When Is a Repair Actually a Restoration?

mechanicalRestoration is a form of repair, isn’t it? So what separates repairing a car from restoring it? If your classic car is caught in a collision, are you going to need a restoration or a repair? Some people use the terms interchangeably, but there’s a very specific difference between repairing a car and restoring a car.


When a car encounters a mechanical problem or is damaged in a collision, it requires repair. This is simply fixing an issue with a fully functional vehicle that’s being used. Repair is different from maintenance; it fixes a problem that’s preventing the car from functioning properly while maintenance prevents those problems from occurring any faster than they normally would.

Repairs can involve removing malfunctioning parts and replacing them with new ones, or updating your vehicle’s systems to ensure you get the best performance.


A car that’s been partially scrapped or left to sit and has become unworkable cannot be repaired. It needs to be restored to be functional again. This can include everything from rebuilding the engine completely to cleaning and replacing body parts that have rusted or become damaged. Updating or modifying the vehicle is not part of restoration.
Restoration requires finding the parts you need that were made for that particular vehicle in that particular year. While refurbishing—selectively restoring parts or systems—and modifying cars—changing out engines while restoring the body work—are both ways to return an old car to working order, they aren’t considered full restorations.

Repair is keeping a currently running vehicle in usable shape. Restoration is taking a defunct car, usually one that’s been left to sit and gather dust, and bringing it back to working order with original parts. This is a time-consuming process that specialty shops or enthusiasts focus on. Quality repair, both body and mechanical, are what we offer at Quanz Auto Body.