Car restoration is a challenge that not all car owners would like to undertake. But a successful restoration project is a rewarding accomplishment. You can be proud to have your classic car transformed into a beautiful piece of human ingenuity from another time.

But the difference is, it’s not a typical auto body repair job. Restoring a classic car requires a large set of tools and equipment that an average homeowner doesn’t typically have access to. So when you bring your car to a shop, make sure that they use the following:

Impact Wrench

An impact wrench is a must-have for all auto body shops. This is used to remove things like bolts and lug nuts.

Air Compressor

An air compressor is one of the more common items that’s used during a car restoration process. It powers various tools, such as hammers, impact wrenches, grinders, and even spray guns for auto painting. It’s multipurpose and can be used for several auto body repair projects.

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A grinder can cut metal, remove rust, and buff pointy edges on your car’s exterior. A lot of auto body shops own a grinder because it’s versatile. Your old car will definitely benefit from this tool, especially during the later parts of the restoration process.

Floor Jack

Restoring a car is impossible without a floor jack. For your reference, make sure that your auto body shop uses a large, heavy one with complete wheels. Also, it’s ideal to have a floor jack with a lift height of 16 inches and a lift capacity of at least 2 tons.


Welders come in different types, but the easiest one to use is an MIG welder. It’s a good sign if your auto body shop uses a welder with four settings, a gas bottle, and a manual control valve.

Paint Stripper

Sometimes car restoration doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Touch-ups for chipped paint and rust removal also count as a restoration project. So, if this is what you currently need, a paint stripper is a must-have tool.

Other Must-Haves

Aside from these common car restoration tools and equipment, you will need a set of screwdrivers. Make sure to include flat-head and Phillip screwdrivers, as they’re typically used for this kind of work. Some cars might require square, hex, Torx bits, too, so be prepared for that.

For pliers, it’s best to keep regular, needle-nose, locking, and wire-cutting pliers in the toolbox. Of course, it’s best if they come in different sizes.

Sockets are also necessary. A 1/2 inch drive set can suffice, but you may also require a 3/8 inch drive set.

Other miscellaneous tools include a hammer, hacksaw, spark plug pockets, files, cold chisel, and tape measure. You can also use electrical equipment, such as a sabre saw, reversing drill, and a sander.

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It’s true that you can’t see all of these tools and equipment in an average car owner’s toolkit. So if you’re not familiar with any of these, take some time to understand their purpose before using them on the restoration project. Otherwise, you can always rely on a local auto body shop that specializes in car restoration.

This is where we come in. If you live in the Tri-Valley Area, California Collision is the most trusted shop for car restoration projects. Call us today at 925-261-7194 to schedule an appointment!