How to Find the right Custom Car / Hot Rod

    In today’s world of high dollar custom cars, street rods, muscle cars, hot rods, choppers, and restored classics, some people have had dreams of having the coolest ride on the block come true. On the other hand many people have had their dreams and bank accounts shattered by investing in the wrong vehicle for their wants needs and abilities. First off what do you really want? Something that turns heads because its just plain beautiful, or maybe something you had as a youngster or something you always wanted but could never afford. Maybe you need a old family car like a 57 Chevy, or for the rebel with a family, how about the ultimate family cruiser the 49 50 or 51 chopped and channeled mercury. Muscle cars, choppers, hot rods, and model T’s all have a following, and all have their pros and cons. You should really do you home work on the car you wish to have well before you actually purchase one.

Some thing to consider are how far do you plan to drive and are you willing to give up comfort for cool or vise verse? Do you plan to take three or more friends with you or just one? Is gas mileage or horse power more important for you needs. Do you have the ability, the knowledge, the tools, the time, the money, and most important do you like or should I say Love working on your dream ride.

Custom 1980 Corvette 800+hrs by a journeyman tech and still working on it.

Custom 1980 Corvette 800+hrs by a journeyman tech and still working on it.12 inch wider then stock, 63 split window

Now that you have contemplated what you really want, with what you really need you can start looking. You may have found that several cars have met both your wants and needs and that is the best scenario. If you have an open mind you will have many more options to get the best value for your money.

When you start your search remember your skill level and also you budget, the best advice I can give you is to look for a complete vehicle that is exactly the way you want it. Why not a old primed car that you can paint and put a new engine in? Money, Time, Money, Time and much more Money and Time. I have built many award wining custom cars and bikes and can tell you for a fact that you can very seldom build a complete car for less then you can buy one that is already complete. If you do decide to buy a car that needs work I would recommend trying to find one that has the body and paint work already done and is missing running gear. It is much cheaper to rebuild or replace running gear then to do body and paint work, and the skills to do parts changing is much easier to learn then the skills to do body and paint work. The tools to do body work correctly are also much more expesive. You will most likely have to hire a pro to rebuild your engine or transmission but you could easily install them with a little common sense.

Bikes are much easier to do your own body and paint as they are much small.

Bikes are much easier to do your own body and paint as they are much smaller.

 Custom Painting is much less expensive whe done over a already quality paint job as in this brand new bike I painted a few years ago.

So contrary to most the info on the net, (Good Quality) Body and Paint work is the most expensive, most time consuming, and by far takes the highest automotive skill level to achieve good results. The more time you spend working on your car the less time you will have to enjoy using it and the more chance that when you finally get it finished to your original expectations (I bet less then 1 out of 100 ever are finished) you will sell your dream for Penny’s on the dollar not including all your hard labor. You will put it up for sale either because you are so sick of working on it, you give up on it, or because you spent your mortgage building it and don’t want to end up having to sleep in it with your loving better half saying I told you so.

This is when you come back to this article and say Now I get it!!!

Let someone else lose their home and spouse over building your dream car so you can go out and buy it finished and start driving it today.


~ by Jon Stewart on September 22, 2009.

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