What Is the Easiest Car to Restore?

If you’re looking to get into restoring and flipping cars for profit, you probably want to start with something simple. If so, look no further than these 10 classic car models and their variants.

1. Ford Mustangs (Mid 60s)

These are some of the most iconic cars from the 60s and, unlike Chevy Corvettes from earlier in the decade, can be purchased for a comparatively lower price, giving you a better profit margin when flipping it. There are lots of Ford Mustang fans out there as well, meaning you shouldn’t have a hard time getting repairs from specialists if you need help. The models from 1964 to 1968 are the most fondly remembered and thus the best ones to find to flip. Be careful not to overshoot those years, however – models from just a few years later, such as the 1971 Mustang Boss 351, are increasingly rare and costly.

2. Ford Falcons

Another great offering from Ford, these cars are very similar to those aforementioned mid 60s models, meaning you can often get suspension and braking parts from one model and use it on another. That obviously makes it much easier to repair and restore models like these than those that have more exclusive part sets. The Falcons feature an overall simple design, making them easy to restore.

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3. Ford Torinos

A Gran Torino indeed, these Fords from the early 70s are capable of up to 375hp, and in many cases the engines still purr after all these years – at least they can if you fix them up. Doing so shouldn’t be too hard as this is another model for which parts are abundant and typically inexpensive. These models can often be restored for significantly less than $10,000, a bargain in the world of restoring and flipping classic cars.

4. Dodge Chargers

The best models to choose here are the Chargers from the late 60s and early 70s. There are books available on the restoration process for such models, such as Project Charger: The Step-by-Step Restoration of a Popular Vintage Car. The author of that book claims to have spent over a thousand hours on their restoration project, so the process may be a time-consuming one. What’s more, as the size of the motor increases, you can expect the costs to as well. When done well, the results are often well worth it, however, and account for some of the most in-demand American autos of that era.

5. Chevy Camaros

On the one hand, these are often a bit more expensive to restore than some of the other models on this list. On the other hand, it enjoys the same abundance of available parts as Ford Mustangs. Camaros also have a reputation for being relatively straightforward to restore, making them a good first choice for those new to the process, especially if you’re lucky enough to find one at a lower price.

6. Chevy Novas

The best options for these models are often those made between 1963 and 1974. Models in this time frame were mass produced and remain incredibly common, making them some of the least expensive classic car options for those looking to restore and flip them. There are many upgrade packages that remain available as well. Four-door models are less in demand, though, so you may want to steer clear of those.

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7. Chevy Bel Airs (Mid 50s)

Trying to restore cars from the 50s can be an expensive endeavor, as fans of rare and in-demand Chevy Corvettes from that period can attest. However, if you want a 50s Chevy, a more affordable option for repairing and flipping may be the Bel Airs, particularly the 1955, 1956, and 1957 models. There remain plenty of parts for those models relative to cars from that period. That said, people have begun to catch on to these cars’ and parts’ availability, so if you want to restore them you should act fast before others acquire them and drive the price up.

8. Chevy Chevelles

If you can’t or don’t wish to restore classic Mustangs but want something that has a similar feel, these are a good alternative. They feature body-on-frame construction, which makes them a lot easier to restore than other models without that build. These models are also a bit less commonly sought after than some of the other models on this list. While that may mean less demand at first, it also means they can be potentially more affordable to acquire, making them good sleeper choices for flipping.

9. Chevy Corvettes (Late 70s to Early 80s)

Everyone adores the classic Chevy Corvettes from the late 50s and early 60s, and with good reason. They are some of the most classic cars and most iconic images of Americana out there. However, that very demand coupled with their increasing scarcity has contributed to them becoming more and more expensive. By contrast, the next generation models to follow in that classic’s footsteps (or tire treads) in the late 70s and early 80s are underrated gems. They don’t get as much attention as their more famous predecessor, but they are also far more affordable to purchase for repairing and flipping purposes. That said, you’ll want to make sure that you are indeed acquiring a model from the later part of the 70s, since another model earlier in the decade, the 1971 Corvette LS6, is quite expensive given how few remain. By contrast, there are far more of these models available, and with so many Corvette specialists out there, you’re certain to find any part you need.

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10. Pontiac Firebirds

When considering one of these, you’ll want to look into Trans Am or Formula models, as they are typically far more affordable than their scarcer and more in-demand F-Body variants. This is another good example of a model that is easy to restore and affordable to acquire, making it an ideal choice for those new to the repair-and-flip game.

Each of these cars can make for an easy first classic car to flip and restore.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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