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The vast majority of the builds you see on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and even our own site are done by professionals who have the skills and, most importantly, the checkbook to do it.

That’s why you probably haven’t started that project you always wanted to, or why you feel uncomfortable tackling such a complex mess. It’s scary doing things you’ve never done, especially when you’re investing a lot of your own money.

But if you can’t live without bringing your dream classic car to life and need to show economic restraint (don’t you all), then take these tips as an offer. Every aspect of building an old car is important and if you are a beginner, being pointed in the right direction is the first step to success.

Related: Ken Block’s Garage: 25 Best Hoonigan Builds

Find a car


via HotRod

Look at other items and they will tell you that for the first time you should buy something that already works and rolls. And while it’s an easier route, you lose out on any learning experiences you might already have by the time you get your second project car. That’s why it’s important to be open-minded – the vintage car market is unpredictable and you might never find the exact one you want.

Suppose you are looking for muscle cars from the 60s or early 70s, if you are on a budget there are a few options that may be out of your initial investment range – which call it $ 3,000 to $ 5,000. Any first Camaro, Charger or Roadrunner will set you back a lot of money for a clean shell, so look for cars that weren’t as popular but were produced in large numbers, this is a recipe for cheap styling.



via Grange Finds

The Dodge Dart, Plymouth Duster, Pontiac T-37, Mercury Comet / Cyclone, Plymouth Barracuda (first gen, ’64 -’69), Ford Falcon, Buick GS and even Ford Mustang were all from excellent cars, produced in fairly large numbers, and offered with the V8s. And really, you don’t need any of those typical muscle car type coupes, you can also get on a big cruiser like the Ford Torino or the Buick Wildcat … we don’t discriminate.

All of this is only true, of course, if you haven’t found your car yet. If you have, well, welcome to step 2.

Related: 10 Cheap Muscle Cars That Will Make You Feel Like A Million Dollar

Where to start


via Hemmings

Most of the time, your project will have at least one engine, otherwise you already know what you have to do. But, the engine itself is the best place to start looking once you’ve acquired your car. Maybe it hasn’t run for 3 years, maybe it runs and drives, or maybe the previous owner removed a camshaft they forgot and you will have to find out at The time length.

In all cases, for older engines and older V8s in general, immediately check the fuel pump, carburetor, manifolds, ignition system, radiator, and under valve covers. The transmission will be a prayer of sorts for most old cars. If you start the engine make sure there is fluid in the trans and see if it moves on its own, often those junky old automatic transmissions just don’t move.

The next most important thing is your budget. After making sure the engine is in good condition (or having it professionally examined), you need to prioritize what’s next. For example, if you need a new dashboard, seats, or carpet, first make sure the floor is not rusty and solid, otherwise you will be bolting new bucket seats to the floor. a piece of fragile tetanus. If you need new wheels and tires, make sure the brake / hub assembly is intact. You could very easily bolt new wheels and tires to the wrong axle with studs and clogged brake lines.

It all sounds a bit expensive, right? I know. That’s why you have to spend the money you have, on the right things. Here is what I mean …

Related: These Old American Cars Should Be Avoided At All Costs

Spend your money


via Hemmings

It’s almost impossible to resist buying the cute wooden steering wheel you’ve seen online, but you have to be strong, because building a car on the cheap isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to sacrifice presentation for the flavor of a dish. If your car needs everything to be replaced, focus on the important things.

Brakes: Cheap braking systems are dangerous and if you want more power you need healthy brakes.

Radiator: get the big 3 row aluminum radiator … do it. Spend the money not to overheat and spray the car behind you with nasty coolant.

Intake / Carbohydrates: It is an important element and also fun. Your fuel supply is everything: how the throttle reacts, how it produces its power, and how smoothly it operates. For older V8s we recommend Holley and Edlebrock for carbs and intakes.

Structural Components: If you lay it on the ground and patch it down a 1 / 8th of a mile, you don’t want your 50+ frame to twist under power or collapse in a crash . Most aftermarket parts sell frame braces for monohull cars (built without a frame in the middle of the car), full length frames, and door bars.

Related: 15 Ways To Make Your Car Cheap Expensive

How to buy things responsibly for irresponsible reasons


Classic car
via AutaBuy

After all, if you’ve bought an old muscle car, you’ve been craving torque, loud noises, and style. If this phrase describes you in any way, then a junkyard can be your happy place. Chances are there is a landfill or auto demolition site within 50 miles of your home. Have an agenda, ask employees what they have, and go hunting.

Breakages are a great place to find trim parts, body panels, cylinder heads, and exhausts, many of which could be aftermarket parts. You can even find an engine that runs if that’s your kind of thing.

This type of tearing at the base is not reserved for classic cars either. Anyone who loves cars has the right to cover themselves with oil and lie on cold ground for hours on end if they wish. We’re all from the same crazy brand, whether it’s Japanese Sports Cars, German Hatchbacks, or American Muscle Cars – Get Out and Rip.


Next: The Pros And Cons Of Owning An Old Muscle Car


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