I have built 23 cars mostly on my own. If I can I like to find someone to help block sand
I too have done all my own car projects over the years. My 70 Elkie was my last project and I did all the work, even the paint, in my Texas garage. I think I screwed up my health when I made my own paint booth out of plastic sheets and painted the truck in ninety degree weather. Don't tell my wife about that one!This is one of those questions I have asked myself when I walk through a car show or a cruise night. I have been working on cars since I was 9, well 7 if you count the day I got a hold of one of my dad's screwdrivers and started taking the interior a part of a 59' Impala my dad had in the driveway ! So I had never taken any of my projects to have someone else work on them, I was lucky to have my dad or bother to help when I got in over my head ! I laid in bed one morning trying to figure out how many engines I have changed in my life, I stopped at over 2 dozen ! The same with body work ( worked in a body shop for a very short time after high school) I have always done all my own, with mixed results ! Ok so moving to present day and at 61 and dealing with health issue's like many us as we get older, now what? My Elky needs to have it's drivetrain updated, that means engine, tranny and rear end, it's also need body work finished, interior updated ! The obvious elephant in the room is always money ! I'm guessing if most of us had the resources we would just buy one already restored or just pay to have work done? But honestly working on my Elky or any project has always been an enjoyment, tons of satisfaction and of course pride when you turn some piece of crap into something ! I'm sure there will be a ton of different responses to the poll because we are all at different stages in our lives. When I see Gene Winfield at 93 start working on his projects that is just amazing! About 10 years age when I was still out in the field inspecting, I pulled up to inspect a new metal carport, an "older guy" ( properly the age I'm now) was waiting for me and he had a cool 63' Falcon for sale. Of course I asked how much and he started to tell me his story, he had the car since high school, now he had some heart and vain issue's in his neck and he could no longer work on it. I said "well he could still drive it" and he said "if I can't work on it what is the point", what is the point? Thank you to everyone who has responded to the polls and all the great feedback from them !
know what you mean....I do everything except boring cylinders, I don't have a boring bar; I don't paint very well but I do it anyway
So true ! But since I've been sick what next, who's going to turn those wrenches, no way will I or can I pay someone ! Hopefully they figure out what's up but still going forward I never plan for what if ? Guess I need to talk to Winfield and ask him what heck he has been eating and drinking for 93 years !61 years old here also. Very soon to roll the digits to 62. Nobody touches any of my cars unless it’s warranty work. And nearly every time I’ve had warranty work done I’ve had to go in to replace broken parts or finish the job correctly. Like many of you I’ve never had formal “training.” But I’ve just always had aptitude for mechanical things. I’ve rebuilt my own engines, transmissions, differentials, carburetors, you name it. I’ve never been rich and m y theory has always been that I can afford to buy special tools and maybe even get it wrong a few times before I’m out the money a mechanic would charge me for any job.
if you can engine build, you can do the transmission, it's even easier.Nobody turns a wrench on my cars but me. That's why I have a shop; It's my hobby and I love doing it. I do all of my engine building, redesign, modifications, exhaust system, any mechanical repairs, body work, paint...it's all me...except for transmission rebuild. I will do simple things like a shift kit and shifter install but I let the experts do the total rebuild on a tranny after I take it out and drop it off. I might even tackle that someday too, just because I've never done it...
Great story ! Amazing I can remember rebuilding my first quadrajet but have to ask my kids how old they are ! LOL So 76 WOW very cool that even us older guys can still blow motors a part ! The health thing sucks, going through some issue's myself but I guess we will find ways to keep our hot rods running till they take our licenses away !Dang, I just hurt my brain thinking back so far... My first engine rebuild was a 1931 Ford 4-banger (about 1961). The last, with MANY in between, was the fourth engine in my El Camino, a 400 + HP/ 400 + TRQ 383. Loved that engine. My 76 year old body has turned into a medical nightmare this year. I got into a stupid road rage incident recently and blew the engine up. You would think someone my age would have more smarts. Not so. Sooo, engine #5 (also a 383 - love the torque) is being put together by someone else. I am just not physically able - that sucks. He will let me look over his shoulder though. Hopefully it will be ready this week. Love the posts, all different kinds of people in the crazy hobby. Be well all.
So well said, enjoying the hobby is the point ! The way you get there is up to you, if you have the resources and it makes you happy then it doesn't matter if you turn the wrench on it. I worked on project cars for many reasons, I enjoyed it, it was like therapy for me and it was always a great sense of achievement. But now as I get older and have some health issue's it's obvious there's going to be things I won't be able to do. Maybe one day I will need to buy one that's only needs normal maintenance and pay someone to do the big stuff, guess we will see ! Oh yeah love your ChooChoo !Me. I just dream about being physically able to at least be able to do simple things once again.
Now, I bought this one mostly like it is. I paid too much for the car/truck and have spent thousands more having it made into MINE.
I have changed wheels and tires, added stripes to the hood, installed Choo Choo side pipe covers with discharge in front of rear wheels,
Updated a/c system, installed modern stereo with sat radio, CD, and back up camera. I also had updated speakers installed front and rear.
It seems like there is always something more I want to have done. Was it financially worth spending all that money? To me it is even though
I will never see a financial gain from it all, it adds enjoyment to my life
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