What’s the most important skill you need to have?

        What does it take to restore an old car & what is the most important skill you need to have? Seems like an easy enough question to answer doesn’t it? You need to know how to cut & weld metal, paint, do body work, be mechanically inclined, have a general idea of how a car works and is put together. However the most important skill is the ability to listen and learn. We all know that every car guy is an expert at all of those things, but realistically you can’t know every tiny detail of every car ever made & most don’t. Most have a general knowledge of a particular car, year, make, and model. Some gravitate towards a particular decade or build style. There’s no end to how far you can subdivide & categorize it all.
This becomes especially clear to you when you work in restoration shop; you’re not just wrenching & obsessing on a car or a type of car for several years or a lifetime as most people do. There’s always something different coming through the door & we’ve got several car builds going on at one time. You can easily become overwhelmed by what you don’t know. It seems that you are constantly learning, there are simple things like trim level options both interior and exterior, motor options, was your car a base model stripper or fully optioned with every bell and whistle available. Then there are things like build plant differences and midyear breaks in options for certain manufacturers or if your car was built early enough it might have been assembled with parts left over from the previous year before the switch over could completely take place. The list goes on and on.
What does all this mean? Well first don’t get all bent out of shape next time you’re out at a cruise or show & someone knows something you don’t or asks you a question about some obscure fact about their car just to show how much they know about their car. Chances are that’s all they know, no one knows everything, and they just can’t! The Chevy guys don’t know Ford, the ford Guys don’t know Chevy & it takes a special kind of person to like MOPAR; so relax. Next time your significant other is giving you a hard time about going to a show or spending too much time online or reading magazines in the grocery store, just tell them its research, so you can finish your car.

About CCCAdmin