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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a new project. I'm taking a welding course and have rented a bunch of videos on sheetmetal repair and paint application so I think I'm ready to give it a try.

Fabricating new panels, etc is out at this point so I want something where replacement parts are plentiful and the cars are relatively cheap. (preferably something < $2000)

Older Mustangs and Camaros are out - they've gone up way too much in value. Ford Falcons are pretty cheap but I can't find much in the way of a supplier for replacement sheetmetal or parts/trim. Old '40's and '50's Chevy and Ford sedans are plentiful and pretty cheap but replacement parts are hard to find.

I was sorta leaning toward an old Chevy or Ford pickup because there are so many parts available for them and they're still pretty cheap. There is a $1500 '59 Chevy Impala for sale locally but I'm unsure about parts availability. Any other ideas?

Jeff
 

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The biggest part of a car restoration is passion - or lack of. People will start a project, but after 2-3 years they'll give up and sell it for half what it cost them.

In selecting a project, you have to leave out logic and good sense. Let your heart tell you what to build. If it doesn't make your heart go pitter pat, move on. It has to be a project that makes you want to go out and work in the cold garage.

In short, find the vehicle that gives you a woody. Buy that one.
 

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Ive looked for a 59 for 7 years and have not found one that was not all rusted out.
Good luck.
You are right about trucks, a great many parts are available.
The chevies are an easier rebuild compared to the ford front lower cab mounts.
When they are rotted out everything sucks.
 

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an original bronco is the perfect candidate.
rusted hulks are really cheap, restored ones fetch over 10grand, parts are plentiful, and simplicity will make it a good first project.


and turn it into this:

 

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Look at a Hemmings motor news. You can get a good idea about parts availability by looking in there. Try to stay away from high buck imports. Parts prices are unbelievable. Get something they made a bunch of, thats where the parts availability is. Camaros and mustangs come to mind. Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone.

Don, I went and looked at a '73 MGB GT a few weeks ago. I think you posted a long time ago about putting a 302 in one. The car was super cool looking but had bad rust in the rockers and was smashed a little in the front. I priced sheetmetal parts and they cost a mint for those cars so I passed. I think a fender is like $600? Did I also mention the inch thick layer of sludge on the bottom? It was filthy on the underside.

Jackal, yeah that '59 was pretty rusty. Replacement sheetmetal is pricey for those cars too and I think it's probably too long to fit in my garage anyways.


Thanks bw. I hadn't considered an old Bronco but they're cool looking. I'll keep my eye out for one.

What I've done so far is just gone to www.collectorcartraderonline.com/ and just type in a price from $1 to $3000 and have it search within 250 miles of my zip code. It brings up quite an assortment but nothing that has really caught my eye much.
 

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If you really like the mustangs, they can still be had for cheap if you plan on doing a ground up restomod. It's the restored ones and partially restored ones that are spendy. The parts for a mustang are extremely plentiful, many vendors and such and since they were one of the highest production cars during that time, there are tons of original parts out there.
 

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Originally posted by Jeff M:
Thanks everyone.
Don, I went and looked at a '73 MGB GT a few weeks ago.... Did I also mention the inch thick layer of sludge on the bottom? It was filthy on the underside....
I have my '69 BGT on my 4-post. I know what you're talking about! The only chassis and body parts not rusted are the ones coated with the "sludge."
One of these days.... :rolleyes:

d



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I would bag the restoration idea. Too many times now people put hours and hours into a car, pots of money and end up loosing money. You would be better to double your budget, buy an MGB that is a nice low mileage daily driver and improve it.

If you take the MGB example, buy a rot box for $1000, spend $5000 on parts plus paint and end up with a $5000 car...makes no sense.

I am currently looking to get an MGB for about $3000-4000 and will be adding a buick olds 215 or Rover V8. When all is said and done I will have spent $5500 and will have a $10000 car.
If doing an MGB, the only acceptable engine mod is the one I mention. MGB's never had Ford Iron V8's, but they did have Rover 3500 V8 s in them. The rover V8 weighs about 40lbs LESS than the original 1800 B series engine.
You might want to get the book "How to give your MGB V8 Power"
It is not an easy conversion, but is worth the trouble and you can actually buy the engine mounts and body modification pieces easily.

I found an all alloy Rover 3900 V8 with 85K miles for $350. Put that up against the cost of a set of heads for a 302 and you will realise what a bargain it is.
 

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Originally posted by boB:
The biggest part of a car restoration is passion - or lack of. People will start a project, but after 2-3 years they'll give up and sell it for half what it cost them.

In selecting a project, you have to leave out logic and good sense. Let your heart tell you what to build. If it doesn't make your heart go pitter pat, move on. It has to be a project that makes you want to go out and work in the cold garage.

In short, find the vehicle that gives you a woody. Buy that one.
This is an excellent statement. I agree completely.
 

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British sports cars from the 60's and 70's are good candidates. They are plentiful, parts are easy to get, mechanically and electrically they are very simple and since they are real small it is easy to do things single handedly. For instance you could probably do arm curls with the rear from a midget or sprite.

I think the key on any restoration is to find one with a good body. That means no significant body damage and no (or very little rust). Even if you have to pay a little more for it you will probably finish sooner and for far less money in the long run.

Too bad you live in TX. I have a 64 midget that would make a nice project car or you could use it like I do, to take the wife out for drives on sunday afternoons.
 

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I've enjoyed many years of working on "Old Iron" in both the Hot-Rodding and Restoration process.
In terms of restoration one of the things I've found to hold perfectly true:
If you are impatient and don't enjoy The Hunt for parts - you'd be better off buying something that is already what you ultimately want or at least very close..

You will find - many times - that your restoration process and timeline will be interupted by the extended search for the one-key-part that you need to move on to the next step or level.

Understanding and being able to deal with this going in will make you far more capable of success..

BTW - short editorial - If you chose to "restore" something that is not domestic, you can count on at least doubling the amount of time you spend in The Hunt...
 

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I agree with the guys, do something that turns your crank. Mustang coupes can still be had at good prices and there are TONS of parts and they are priced reasonably. plus they are still GREAT looking cars. Getting one in bad shape makes it a great canidate for a restomod so you don't have to fell bad about destroying one that should be restored, that's the one that can get expensive.
 

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Most Brit cars seriously rust at the rocker panels. The only thing I've seen worse is italian cars. The thickness of the steel used in domestic cars was decreased by GM in 1964 as a weight saving measure. I don't know when for the other big 2. Scott
 

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Might consider an older Corvette. Lots of the late 70's cars can be had REAL cheap. Take the body off of the frame and put your welding expertise to work. Lots of parts available for the drive train!! While your saving money you can practice your fiberglass repair/modification skills!! Just a thought.
CB
 

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i was in the middle of a 71 olds cutlass supreame convertible...most popular car in olds history so they are easy to come by for a good price...plenty of parts available...i'll finish it when the cobra is bodied...anyway, i got about $6K in it 75-80% done...it'll be a daily driver...finshed plan is below


you could also do a 442 or HO clone fairly cheap...and still get..."is it real?"

[ December 25, 2005, 08:37 PM: Message edited by: quicksand ]
 
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