So I have a tremendously reliable and wonderful Honda Fit that I drive for every day needs. It is a rock, and I love it to pieces, and it’s running great.
But, I am the daughter of a mechanic. My childhood was filled with my dad’s project cars in various states of dis and re-repair. And I’m also an art historian, so I love old, strange, problematic things.
This leads me to today. My husband has given me the green light to get my very own project car.
I am obviously not a professional mechanic, but can do the basic bits of maintenance myself, and generally have good spacial/mechanical/building skills, can google, and can read and reason my way through a manual…maybe… and have access to a ridiculous garage of professional body tools, thanks to my Father in Law. I also have a dad to call and ask advice if needed.
The other part of this is that I kind of want an ‘ugly’ car. I don’t want a beautiful Corvette, or a perfect Mustang…I’m talking like an AMC Pacer, or an old Honda N600, or, my ultimate dream, a Chevy Corvair Rampside (swoon!). I’m prepared for a “2 years to engine turnover” type of project, and ultimately, this is going to be a Sunday driver/car cruise/light driving machine, and the Fit is going to be my daily steed.
But where do you start? It seems like most of the websites for antique cars are selling show-ready cars? Is Ebay the way forward? Do I need to become good friends with my local junk yard? And how much of a project do you bite off for your first one? Any idea how much budget I should have (for the initial purchase, I know the parts and etc will be more over time)? Am I crazy for trying to get a weird car, or should I aim for a bit of an “easier” beginner restoration project - if so, any suggestions on target models?