Even A Water Car Will Need A PDR Technician

Water Car

There’s a fun guy named Dave in California who has dedicated his personal ambitions on developing a “WaterCar.”  His interest in restoration has been long standing, but when he restored a 1960’s Amphicar back in the 70’s, he discovered that there was a lot that was wrong with its design. It was only capable of going six miles per hour and leaked horribly. Since that time, in fact 20 years later, the design was developing in his head and then finally to paper followed by the actual water proof vehicle.

It has the looks of a Jeep but then departs from there as it has a custom-made chassis and a proprietary body/hull design. This design allows the vehicle to be taken from land directly into the water with the ability to zip away in the water waiting for it. Imagine being able to water-ski, or water-tube all over the water behind the WaterCar that is going 40 miles per hour.

It takes great passion and dedication to see an idea come into fruition. These vehicles are in production now and will come in a kit form for you to assemble. You will also be responsible for the power that goes into it. Basically you are getting the shell and of course the custom-made chassis. You can find the kit at watercar.com. Imagine being the only person in your city and state to build such a vehicle? Imagine being the only PDR Technician that can be used to do the repairs on such a vehicle?

This vehicle has the potential to take off as a Summer sports mobile and the sooner you get your name attached to its discovery in your area, the sooner your business will soar. It never hurts to walk into a shop, introducing yourself, sharing the website and then offer your services. You should already be involved with Car Shows where restoration groups run rampant. Introduce this or something like this and be the “Go To” person. Step outside of the box, be creative, and watch your business take flight, or sail into the sunset. Either way, only you can do it. If a person has a pulse at a Car Show, they should have your card. Happy hunting and/or sailing.


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part VI

Chevrolet Camaro-1967-’69

The Chevy Camaro is probably, outside of the Mustang, one of the most memorable vehicles ever made. That is of course as they pertain to muscle cars. Both are sleek and eye catching. Also, both you can easily find all parts for which includes the panels, trim, mechanical, and electrical parts. the 1969 Camaro is unanimously recognized as the go to hot rod of its day and ours. There will always be a huge demand for these cars which is the good news and the bad. If you can find one, completely rusted out and basically useless, you will not pay less than $2,500. They are just that much in demand.  But if you do find one there is a huge aftermarket for performance parts for them. You could not ask for more. This car will go down in history as one of the most sought after cars, ever. I could tell you stories for days about these cars. Oh, the good old days.


Dodge Challenger-1972-’73

The Dodge Challenger has been given second bill compared to the first choice which is the Cuda. Mopar fanatics seem to prefer the Cuda but the Challenger is actually the better car. With its detail and more upscale look, you would think that this would have won the challenge hands down. The reproduction of parts continues to grow, making even the rustiest project car salvageable. The later models have the small-block V-8’s are the most affordable to buy and the easiest to find. The E-bodies have grown in popularity and therefore the demand is outrageous. There is one thing to consider when restoring this vehicle, they must be restored to factory-original or else the value of the vehicle isn’t worth the effort.


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part IV

AMC AMX-1968-’69

These cars are pretty fast and are growing in popularity especially as it is discovered that they are pretty darn fast. To get the 390-cu. in. Go Package Models will cost you a pretty penny, or many. However, just as popular is the non-Go Package which to is a 390 cu. in.. Popularity grows even for the smaller 343 V-8 models, but the 290 V-8 less so. Reproduction parts are readily available, but what is available is not nearly as extensive as say the Mustangs. The awesome thing about this vehicle is that the mechanical parts interchange with those from the Big Three. How they are restored is pretty basic and for American Motors fans, these are considered the AMC muscle cars.


Lincoln Continental-1961-’66

The early sixties Continentals are an all time favorite of collectors. They have an upscale and classy shape which is loved by all meaning there will always be a strong demand for these models. You will have a limited amount of body and trim parts available but on the other hand, you will have unlimited access to mechanical parts. You may not choose this car as one of your first to restore because these were pretty much hand assembled vehicles. In fact, you may find that you have to hire a specialist to piece the car back together correctly. In spite of some of the difficulties that come with restoring these cars, the effort is well worth it as these remain the most sought after four-door luxury cars which can both be easily located and quickly sold. You may want to take if for a cruise before you let it go though. Get your buddies together and take it for a ride, you may not be able to let it go afterwards, so be warned.

lincoln continental


PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part III

Moving on, we do have 32 to get through after all.

