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Crystal Coast Custom Cars & auto Restoration services

                  Because Quality Matters Most

We Offer Complete and Partial Auto Restoration services & Custom cars

Before We Begin Please Read

 Restoring a classic car can be a fantastic way to bring a piece of automotive history back to life, especially if you've found a rare model that needs a bit of extra TLC. Here are seven things that need to be on your list of things to do when restoring a classic car, just to make sure that all your Ts are crossed, Is are dotted, and bolts are properly torqued.    

1. Finding the Car and Finding the Parts

The first step is to find your car — and then to find replacement antique car parts.  Do you have a specific make, model and year in mind or are you just looking for a project car? If you have a particular vehicle in mind, first make sure you're going to be able to find the parts for it — even if you can't get them locally, are they available?This is when you should decide whether you're going to be okay with replacement parts or if you're going to stick to original parts wherever possible. Original parts are a great way to make your restored car as authentic as possible, but they may be difficult to obtain depending on the make and model of your classic car. If you're planning on aiming for one of the higher levels of car restoration, you should consider seeking out original parts whenever possible.

2. Decide What Type of Restoration to Do

There are 4 levels of Car Restorations  and each one requires more work than the last. Driver restoration is the basic level — you get the car back on the road and operational and fix some minor cosmetic problems. If you're just restoring this car for your personal use, this is probably all you need to do unless there is some significant body damage.Street show restoration is a step above driver restoration — you're restoring the car and repairing all major and minor aesthetic issues.Show car restoration will probably require some professional work. This is a car that you probably won't be driving much once you restore it.Concourse is the highest level — you should only aim for that if you're planning on putting your car in a private collection. Cars restored to concourse level aren't designed to be driven and are usually only completed by professionals.. Update the Safety EquipmentOne of the most prominent problems with old cars is that their safety equipment isn't always up to snuff — they don't have airbags and could probably stand to have their seat-belts replaced to ensure that you and your passengers are safe in the event of a car accident. Even Jay Leno adds seat belts to his classic cars if they didn’t come installed initially.You can also upgrade the electronics, the radio and even the air conditioning without the change being too noticeable. Of course, you don't have to worry about alterations being too obvious if you're just restoring the car for yourself — go crazy and bring your classic car into the 21st century with things like heads-up displays, Bluetooth enabled entertainment or other safety features like rearview cameras and parking sensors.

4. Pick up a Restoration Book

You buy a Haines manual when you start working on a new car — why wouldn't you pick up a restoration manual for your project? These books can walk you through everything from rebuilding an engine to the most common body restoration problems. If you're handy with cars, you might not even need it, but it never hurts to have some extra resources when you're working on a big project like this.While you're looking at your restoration book, sign up for a few car restoration forums. Even if you're not especially social, these forums can be a great resource if you run into a problem that you can't solve with a restoration book or owner's manual.  These people are puzzling through the same issues that you are, and they may come up with some ways to fix a problem that you'd never even thought of!

5. Know Your Limits

Restoration's not as easy as doing maintenance on your daily driver. Take the time to assess your skills and know your limits before you buy your project car. If you're expecting to have to ask for help for any part of the restoration, make sure that there are local mechanics that can help — you're not going to take this project car to your local Jiffy Lube, after all.6. Don’t Expect to Resell It There are plenty of TV shows and websites that claim that you can restore your project car and resell it for thousands of dollars in profit.  Unless you've found an extremely rare model — and the chances of that are minimal — your project car will be something for you and you alone. You will probably end up spending more money to restore the car than you'd ever make back selling it.If you're a junkyard junkie, you might get lucky and find a project car that is worth a lot. One of the two Mustangs used in the 1968 movie Bullitt was recently found in a mexico junkyard. Now, this is a one-in-a-million find, but if you keep looking you might get lucky.

7. Be Prepared for Setbacks

Don't stress if something doesn't fit or you break something. Car restoration projects inevitably come with setbacks. Don't let them stress you out — just be prepared for them. Take a step back, figure out a new plan of attack and get back to the project.  Don't feel bad if you have to take a break. Sometimes coming back to it with a clear head is the best way to move the project ahead. Have a plan ready for when you hit those setbacks and make a vow never to quit. The last thing you want is to sink time and money into a project that you give up on a few months later.Restoring a classic car is a fascinating and rewarding project.  Just make sure you're prepared and have a plan in place for every contingency.

Remember if it was easy , Everyone would do it ! Enjoy the Ride 

When you are Ready , and if need us we will; be here !

Files coming soon.

For Your Project we have Free Estimates & Build Plans ! Contact us for Details

Experienced Mechanics


I Have 32 Years  and Have delivered  dozens of Mid to High end Builds all over the world.            I am Highly  dedicated to  perfection & providing high-quality Builds &  Repairs to keep you safe and happy. 

