The Four Different Types of Car Restorations

April 12, 2022

Classic car restorations have become somewhat of an icon with all of the TV shows produced around the topic. If you ever watched a car restoration show then you’ve probably seen that there’s a few different ways a classic car can be restored. There’s mild to wild and everything in between.

In the classic car industry, there’s 4 main types of car restorations that professionals generally go by. Here they are in the way we at Bumbera’s Performance refer to them:

  1. Daily Driver
  2. Street Show Restoration
  3. Restomod
  4. Concours Restoration

Daily Driver Restoration

As the name implies, restoring a classic car to its normal operating condition is what we call a driver. When we’re making a classic car a driver it’s typically because we have a customer bring us the car before telling us the ever-so familiar line, “just make it run”. These types of jobs don’t involve many frills and a majority of the time we’re not even restoring the vehicle back to the original driving condition. The reason for this is because the original driving condition of most classic cars won’t make it on today’s roads. Speed limits are higher, there’s more traffic, and people are traveling longer distances to get to their destination. In fact, most vehicles in their original driving condition would overheat while driving across town today. 

So what do you do? The typical package we install to make a classic car a good driver is a refreshed or new motor, a smooth and reliable transmission like the 700R4, power-steering and air conditioning if needed, upgraded brakes if needed, bigger radiator, an MSD Ignition system and our in-house special - a KennyCarb. This combination is not only reliable, but you will have a nice little hot rod that can put just enough power to the ground to make it fun.

Street Show Restoration

A Street Show Restoration is a step above the daily driver. A car that has been restored to street show condition is nice enough to go to local car shows, compete, and perhaps even win. A street show restoration would be all of the mechanical work needed to make it a good driver as well as some extra touches to make it stand out not only under the hood but also around the exterior of the vehicle.
Under the hood of a car restored to street show condition you may find chrome valve covers, a slick air cleaner, and an overall really nice and buttoned-up appearance under the hood. 

On the exterior of the vehicle you may find some touched up paint, new bumpers, and a cleaned up interior.


Also known as hot rods, restomods are modified restorations. If you've ever been to the SEMA show in Las Vegas, then you have seen plenty of restomods. You can expect to see completely anything from customized interior, exterior, suspension, body lines, and paint work. In addition to the stellar interior and exterior features, restomods often have a unique powerplant that makes you look twice. For example, you may find a supercharged LS stuffed inside of 1971 Chevelle or a Hellcat engine retrofitted for a ‘69 Charger.

Concours Restoration

A concours restoration is the highest level restoration possible for a vehicle. Vehicles of this caliber have been completely restored back to its original condition as if the car just left the dealership for the very first time.

An example of a concours restoration is a 1967 Corvette that we recently completed. It was purchased by our customer from Barrett-Jackson and brought to us for a tune-up and some small repairs. This car has won nearly every elite award there is for a concours restoration. When restorations of this caliber are being judged, many factors are taken into account from the appropriate drivetrain and even down to the period-correct color of the engine block. Sometimes, judges will even look for hand-written markings that would have been present when the vehicle was originally being assembled.

At Bumbera's, we're experienced in all four types of car restorations. If you ever get a chance to come by the shop you'll find a few of each kind of restoration in our shop. Have a classic of your own and want a free estimate? Fill out this form and one of our specialists will be in touch!

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