Classic Car Restoration in Minnesota: A Journey Through History and Excellence

Classic car restoration mn – Classic car restoration in Minnesota is a vibrant and thriving art form, steeped in history and brimming with passionate enthusiasts. From the bustling streets of the Twin Cities to the rolling hills of the countryside, the state is home to a thriving community of classic car enthusiasts who are dedicated to preserving and restoring these automotive treasures.

The classic car restoration scene in Minnesota is as diverse as the vehicles themselves. From vintage Fords and Chevrolets to sleek European sports cars and muscle cars, there’s something for every taste and era. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting your journey into the world of classic cars, Minnesota has something to offer.

Historical Overview of Classic Car Restoration in Minnesota

Classic car restoration mn

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Minnesota has a rich history of classic car restoration that dates back to the early 20th century. In the post-World War II era, the state emerged as a hub for classic car enthusiasts, with numerous restoration shops, events, and clubs springing up throughout the region.

Notable Shops and Restorers

One of the most influential figures in Minnesota’s classic car restoration scene was Frank Westfall, founder of Westfall Restorations in Minneapolis. Westfall was renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and his ability to bring even the most dilapidated vehicles back to their former glory.

His shop became a mecca for classic car enthusiasts, and his work has been featured in numerous magazines and publications.

Another notable restoration shop in Minnesota is Twin Cities Classic Car Restoration in St. Paul. Founded in 1985, Twin Cities Classic Car Restoration has a reputation for excellence in both mechanical and cosmetic restoration. The shop’s team of experienced craftsmen has restored a wide variety of classic cars, from muscle cars to vintage roadsters.

Events and Clubs

Minnesota is also home to several classic car events that attract enthusiasts from across the country. One of the most popular events is the annual Concours d’Elegance at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This prestigious event showcases some of the finest classic cars in the world, and it draws thousands of spectators each year.

In addition to events, Minnesota has a number of classic car clubs that provide a sense of community for enthusiasts. These clubs offer a variety of activities, such as car shows, rallies, and technical workshops. They also provide a valuable resource for information and advice on classic car restoration.

Types of Classic Cars Restored in Minnesota

Minnesota’s classic car restoration scene is a vibrant and diverse one, with enthusiasts restoring a wide range of makes, models, and eras of vehicles. Some of the most popular types of classic cars restored in Minnesota include:

Muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s, such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Pontiac Firebird, are particularly popular among restorers. These cars offer a combination of performance, style, and nostalgia that appeals to many enthusiasts.

Classic Trucks

Classic trucks, such as the Ford F-100, Chevrolet C-10, and GMC Sierra, are another popular choice for restorers in Minnesota. These trucks are often used as daily drivers or for hauling and towing purposes, and they offer a unique blend of utility and style.

European Sports Cars

European sports cars, such as the Jaguar E-Type, Mercedes-Benz 300SL, and Porsche 911, are also popular among Minnesota restorers. These cars offer a combination of performance, handling, and style that is unmatched by many American cars.

Estimated Value and Popularity of Classic Cars Restored in Minnesota
Make/Model Era Estimated Value Popularity
Chevrolet Camaro 1960s-1970s $20,000-$100,000 High
Ford Mustang 1960s-1970s $20,000-$100,000 High
Pontiac Firebird 1960s-1970s $20,000-$75,000 Medium
Ford F-100 1950s-1970s $15,000-$50,000 High
Chevrolet C-10 1960s-1970s $15,000-$45,000 Medium
GMC Sierra 1960s-1970s $15,000-$40,000 Medium
Jaguar E-Type 1960s-1970s $50,000-$200,000 High
Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1950s-1960s $100,000-$500,000 High
Porsche 911 1960s-present $50,000-$200,000 High

Methods and Techniques Used in Classic Car Restoration

Classic car restoration mn

The restoration of classic cars in Minnesota employs a diverse array of methods and techniques. From meticulous bodywork to vibrant paintwork, engine rebuilding to interior rejuvenation, the goal is to preserve the authenticity of the vehicle while incorporating modern advancements where appropriate.

The restoration process often begins with a thorough assessment of the vehicle’s condition. This includes inspecting the body for rust, dents, and other damage, as well as evaluating the engine, transmission, and other mechanical components.


Bodywork involves repairing or replacing damaged or rusted panels, straightening frames, and ensuring proper alignment. It requires skilled craftsmanship and an understanding of the original design to maintain the vehicle’s authenticity.


The paint job is crucial for both aesthetics and protection. Restorers often use period-correct colors and techniques to match the original finish, while also considering modern advancements in paint technology for durability and longevity.

Engine Rebuilding

Engine rebuilding involves disassembling, inspecting, and replacing worn or damaged components. This can range from simple tune-ups to complete overhauls, ensuring the engine operates smoothly and efficiently.

Interior Restoration

Interior restoration encompasses restoring or replacing seats, upholstery, carpets, and other interior components. The goal is to maintain the original character while incorporating modern materials and technologies for comfort and functionality.

Classic Car Restoration Shops and Services in Minnesota

Minnesota boasts a thriving classic car restoration scene, with numerous reputable shops and services catering to enthusiasts seeking to restore their beloved vehicles to their former glory. These establishments possess a wealth of expertise, specializing in a wide range of classic car models and restoration techniques.

Let’s explore some of the top classic car restoration shops and services in Minnesota, their specialties, pricing, and customer reviews.

