Fancy a Classic Car Restoration Project? Here are 3 Iconic Autos to Get You Revved Up

stirring wheel of a classic car

It’s the weekend, and you’re all but super excited to finally accomplish your passion project of restoring your grandfather’s vintage Mustang. You’ve mapped out your plan: clean the auto, check every part, repaint, then go through the nitty-gritty details.

So, you get all your tools ready: the lift, hand tools, paint stripper, and your brand new Baileigh sheet metal brakes for all your metal bending needs (nope, not the kind in Avatar: The Legend of Aang).

But there’s one thing you might haven’t thought of yet: what will the car look like? Should it look the way it looked all those decades ago when the auto was once a top-of-the-line vehicle? Or should you let your artistic hands take over?

If you’re a little lost, you can try to take a two-hour break from your passion project, sit down, and watch a classic film that features an iconic, everybody-knows-it car. Or, you can read below to know which Hollywood-grade vehicle you can model your car after:

1. Mini 1000

Remember Mr. Bean? How about that citron-green Mini with a detachable steering wheel? Yes, that Mini, which miraculously reappeared in subsequent episodes even after getting crushed by a tank. The actual car has already been sold for about $70,000. But don’t sulk. If you have a Mini lying around in your garage somewhere, you can transform it into the star car.

Start by painting your Mini the same color, and don’t forget that matte black bonnet. Then, install a padlock mount on your driver’s door (you know, for security purposes). If you wish to go the extra mile, you can even place an armchair on top of the Mini. But because you’re not Mr. Bean, perhaps it’s best that you don’t drive from that chair.

2. 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor

Who you gonna call? Your mechanic! As it turns out, you don’t have to be an actual Ghostbuster to drive the Ecto-1. If you own a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor, you can reimagine the Ghostbuster mobile.

A lot is going on in the Ecto-1, although you probably already know that. Apart from the hearse, you might want to focus on the detailed roof rack – and no, the pieces of equipment there aren’t just Proton packs. You will also need sirens, blue lights, and a megaphone attachment.

Note the maritime ladder at the side. You can use it to access the instruments at the roof – what they’re used for, no one’s quite sure.

3. DeLorean DMC-12

a classic car with an open engine

If there’s anything you should love most about the Back to the Future franchise, it’s the DeLorean time machine. Is the entire movie just an ad for the auto company? We’ll never know, but here’s an idea on how to build a radioactive-free replica of the fictional time machine. The key? Details.

The auto has to be made of die-cast metal with gullwing doors, and a detailed model of the movie’s time machine components. What’s more, there have to be lots of working lights. Inside, there should be a make-believe flux capacitor, time circuits, and ceiling lights.

There’s no guarantee that your own DeLorean can bring you back to 1955, but the project could be worth your time.

If you have a vintage car at your disposal, you don’t have to restrain yourself to just waxing it and making sure it looks like it’s still the 1950s. Restoring a classic car shouldn’t be just about making it run at an optimal level. It can also be about pushing your creative boundaries and having fun with your passion project.