Our Process

Restoration starts with choosing the appropriate project carefully. Years of experience and approx 300 restorations under our belts have given VC Customs the ability to see that the better the condition of the vehicle to be restored the less man-hours that have to go into restoring it.  The rarer the car, the more difficult it can be to find replacement parts and labour may have to go into restoring or refabricating rather than replacing.


Assessment / Dismantling

The body of a car, the mechanical parts can be camouflaged with cleaning and paint so that they may appear to be in better shape than they are.  We will examine your vehicle carefully, pulling apart areas to check what’s underneath to give you an honest evaluation of the amount of work required to restore the car.The assessment will give a very broad spectrum of the foreseeable problem areas to aid in constructing a project plan which is subject to change.  The change in the project plan is normally something that is thought of as “once we see under the paint to the metal below” and although this can be something that will add to the hours needed in metalwork this is not the only area that has unexpected problems. We take many pictures of every angle of the exterior including the undercarriage. Every piece of the interior and exterior is photographed, tagged, logged and made ready to be sent out right away as the wait time at the plating facility sometimes exceeds 6 months. A careful assessment is made of the chrome and electrical harness, as well as other components which will need to be rebuilt or restored.
Hod Rod car without a body to show the parts.
Car being cleaned


Cleaning and Parts

In chemical dipping the entire body of the car will be dipped in a vat of chemicals to remove all of the finishes, leaving it in bare steel. Everything is removed from the body prior to dipping, including the glass, brightwork, and all interior trim and upholstery. Dipping is an excellent means of stripping, but isn’t right for every job. If the car is not being completely dismantled and the entire weather-stripping, window seals, body seam sealer aren’t being replaced then dipping isn’t an option.One of the more popular means of having a car stripped is blasting the process of using compressed air to shoot media particles at the body to abrade the finish.  Typically, a car body will be completely dismantled prior to blasting, though it isn’t absolutely necessary. Glass and other trim can be covered for media-blasting.Once the body is removed from the frame it is stripped.  If the frame needs repair our craftsmen will fabricate the correct repairs or make templates as patterns using the correct type and gauge of metal.  Depending on if there was any accident damage the chassis may need to be sent out to a frame straightening facility before further repairs can be done.  We will then build a ‘bird cage’ made of metal inside the body to stop twisting while repairs are made.  This can sometimes be avoided in a coupe or sedan with little metal work needed but in cases where large sections of structure are removed or that the vehicle is a convertible it is a must.

With metalwork, there are many suppliers out there that have aftermarket patch panels.  These patch panels are usually manufactured to replace common rusting areas on the more popular vehicles that have large followings. Fabricating a part from scratch is always considered our last option.  This is essentially remaking a factory stamped part by hand while still upholding the highest of quality.



Assembly is often the longest and most complex stage of a restoration.  As much care and thought that had to go into taking everything apart, even more so has to go into putting everything back together again. As stated, the assembly process is the longest encompassing at least one third of the man-hours of the total restoration. Beginning with the chassis and body, we carefully arrange the exterior of the vehicle, then the engine and mechanical components, and finally the upholstery and interior components. Once the car is at the stage where the interior is installed and all the electrical and mechanical systems are hooked up there is a process of testing. If the car has successfully undergone all the proper testing, then it will be detailed and thoroughly cleaned.  The last thing on the list is delivery of the car.  Whether it is you coming to drive it home or having us drop it off in our enclosed trailer is the last decision that you will have to make.
Fully assembled hot rod with steam coming out.
View Our Complete Restoration Guide

Parts Quality and Their Impact on Restoration:

VC Customs will endeavor to replace any parts necessary with new/old stock or OEM grade parts.  If it is not possible to find new/old stock or OEM grade parts we will use the best quality aftermarket parts available.VC Customs, many years of experience, has shown us that the quality of many of the aftermarket parts is suspect due to the manufacturing in high production, high output offshore factories.  This can and does result in parts being manufactured with defects or with an improper fit.Sometime the make and model of a car can impact the availability of a particular part, being that the part is not manufactured for your vehicles particular factory options.  This scenario means that VC Customs will either have to restore the original piece or adapt the aftermarket piece to your vehicle.  Either of the two methods requires that we take the necessary time to accomplish the service task.  The necessary time needed will vary depending on the situation and there will be testing and if needed further modification or restorative efforts to ensure quality.

There are some parts that are simply not available.  If a part cannot be restored and no suitable part can be found to adapt then we will suggest remaking the part on site.  The staff is capable of making any part of any classic or antique vehicle but this handmade approach cannot be estimated nor can it be rushed.  Please keep this in mind should the need to make a part arise.

Ready to Start Your Engine?

We have the experience and expertise to help you build your dream car. Whether it's a classic rod, resto, pro touring, or custom job, or just a repair insurance or not, we can handle it all.
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