Chevrolet Bel Air-1953-’54

The fifties era Chevy’s have long been cars of the past that conjure up amazing memories for the Baby Boomers. The reproduction parts continue to increase in selection, and the prices are pretty good too. If you have a need for mechanical and electrical parts, these too are easily bought. Not only are these parts available but you can also easily find disc brakes and other high-performance upgrades, all for a very reasonable price.


Pontiac GTO — 1971-’72

The GTO is one of the most favored vehicle’s to own and restore. They are only truly affordable in the 1971-1972 models. The GTO’s before that, say 1968, are almost untouchable when it comes to affordability. The good news is that there are tons of body and trim parts that have been reproduced and a lot of go fast goodies too. However, values will continue to rise but only for the factory correct cars, and only those that have been restored well. So as tempted as you may be to make a hot-rod out of the GTO, if your purpose is for resell value, then you will need to keep it close to the cuff.


Ford Mustang — 1964-’68

The Ford Mustangs are the most common reconditioned vehicle there is. It’s popularity is insurmountable. Every single part on a Mustang has been reproduced and available in dozens of catalogs, shops and online. If you find a Mustang in its earliest years, you will find that you will get nibbles on your add almost as soon as you hit the enter key. Getting a 64-68 will not cost you an arm and a leg and yet will make you money hand over fist when you have completed the restoration. Again, it must be noted that restoring it to its factory perfection will yield you more money than to try and figure out what is popular and making it a muscle car. Stick with the basics when restoring any vehicle.



PDR Technicians: Which Cars Are Best To Restore Part II


Deciding on which car you want to work with is widely shaped by what you have always loved. If you can afford this luxury then good for you. If, for example, you would like a car that is easy to restore and pretty cheap in comparison to more difficult cars, then these are the cars for you. If you intend to turn a quick profit then these cars will serve you well and become your lifesaver. 

Be warned that these cars will not make you stand out in a crowd nor will you go cruising down the boulevard with these. What you will do is make a quick buck and eventually be able to get the car of your dreams for restoration, if that is your goal. When shopping for the vehicle that you will restore, you need to be prepared to pay up to $5,000 for them. Even though you and the entire world can see what buckets they are, you will be able to make four and sometimes more times than what you paid for them. They are quick, easy and relatively cheap, and with an extensive line of reproduction parts, especially new body panels and exterior trim, makes restoring these cars wonderfully straight forward. So sink your teeth in and let’s get going. These are not listed in any particular order.

Buick Riviera-1963-1965

This is a stunning American made car of the post-war era. The fine lines and styling that went into this type of car are attracting more people daily to start restoring them. You will pay a premium for them, especially the 1964-1965 versions as they have the dual-quad carb setup. You will find that there are several companies that are offering reproduction parts, which of course will make any future restorations less difficult that they have been. You will be able to find replacement panels and trim as well as reproduction seat covers and door panels. An early sixties Riviera will only grow in popularity and remain on the most wanted list.

East Coast Hurricane Sandy’s Devastating Damage To Vehicles Part IV

Superstorm Sandy

The shortcomings of our system have provoked certain groups to warn people about these unsafe vehicle’s that are hitting the market in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents car dealers nationwide and companies that sell reports on vehicle histories, like CarFax. There are watchdog groups that say insurance companies sometimes contribute to the problem by underplaying at auction the damage to a car. As a result, in 2005, the State Farm Insurance company reached an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia for failing to properly title cars. From this juncture, State Farm had to reimburse over 30,000 affected customers. State Farm says they are complying with the laws in each state affected by Hurricane Sandy.

All of this will work for the dealerships but it still leaves vehicles being sold over the internet and person to person that bypass official channels. Until the titles themselves are branded with some sort of permanent stamp or mark, there will always be the chance of buying one of these totaled vehicles. As a PDR Technician you may come across vehicles like this quite often, which is very unfortunate. A lot of PDR Technicians will buy a vehicle in auction for their own practice and possible serious restoration. Having the tools and knowledge to start your own business means that you have nothing but options available to you. Hopefully, you to the Total Recon package so that you can really do so much more with a vehicle. If you have the room, I would suggest getting a car from auction to restore. I think I would even go as far as to get a cheap vehicle that in fact has been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. If you can identify and then attempt to fix these vehicles, you will know better than the next guy what can be fixed and what is just a total write off.

In a post coming up soon, we are going to talk about which classic vehicles are the best vehicles for restoration. In addition, my next post will go into detail on how you can tell if a vehicle has suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. You will learn the tell tale signs and be better equipped to quote your customers and understand your limitations.