Top Classic Car Restoration Shops and Services in Minnesota

  • Midwest Classics(Minneapolis): Specializing in high-end classic car restorations, Midwest Classics is renowned for its meticulous attention to detail and concours-quality results. Their services include complete restorations, mechanical overhauls, and custom fabrication. Pricing varies depending on the scope of work.
  • Motor Werks(St. Paul): With a focus on European classic cars, Motor Werks offers a comprehensive range of restoration services, including engine rebuilding, transmission repairs, and bodywork. They are known for their expert knowledge and ability to source hard-to-find parts.
  • Classic Auto Restoration(Duluth): Located in the scenic city of Duluth, Classic Auto Restoration specializes in American muscle cars and classic trucks. They offer full-service restorations, from bodywork and paint to engine and transmission rebuilds. Their pricing is competitive and transparent.
  • Hot Rod Garage(Rochester): Hot Rod Garage caters to the needs of hot rod and classic car enthusiasts. Their services include custom fabrication, performance upgrades, and complete restorations. They are known for their creativity and ability to bring unique visions to life.
  • Vintage Car Restoration(Mankato): Vintage Car Restoration specializes in restoring classic cars from the 1950s and 1960s. They offer a range of services, including rust repair, interior restoration, and electrical work. Their pricing is affordable and tailored to individual budgets.

Customer reviews for these shops are overwhelmingly positive, with many praising their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and dedication to preserving automotive history. It is advisable to visit their websites or contact them directly for more information on their services and pricing.

Comparison Table of Classic Car Restoration Shops in Minnesota

Shop Location Services Offered Estimated Costs
Midwest Classics Minneapolis Complete restorations, mechanical overhauls, custom fabrication Varies depending on scope of work
Motor Werks St. Paul European classic car restorations, engine rebuilding, transmission repairs, bodywork Competitive pricing
Classic Auto Restoration Duluth American muscle car and classic truck restorations, bodywork, paint, engine and transmission rebuilds Competitive and transparent pricing
Hot Rod Garage Rochester Custom fabrication, performance upgrades, complete restorations Pricing based on individual project requirements
Vintage Car Restoration Mankato Classic car restorations from the 1950s and 1960s, rust repair, interior restoration, electrical work Affordable and tailored to individual budgets

Note: Estimated costs may vary depending on the condition of the vehicle and the extent of restoration work required.

Interactive Map of Classic Car Restoration Shops in Minnesota

[Include an interactive map or graphic showcasing the locations of these shops in Minnesota, with clickable links to their websites or contact information.]

Classic Car Restoration Events and Clubs in Minnesota


Classic car enthusiasts in Minnesota have a plethora of opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, showcase their prized possessions, and expand their knowledge about classic car restoration. From car shows and rallies to workshops and club meetings, Minnesota’s classic car community offers a vibrant and welcoming environment for all.

Classic Car Events in Minnesota

Throughout the year, Minnesota hosts numerous classic car events that cater to enthusiasts of all ages. These events provide a platform for car owners to display their restored vehicles, admire the work of others, and engage in friendly competition. Some of the most popular classic car events in Minnesota include:

  • The Great Northern Classic Car Show:Held annually in Duluth, this show features over 1,000 classic cars, live music, and food vendors.
  • The Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back to the Fifties Weekend:This three-day event in Shakopee features classic cars, live entertainment, and a swap meet.
  • The Concours d’Elegance of America:Held at the Edina Country Club, this prestigious event showcases some of the world’s finest classic cars.

Classic Car Clubs in Minnesota

Joining a classic car club is a fantastic way to connect with other enthusiasts, learn about classic car restoration techniques, and participate in exclusive events. Minnesota has several active classic car clubs that cater to specific makes, models, and eras of vehicles.

Some of the most well-known clubs include:

  • The Minnesota Street Rod Association:This club is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of street rods and classic cars.
  • The Classic Car Club of America- Minnesota Region: This club is open to owners of all makes and models of classic cars.
  • The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America- Minnesota Chapter: This club is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Chevrolet vehicles.

Benefits of Joining a Classic Car Club, Classic car restoration mn

Joining a classic car club offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Networking opportunities:Clubs provide a platform to connect with other enthusiasts who share your passion for classic cars.
  • Knowledge sharing:Club members are often eager to share their knowledge and expertise about classic car restoration and maintenance.
  • Exclusive events:Clubs often organize exclusive events, such as rallies, tours, and workshops, for their members.
  • Discounts on parts and services:Some clubs have partnerships with local businesses that offer discounts on parts and services to their members.

Upcoming Classic Car Events in Minnesota

Mark your calendars for these upcoming classic car events in Minnesota:

  • April 29-30, 2023:The Great Northern Classic Car Show in Duluth
  • June 23-25, 2023:The Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back to the Fifties Weekend in Shakopee
  • July 22-23, 2023:The Concours d’Elegance of America at the Edina Country Club

Last Word

Classic car restoration in Minnesota is more than just a hobby; it’s a passion that connects people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s a place for you in the classic car community.

So join us, explore the rich history of classic car restoration in Minnesota, and be a part of something truly special.

Expert Answers: Classic Car Restoration Mn

What are the most popular types of classic cars restored in Minnesota?

The most popular types of classic cars restored in Minnesota include muscle cars, such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro; vintage Fords and Chevrolets; and European sports cars, such as the Jaguar E-Type and Porsche 911.

What are the top classic car restoration shops in Minnesota?

Some of the top classic car restoration shops in Minnesota include: J&S Classic Car Restoration, Twin Cities British Car Service, and Vintage Auto Restorations.

Are there any classic car restoration events in Minnesota?

Yes, there are several classic car restoration events held in Minnesota throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back to the 50s Weekend and the Concours d’Elegance of America at Pebble Beach.