What Is The Difference Between Original, Restored, And Resto-Modified Classic Cars?

What Is The Difference Between Original, Restored, And Resto-Modified Classic Cars?

For some, car repair is a profitable company, while for others, it is a difficult pastime. Classic cars come in an incredible variety of makes and models, with thousands of improvements and limitless options. However, all historic cars are classified as either original, restored, or resto-modified. As you begin the arduous job of restoring a unique car, think about the possibilities accessible to you for your particular project.

Original Automobiles

Original cars are relatively uncommon. A true, original car is in good aesthetic and mechanical condition with no replacement parts. If at all possible, parts that need maintenance have been repaired rather than replaced.

Looking for “matching numbers” is one approach to tell if a historic car is genuine. “Matching numbers” refers to serial numbers stamped or cast on a car’s major components during production. Serial numbers may refer to the production site, date, or vehicle series, or they may match other car parts.

Manufacturers assigned VINs themselves until the 1980s. Depending on the car’s make and model, the engine, transmission, rear axle, alternator, generator, carburetor, distributor, water pump, and heads may be numbered. A vehicle with “matching numbers” is authentic and worth far more than one without.

Finding a truly original vehicle is unusual, and most “original” cars are “restored.”

Restored Automobiles

Restored vehicles are vintage automobiles, restored to their original factory specs, utilizing genuine factory parts. “New Old Stock,” or NOS, refers to parts that have never been sold in retail settings. Cost, time, and scarcity of crucial parts make finding them challenging.

As a result, many vehicles are rebuilt using brand-new components created according to the original specifications. A “restored” car’s repaired and refurbished so it looks and operates like new.



A restomods a classic car that’s been restored but has been updated with current technology and parts. Until you check under the hood or reach for the radio, the vehicle appears to be the same in appearance. A vehicle owner upgrades it to fulfill pollution laws, add safety equipment like airbags and brakes, or install a GPS system.

Furthermore, many historic car owners will update their engines to improve performance and fuel efficiency. The idea is to adapt the old car without substantially changing its exterior.

Purchasing and Selling Historic Automobiles

There are numerous aspects to consider while buying a historic car. First and foremost, think about your goals for your classic car. If you’re looking for an investment vehicle that you won’t drive, an original classic might be the way to go.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re searching for a project and would like the chance to restore a car to its former glory. In that scenario, restoring a car might be right for you. However, if you’re just looking for a fun car to drive, a resto-mod with all of its modern comforts would be the way to go.

There are a few things to keep in mind while selling your historic car. Original classics are extremely rare and so have a high value. As a rule, the value of restored automobiles may or may not cover the cost of the work done on them. Resto-mods are the most difficult to forecast.


Because of the high level of customization, finding the right customer for your resto-mod may be difficult. Before deciding which repair method is ideal for your historic car, consider your resources, budget, and commitment.

Visit Elite Restomods in Boyne City, MI to see their historic automobiles on display.

Classic automobile enthusiasts have access to an incredible number of makes and models, thousands of improvements, and limitless options. All classic automobiles, however, fall into one of three categories. Restomod, original, or restored. Buy and sell restomods with Elite Restomods today.

Brook Walsh

For nearly 30 years, I've had a fascination with restomods. I've learned from real-world experience what restomod gear works and what doesn't. This is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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