Question of the week: Do it yourself or pay the professionals?

working on a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

The experience of owning a vintage car can be much more involved than keeping the fuel tank full and ensuring the battery is charged. Depending on your vehicle of choice, maintaining aging technology can be demanding on both your pocketbook and your sanity.

Many owners are do-it-yourself types who enjoy mechanical mastery and strive to understand the vehicle they drive. This may require space and tools to complete the necessary work to keep a vehicle on the road. Even those with the most well-equipped shops have to call in the professionals from time to time due to lack of specialty tools or when a job requires large equipment that doesn’t make sense for a hobbyist to own.

Even lacking the most specialized tool, seemingly impossible jobs can be relatively simple with the proper preparation and research. On big jobs, before you pick up the tools, pick up the phone. Talking to fellow owners or shops who have completed your planned project can get you tips on the process and details on exactly what to expect. Once you have a plan of attack, then the hard work can begin.

There also comes a time in the busy life of a vintage car owner when it might be best to have another person complete the task at hand. Though you will have to pay the professional, you can be assured the job will be done correctly and in a timely manner. That lowers the chance of a stalled project being discovered in your garage in the future.

Do you always wrench on your own car? At what point, if any, do you call the professionals? Tell us about your experiences.