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The Three Rs

You want to maintain the integrity of your classic car as you work on getting it ready to drive.

Creatas/Thinkstock

To make sure you're putting in the right amount of money, care and time, just remember to follow the classic hobbyist's rule of the three Rs: reuse, repair and replace. In that order!

To maintain the link with history that drew you to this machine, you'll need to think seriously about which parts of the car can be kept alive and shining, and the passion of the classic car enthusiast means being smart about exactly what can be kept intact -- or in other words, reused.

Next, there's repair. That can mean patching textiles or panels, machining a worn part or even just giving the engine a good steam-cleaning. Once you've determined what's worth keeping and what you can repair, you can do the hard work of admitting which parts are beyond help, then start looking at local junkyards and online marketplaces for your replacement parts.

Remember, this project should be a fun use of time and an expression of your passion. You -- and your car -- deserve better than a frustrated last-minute decision or shortcut.

For more information, check out the links on the next page.

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