How to Choose a Project Car

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Project Car/Image Credit: Modfos

Driving a vehicle can be rewarding in and of itself, but the personal connection you feel after working on a project car is a different experience entirely. If you’re looking to get into this hobby and complete a restoration of your own, here are some tips on how to choose the right car to start with for your first project.

Know Your Skill Level

It’s important to be realistic about your abilities when choosing a project car to work on. For your first project when you’re just starting out, you’re most likely not going to have the know-how to rebuild a vehicle from the ground up. Similarly, you shouldn’t pick a vehicle that is going to require extensive work just to get it back to working condition.

Work your way up to these more complicated projects by starting with something simpler. Ideally, your first project should be something that can still be driven down the road in the condition you bought it in. Starting with a vehicle that requires more moderate work like this will make getting into the exciting world of project cars more accessible to you, rather than overwhelming you right from your first try at restoring a car.

Keep an Open Mind

Couple Working on Car/Image Credit: Chris Ryan

This is your first project, so you aren’t likely to be working on your dream car right from the start. In fact, it’s probably better that you don’t choose your dream vehicle right away, since you’re likely to make a few mistakes as you learn the right way to restore a vehicle. That’s why it’s important to be flexible about what you’re looking for when picking your first project vehicle.

Instead of looking for your dream ride or something that fits a specific niche, go for something simpler for your first project. A common vehicle is likely to have more easily accessible parts, which will come in handy during your project. Choosing a vehicle that a lot of people work on will also make it easier for you to find information about your project – automotive discussion boards, Facebook groups, and YouTube videos will soon become your guide to success.

Start with a Plan

Making a Plan/Image Credit: zingel

Going into a project blindly will only lead to frustration later down the line and, ultimately, decreases your chances of successfully completing the project. You’re eager to get started, but it’s important that you devise a plan before beginning to work on a vehicle. Ask yourself what work you want to get done, and what end goal you have in mind for the vehicle you’re starting with.

Another part of having a cohesive plan on your side is making sure that you have all the tools that you need. You probably don’t want to get an entire 400-tool set when you’re just starting out, so stick to the essentials to begin with. A decent socket wrench, a set of wrenches, a rubber mallet, and a ball-peen hammer are some of the basic necessities. Safety glasses and other protective equipment are must-haves as well.

Get the Necessary Help

Working on a Car Together/Image Credit: Comstock

As part of making your plan, make use of the resources that are available to you to see what kind of work you might be doing. Consulting a more experienced project hobbyist can give you a better understanding of whether a vehicle is worth working on or not. Don’t be afraid to ask for this help, since most enthusiasts will be more than happy to help somebody just getting into the project world.

You can also find a wealth of information by consulting the owner’s manuals or maintenance guides for the vehicle that you’re considering working on. Assembly manuals and diagram collections can also be found for most vehicles, so do your research beforehand to get a sense of what you would be getting into restoring a particular vehicle.

Completing Your Restoration

Mechanic Restoring a Car/Image Credit: art159

Remember that restoring a vehicle is not a race, and it’s more important to do things right than to do things quickly. Take as much time as you need to get the project done correctly. If you rush, the whole ordeal might turn into frustration for you rather than being an enjoyable project. Take your time and do things right to make the experience more enjoyable and the final product you end up with higher quality.

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, are you ready to start that search for your project vehicle? BestRide is here to help! Find the car that fits your restoration vision today!