I really believe there are right and wrong reasons to do a vehicle restoration. The first two P’s encompass the right reasons, the last one covers the wrong reasons.
First and foremost a personal connection is a solid reason to do a restoration. One customer of mine has his grandmother’s VW beetle, another has us working on his uncle’s CJ2A. Even more have memories of their grandparents talking about Jeeps, or having an old WW2 Jeep on the farm. Some even remember driving a Jeep during the war.
I grew up with my father’s 1956 Porsche always in the garage waiting for us to work on it. In 2010 I finally was able to bring it back to life with some of my former students. Dad always told stories of that car so for me this was a very personal connection. Seeing him with it in one piece again meant everything to me.
He also spoke alot about his Bultaco motorcycle. He sold it to buy the Porsche. When I stumbled into a Bultaco I grabbed it. Once again seeing him ride off on the Bultaco was an amazing personal experience for me and I think him. Dad had not seen another Bultaco since he sold his in 1966.
If you have a personal connection to a vehicle then the price, pain, blood sweat and tears of a restoration is all worth it. A personal connection is in my opinion the best driving reason for a restoration of a vintage vehicle.
Passion is the next best reason. If you have a deep passion for something then you will see through a project to bring it to life. Whether it be a tractor, a Jeep or any other vehicle.
WW2 attracts a huge amount of interest. People become very passionate about the war. Their connection to that history comes through collecting artifacts, and for many the ultimate is to own and drive a WW2 Jeep. When I sense someone has a real passion I want to work with them just as much as with someone who has a personal connection.
People are also just plain passionate about Jeeps. Something about Jeeps and VW Beetles inspires a wonderful following of people who care for, drive and pass on their love of these vehicles to their families. If you have a deep passion for a vehicle it will guide you through a restoration.
Profit is a major reason NOT to do a restoration. I am going to bunch a few things under here too. I will include in this the strange belief that restoring a vehicle will be a much cheaper way to obtain the vehicle you want. That does not work…. Unless you are Scott Roberts, the man is a genius with vehicles.
The cost of restoring a vehicle is usually far above the cost of just going out and buying a restored version of the same vehicle. The parts involved in a WW2 Jeep can make restoring one on your own cost more than just buying a restored one outright. I have seen people even try to save money by buying rusty battered versions of the parts they need in hopes that this will save them money.
That does not work at all. And unless you really know what you are doing and have alot of spare time, restoring a vehicle to re-sell is not going to work either. If you can do all the mechanical work, welding, painting etc.. then you may be fine. If you cannot then it just is not going to work out for you. You will end up trying to sell for $30,000 a vehicle worth $9,500.
Here is the key: Just because you put money into a vehicle does not make it worth what you put in! There are alot of people smoking crack out there trying to sell late WW2 Jeeps that might bring $16,000 for over $30,000. All I can think is that in their drug addled haze they maybe hallucinated the value they came up with. (I assume they took to drugs after their wife threw them out of the house when she saw the restoration bills.)
And yes the Jeep in these pictures was from someone involved in the third P of this lecture.
So to review: Personal connection = Good
Passion for the vehicle = Good
Profit/ saving money = Baaaaad (don’t do it!!)
If you are in it for the right reasons, then enjoy the trip, the experience of restoration and the end results are very rewarding.