How to Pick the Best Project Muscle Car or Hot Rod for You
There are a few things to consider when picking the best project car or hot rod for you. What type of driving do you enjoy? Do you want something that can handle curves and twisty roads, or do you prefer a straight-line rocket? Is fuel economy important, or are you willing to sacrifice some MPG for more power?
Choose a Practical Project Car
If you are looking for a weekend toy that is also practical enough for daily driving, a classic American sports car like a Camaro or Corvette might be a good choice. These cars offer plenty of power and handling without breaking the bank on gas. If raw power is what you are after, though, something like a big-block Chevelle or Nova is sure to put a smile on your face and either would make a good project car.
Whatever your preference, always keep your budget in mind. Also, if you plan to rebuild a garage find or forgotten classic, availability also matters. You may not be able to find your ideal make and model. Should you settle for something different or keep searching to find your ultimate dream car?
So the reality is that the best project car is one you can afford and one that you’d like to own.
Tips from Restoration Pro Mick Jenkins
If you know anything about the hot rod scene or keep track of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster competition, you have heard the name Mick Jenkins. He is a big deal in the car painting world with aftermarket projects as diverse as a 1928 Alpha Romeo, a 69 Camaro convertible, Triumph Bonneville motorcycles, and more. An expert of his caliber knows how to help people pick out their perfect project car to restore to its former glory or create something new and exciting on a classic frame.
The first tip is well known in any buying situation. Something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid falling in love at first sight when you get a glimpse of a project car for sale. If possible, find out why the current owner is letting it go. There is a big difference between someone who unexpectedly needed money and had to give up their dream car and someone who got in over their head and had no clue what they were doing. In either case, see if they have any parts or accessories also for sale at the same time.
Avoid half-done projects unless you have the skills and know-how to look below the patchwork and primer to figure out what is going on under the surface. The last thing you want to have to do is remove other people’s mistakes before you can start the restoration process properly. Perform a thorough top to bottom, inside and out inspection before making any purchases.
Source the Best Replacement Parts to Build Your Dream
Another essential tip from Mick Jenkins is to make sure you can get parts suitable for the make, model, and year of your project muscle car or hot rod. Do your research before you spend any money. Far too many people end up with their garage or backyard shed full of car parts and their heads full of dreams and plans that never come to fruition. If you have a good line on a project car and can organize a hold with the seller, it might be a great idea to call around to parts sources, junkyards, and other suppliers before putting the rest of the money down.
The availability and prices depend largely on whether you want to use original stock only or if you are creating your own personal design with aftermarket parts. You can find great deals on stunning wheels and rims, interior accents, and paint jobs even if you do not have the budget to go to the top names in the industry.
To Pick The Best Project Muscle Car Or Hot Rod, You Need to be Honest with Yourself
If you lack the tools or talent to build the car yourself, you need to have the budget to build the car. Examine your finances and your disposable income. See if those factors align with your goals.