August 31, 2014

Decision Making- Your Brain on Restorations

At this very moment, there are at least a couple thousand people looking at a computer screen sorting through ideas for their restoration project. 

Some are working with a shop, others are going to do it alone. Either way, they are browsing, and an endless number of options lay before them. As my father says, "decisions, decisions".
car building decisions
In any given day, a single person can only
take in a certain amount of information before their brain abandons them. It simply check's out. This is commonly called "analysis paralysis". 

Choosing between white or black walls seems simple. Choosing between white and black walls after making 100 other decisions becomes a super human task. Once a tire type is picked, more decisions follow: brands, dealers, specs, wheels etc. Then looking at customer feedback, which companies have good reviews? What's the warranty? etc. Shops have the advantage of repeatedly purchasing and working with a variety of parts, brands and suppliers. Individual owners are in uncharted territory from the start. They will be required to make 5 decisions for every 1 decision made by an experienced shop. If you're working with a professional, communicating a clear vision and budget for the project, then allowing them to make the parts decisions allows faster progress and saves you headaches. After all, you hired them for a reason!

If you are the designated shopper for your project you need to understand what drive's your buying decisions. It's likely that you have a buying style influencing your every move, although you may not have given it much thought in the past. 

  • Motivated by price: comparison shopping until you're sure you've got the lowest priced supplier nailed down. You'll likely brag about the deal you got when the item arrives.
  • Value driven: you will search high and low seeing a lifetime warranty, tech support, top notch reviews and the highest quality parts for your peace of mind. 
  • Setting trends: be the first person with the new technology and enhance performance so you have the fastest, most modern "old car" is another way to go.
  • Original junkie: Thriving on the hunt, you will spend days scouring junkyards and E-bay in search of original equipment you need now, as well as the parts you "might need someday".  
Understand how you enjoy making purchases, then make your buying decisions that fit your project goal.

Being able to live with the choices you make is the most important aspect of decision making. You need to enjoy your build, every part bought and installed right down to the colors selected. 

The second most important aspect is your ability to communicate your decisions. Whether talking to your spouse, the parts supplier or a shop you are working with, communicating your ideas for the final product will help develop a common goal. This will reduce second guessing and speed up the process. After all, what good is a brilliant idea kept locked in a safe?

Auto shop communication
Describe the end result as you see it unfold in your mind. Establish a direction. You may need a concrete visual to keep you, and those you rely on for tech and parts, on course for your build. Magazine clippings and photographs were the only way to do this in the past.

Today we can browse the internet for ideas. Store a library of ideas on your computer, then Photoshop the photos of your car to have the new colors and parts added on. This provides a real image of how your car could look when it's road ready. It can also be used to explore color changes(as shown in the photo below). Once complete, you have a sketch of your final design to hang on your wall and give to your builder as you continue browsing for parts and finalizing your build.
paint color change
Color change example(photo credit Fix My Pic)
The key to a headache free project plan is to avoid analysis paralysis. More choices is not always better! Know your buying style and your limits

Define what you want. Find examples. Talk to your friends. Go to car shows and events. Establish a plan. Communicate your ideas. Your plan may be a general concept of the final product or a detailed list of every piece you want installed complete with part number and color. 

What do you have planned?

~Molly Gursky

Contact us at for a planning guide to help you outline your  project!

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