Custom car?

I have a standard transmission plymouth neon 97. I would like to rebuild it, but I’m wondering: is it worth it?

I want to rebuild the engine, with brand new parts, custom interior, paint job, nearly everything except for the frame.

Would my car be like new? Would it last another 14+ years? or would I just be better off buying a brand new car with custom interior?

Time and money is not much of an issue and not part of my question. please refrain from discouragement, and straying from the immediate question, unless it is a necessity to know to make my decision. It’s possible I may get a used frame somewhere, and build onto that, but I haven’t put it into serious consideration.

“It’s possible I may get a used frame somewhere”

This car, like most other modern small cars, is of unitized construction–which means that it does not have a frame. The reinforced floorpan is welded to other structural components in the front and rear bulkheads in order to provide strength. Separating the floorpan from the bulkheads is a laborious and ultimately destructive process. If rebuilding the car by using a different frame is part of your plan, you will have to rethink this idea.

Is it worth it?
When you consider that the Neon was designed to be just what it is–namely a very inexpensive car built with non-sophisticated, cheap components with a limited life span–it would certainly not be worth it to me.

For the amount of money that you would spend on this project, you could have a far newer car with better handling, more power, and far more safety for the passengers. If this was a car that was destined to be a classic because of unique design, or sophisticated engineering, or low production numbers, I could imagine a project like this. But–a Plymouth Neon???

That is my opinion. If you feel differently, then more power to you.

The phrase “turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse” comes to mind.


Sure it can be done. Is this a do it yourself project? To pay someone else to do the work will be expensive. You should pull and rebuild both the engine and transmission. New clutch, all new brakes, new power steering pump and steering rack. All new front suspension parts, springs, struts, tie rod ends, etc. Not much in the rear suspension, but new bushings would be good.

Will it be like new? That depends on the work you do on the interior. It could be better than new. All this will cost something close to what a new small car would cost unless you do a lot of the work yourself.

Once you do it, keep it. You will never get the money back by selling the car to someone else.

Yes, a plymouth neon, but only because I already have one. I don’t have to go out and buy a frame, I have already working parts to test against. If rebuilding my neon wouldnt be worth it compared to building a car from the frame up (basically from scratch), let me know now.

I will be doing the labor, so the only expenses will be car parts/accessories, and the time it takes me to do it.

I’m not building a car so I can sell it a few years later, I want a car that will last and run the way I want it to.