Buy or Create

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Originally submitted by ReaperHR May 3 2006:

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Buy it or Build it myself?:

(New Car Projects)

One question which does arise for the person looking for a new project is along the lines of "Do I get a wreck or do I buy someone elses hard work?". My view has always been that buying someone elses hard work is a cop out.

My reasons were the following 

  • You don't know what went into doing it.
  • You have no idea how some of it was done.
  • You don't know if the work was done properly.
  • You don't have any of the contacts that you would have gotten if you had done the work yourself.
  • You have no idea of the time and effort involved.
Worse still to me were the people that would buy someone elses finished project and then show it off at car shows. To me that is virtually like saying "have a look what the previous owner did!" and along the lines of buying a brand new car and then showing it. What is the purpose? If the new owner has no idea what was done or where it was done etc they are also useless to the general holden community!

Q: "How did you get power windows in this?"
A: "No idea the previous owner did it."

Q: "How did you make that console?"
A: "No idea the previous owner did it."


Now the scenario above could be applicable to a person with a wallet full of dollars and no experience with classic cars. But what about the person with a wallet full of cash and a distinct lack of time to do the work, but also having the knowledge to do it themselves.

In that respect it may be better and far smarter for the prospective project searcher to actually buy someones completed project or semi-completed project. Especially if say along the lines of buying one of the older classics and toying with upgrading the steering, suspension and brakes. Why would they want to do this all themselves if they could find a project where this work is already done.

The advantages would be as follows:

You could be saving an immense amount of time.
  • You can spend your saved time on more detailed effort on the car or more modifications.
  • It can be FAR cheaper to find someone elses half finished or completed project than to hunt down your own and start from scratch.
  • You save effort from doing the work yourself.
  • The parts hunting you may have had to do may already be done depending on the vehicle.
  • You may save even more money in not having to buy a spare parts car.
  • Space conservation - you won't need your own workshop or place to store panels and parts.
So in the end you need to ask yourself what is better for you. We've all seen the classic cars rusting away in peoples yards with their owners "I'm going to do that up one day" comments when enquired about. We've also seen cars taken as projects by starry eyed people who when the work really has to start don't have the ability to continue. Other projects may get to a semi-completed stage and be swapped for another new project and finally the completed project may not be what the owner envisioned, or give them more trouble than they think it is worth.

In all of those cases a car can very easily end up at the wreckers and once there it is very rare for them to make a return to the road. Most of the time atleast their parts help keep other projects progressing or daily drivers on the road but sometimes they can become scrap metal before even really given that chance. The prospective project starter really needs to look at themselves and their wallet closely and ask: 
  • Do I have time to do this project?
  • Do I have the money in reserve for the inevitable budget blow out?
  • Will my marriage last?
  • Do I have the skills to do this work myself?
  • If I can't do the work can I get someone to do it without blowing my budget?
  • Are my ideas feasible?
  • Am I committed to starting and finishing this project?
  • Do I have the tools to do this work?
  • Do I have the storage space to store panels and parts?
  • Am I really after a project or a driver?
Many people will answer "Yes!" to all of those questions without hesitation, but hesitation is what is required. The new project starter needs to sit down and consider each of those points very closely and if there is a chance one of the answers could be a "Maybe" or "No" then it may be better for them to look for someone elses project that is up for sale. It is better and smarter to be the one buying the half finished project than to be the one trying to sell it.

These days a failed project can be the quickest way for an old holden to go to waste. It also takes a special type of person to strip a car down and be committed to getting it back together and doing a good job of it.

For inspiration in doing a project I recommend having a look at MrHQGTS's new Monaro Project.


said finally we have ALL the panel home, i bought the car on 17th november 2005 and todays date is 24th april 2006, not a day has passed since it's inception where something, somewhere has been done to this car, whether it be shopping for new bits, cleaning parts, photos documenting the build, organising bits and pieces, obsessing over how is this thing gonna get built and How the F#$%@ am i gonna pay for it

I have overcome a major milestone, as this is where most project cars get dumped, the cost of panel and paint is probably the hardest acheivement to overcome, massive blowouts of budget, highs and lows, desperation and despair, frustration and delight...sees many cars left in peoples front yards, wreckers and car crushers.....but i have never ever lost sight of what i have wanted to build and how i wanted it done.....this is one HQ GTS Monaro Coupe that is going to be way or another.

I cannot stress the importance of being prepared to blow your budget by ridiculous amounts of money, painting a

car is one thing, but stripping it of every nut and bolt is another, it is a hard thing to do, but the end results are worth it.




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