We Have You Covered


Whether you're coming to us for your 1st Dream Car or an addition to your collection, we have transportation worldwide for pick up and delivery (Free pickup with any new project).  We provide 12-month warranties with all of our services for your peace of mind.

Our Quality Promise


We're committed to providing a stress-free experience to both new and returning customers.  Our shop only uses parts from reputable brands to ensure that your vehicle is always ready to drive.

Time for a Tune=up?


  • 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 and suspension systems with some upgrades made to improve drive ability
  • Rebuild or replace the motor and drive train
  • Replace the engine with a crate motor
  • Upgrade the transmission and gearing for a more modern drive experience

Services, Builds, Paint & Body , Fab and Dyno

Please Read this Twice , This is a Big Decision and it has to be Perfect or you will waste Hard Earned Money . Tom C. 2015


If you are searching for a restoration shop to restore your old car or truck, it’s important to choose the right shop for your specific needs. If you want your vehicle restored correctly, then it needs to be worked on by a shop that specializes not only in old car restorations but on the type and brand of car that you own. No one shop can be expected to know everything there is to know about every car ever built. If you own a British sports car, don’t expect a shop specializing in American muscle cars to know how to restore your car and in a timely manner. If they’ve never worked on your type of vehicle before, your car may be the experimental vehicle they are looking to learn on.

However, there are a few select shops that have been in business for many decades working on all different types of cars because they have the right staff with the proper knowledge and experience that allows them to do so. Never go to a local garage or body shop, because they simply do not have the skill or knowledge necessary for restoration work. Restoration shops are not body shops, and body shops are not restoration shops. Dealing with non-specialists will result in higher restoration costs, because they take longer to do things due to their unfamiliarity with the car. When you are being charged by the hour, every minute counts. Like any business that relies solely on a skilled work force to produce a finished product, a restoration business is very difficult to run, due to the extensive use of hand labor. By understanding the numerous problems that a shop proprietor has to deal with, you will be able to comprehend why he has to perform certain tasks, charge for each of those tasks accordingly and expect you to make payments promptly.

Because no two cars are in the same condition when their restorations begin, it would be unjust for you to compare your estimate with that of another vehicle. It’s difficult for the shop owner to provide an estimate that will hold true throughout the length of the restoration process because the restorer doesn’t have X-ray eyesight; he simply cannot judge the amount of rust and body repair that might be required without disassembling the entire vehicle and inspecting every component. And because they cannot foresee every single problem, most restorers have a clause in their contracts that states an additional charge will be incurred if extra work is required.

Being charged an hourly rate is the most expensive way to pay for a restoration. But if you want the absolute highest quality possible, there is no alternative, particularly from the restorer’s perspective, since he will have to put in endless hours of labor until every single aspect of the car is perfect. Be skeptical of the shop that will restore your car for a set price. Once they have your car apart, if the work is much more extensive than they anticipated (and it usually is), you will be hit with a surcharge. Worse, they may cut corners in places you won’t notice, which can be dangerous if they decide not to replace fatigued brake lines or a weak suspension support bracket.

Most shops require a substantial deposit before work begins as it lets them start ordering the parts and supplies needed. The better-run shops will invoice you on either a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on what you have agreed to. Each invoice statement should include detailed labor descriptions, a listing of all purchased parts and a brief outline of the progress that is being made. If all charges are realistic, pay your bill promptly. Should you fail to pay your bills in a timely manner, the shop has the right to stop work, and your project will get pushed aside, only to lose its spot in line when you decide to pay what is owed. Up-to-date accounts always receive top priority. If a continuous restoration is beyond your means, set a budget with the shop owner prior to the start of the project. The restorer will then work against advanced installments until all the money is used up. Should you take more than 30 days to furnish additional money, a nominal monthly fee for storage and interest charges may be incurred. This is only fair, as space costs money.


Remember Quality Costs,  and Quality is all I Know ,  and Because Quality Matters Most ! 

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I personally Promise that although taking a abused old car and turning into a 1st Place Winning and Valuable Piece of Art is not easy and not cheap , You have my guarantee that I will make it as painless as possible and I Create Plans that almost anyone can deal with so lets get talking and see what you have been Dreaming about Driving for Years ! 

   Tom Cairo , Master Mechanic, Fabricator 


When Your Ready we will be here.

Several Highly Skilled Artisans  ready to build or Repair the Car of your Dreams .

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Crystal Coast Custom Cars

Havelock, North Carolina, United States

573-353-1080 Call/Text and of course email Serving North Carolina and the entire U.S. ! 218 East Main Street Havelock, N.C.


Monday - Friday: 7am - 5pm

Saturday: By Appointment

Sunday: Closed