile, while now being enhanced with all that new technology. The demand seems to be much higher for Restomods over the past few years than that of the fully restored vehicle. The comfort and safety of driving a restomod is a priceless addition to the vehicle.

The restomod car might not be quite as valuable, but will have a much better, smoother performance, brought about by the latest technologies. With the same beautiful outward appearance as the original or fully restored model, the restomod will also give you a more comfortable, enjoyable driving experience. The two options are most appealing to the classic car collector. If you were trying to decide which way to go with your project car, the main factors would be budget (of course) and what desired outcome did you have for the project.

If money were no object in the scheme of the project, the restoration gets you back to the original factory showroom condition with the technology of the era of your project vehicle. For example, if your car did not have power steering, a fully restored Corvette in mint condition still does not have power steering! If that suits you, then you have found your answer. On the other hand having a fully restored Corvette with power steering, power brakes, new technology in the suspension and a 500 horsepower LS7 under the hood could mean you’re at the top of your game!

One Special Corvette Restomod

Rick Hendrick's 1963 Corvette Restomod

Rick Hendrick’s 1963 Corvette Restomod

Most of the Corvette World knows about Rick Hendrick and his fantastic Corvette car collection. The latest addition is a fantastic example of a beautifully restored Corvette Restomod. Its a 1963 Stingray convertible, and yes, it was his first Corvette. The story goes that he sold this car to finance buying his first dealership. That was probably a good idea! He reacquired the vehicle around 2000, restored it and put it into his private and what is one of the largest Corvette collections in the world.

The ’63 Corvette restomod includes a brand new ZR1 LS9 supercharged 6.2L V-8 among many other new technology pieces in the vehicle. As like we stated above in the article, the old parts are removed for new technology in a restomod. What do you do with the old parts? Well if your Rick Hendrick, you take the old chassis from your 1963 Corvette Stingray, have it painted and trimmed in chrome and slap it into the main conference table in his high tech office!


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