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At Studio Hotrods, we specialize in full auto restoration of your classic, muscle or street rod vehicle to the highest standards. Don't trust your classic car restoration project to a shop that doesn't have the experience, expertise and track record of Studio Hotrods. 

Studio Hotrods' has a vast experience with all makes and models of muscle cars. No project is too big or small - from a complete frame-off restoration to a concours - winning paint job, the skilled staff at Studio Hotrods will get the job done in a timely manner. 


Restore or Modify: The Ultimate Car Debate


The restoration of American muscle cars is thriving. This world of classic cars is made of an unimaginable number of makes and models, thousands of upgrades and unlimited options to build your dream ride. Below we will explore some of the most common restoration options. As you begin the grueling task of refurbishing your classic vehicle, you should consider all the options available to you.

Throughout time there has always been eternally perplexing questions that manage to divide us, challenging us to our very core. You know the questions: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which tastes better, Coke or Pepsi? And the ultimate for car enthusiasts – Which is truer to the spirit of classic car restoration, a Resto-Mod or  a traditional restoration?

Restoration is About Preserving History

To the traditionalist, a classic car should be restored to its original factory condition using only OEM parts. For them, a restoration is about preserving history. The car is perfect when it comes off the line and as a collector it is their duty to keep it that way (or as close to original as possible).

Bringing a Classic into Modern Times

The Resto-Mod rebels want to keep the classic car look while enhancing its safety, performance and overall comfort. It looks like a restored classic while underneath, modern components are added. Sure, they keep the original parts so it can easily convert back, but critics say once you mess with an original, it stops being an original.

Which Side Are You On?

Many of us find ourselves solidly in the middle of this debate. As with all things in the classic car world, it is never just black and white. For many, if the car is a rare numbers matching vehicle, then keep it original all the way. If an owner wants a car they can drive on today’s busy highways, then adding items like seat belts and a better braking system is a no brainer.

Most Common Restoration Options


A true “restoration” is a vehicle that has been reassembled with the goal of bringing it back to factory-stock condition only.


A “Resto-Mod” job is defined as a vehicle that has been put back together with the addition of new modern or aftermarket parts that were not on the vehicle when it came from the factory.



Pro-Touring is a style of classic muscle car with enhanced suspension components, brake system, drivetrain, and aesthetics, including many of the amenities of a new performance car.


Pro-Street Car

Pro-Street is a style of street-legal custom car popular in the 1980s, usually built to imitate a Pro-street class race car. Pro Street cars should appear to be more at home on the drag strip than the street, while remaining street legal and not gutted like a Race Car or Bracket Race car.


Pure Stock Drag Car

Pro Stock engines use electronic fuel injection and spec gasoline and are restricted to a maximum of 500 cubic inches. They can make in excess of 1,300 horsepower. A competitive Pro Stock car can run in the 6.4 seconds at more than 215 mph.

Evaluation Process

Since each project presents its own unique set of challenges, physically analyzing your vehicle at our facility is the best approach to generating an accurate proposal.


In order to give an accurate proposal to our customers, we must first evaluate the overall expectations that you have for your vehicle. Secondly, we must evaluate the project ourselves to be able to answer the following questions;

  • How much rust does this project have?

  • How many parts will be replaced?

  • Will we have to disassemble in order to give a better estimate?

  • What changes and or modifications does the customer desire?

  • How much time will it take to fabricate those parts which are unavailable?

Every restoration project is unique and so many unknowns to give our customers an estimate of the cost to build without seeing the vehicle. We can give the customer a comprehensive detailed cost plan once the vehicle has been inspected and the unknowns are answered.

Our Restoration Process At A Glance

Full Car Restoration

A Full Auto Restoration primarily includes removing the complete chassis from the body and all the components of the car are disassembled, sandblasted, media blasted or acid dipped to restore to a better than new condition. All body panels are fitted and then the body is painted to the customers desired color to show finish.


• Disassemble the vehicle

• Pull body off frame (optional)

• Media blast and restore frame (optional)

• Metal repairs of all rust

• Media blast or mechanically / chemically strip the vehicle

• Replace or replate all trim

• Completely smooth out body of all waves and dents


• Etch prime and seal vehicle after stripping

• High build primer after body work

• Block sand entire vehicle

• Sand and buff

• Undercoat vehicle

• Paint and clear vehicle includes all jams, under hood and under deck lid


• Rebuild existing mechanical systems or replace systems

• Upgrade brake, steering and suspension systems

• Rebuild engine or replace with a crate motor

• Upgrade transmission and gearing for a smoother ride


• Replace seat covers, foam and repair springs

• Replace carpet

• Replace headliner

• Restore dash

• Restore door panels

• Replace or restore interior trim

The car of your dreams is just a few steps away...Give us a call 815-669-0020!

1968 Jeep M715
1968 Jeep M715
1953 Ford F100

Partial Car Restoration

A partial restoration is an excellent approach for customers who drive and enjoy their classic car. This restoration process involves a variety of options, but usually the chassis is left intact and any of the necessary part are removed, re-fabricated, upgraded, modified or replaced.

• Restore body work and paint

• Refresh but not completely redo the interior

• Upgrade the mechanical system while restoring the existing system

• Upgrade and restore the electrical, cooling and fuel delivery systems

• Restore existing brake, steering & suspension systems with some upgrades made to drivability 

• Rebuild or replace the motor and drivetrain

• Replace the engine with a crate motor

• Upgrade the transmission and gearing for a more modern drive experience

Other Car Restoration

We will help our customers finish their classic car restoration projects even if they already started but, need help installing an air conditioning system, engine repair, transmission replacement or engine rebuild.

The car of your dreams is just a few steps away...Give us a call 815-669-0020!