Things to consider when buying a project car

So, you’re thinking of buying a project car, that’s awesome! I want to be the first to welcome to the automotive enthusiast club, it’s a lot of fun. Before you buy the car, I recommend you do the following; Check out an automotive restoration show, Motortrend is one of my favorite channels and has some great shows and one in particular that I think shows the most realistic hurdles with project cars is Fantom Works. Watch at least 3 episodes because it accurately reflects the challenges, time involved and the costs that can affect a build or restoration.

Now that you’ve done your homework and understand better what it takes complete a project car its time to decide how are you going to tackle it.

  • Will you take it all on yourself?
  • Will you enlist friends to help?
  • Or will you take it to a shop and have them do the work?

You may choose one or you may choose any combination of options. If you choose to have a shop help you with the project you have more things to consider.

  • Does the shop do project cars? Many shops will not take on an unfinished project.
  • Do they have specialist that can perform restoration work that a project will need? Most shops don’t.
  • And when do you want the car done by? Be realistic, you’re not going to be able to have a full restoration done in a couple of weeks. Talk with the shop and work with the shop to understand what an accurate time frame looks like and if it fits into your budget. Keep in mind... expect it to take longer than you would think.

Here’s what I mean by that 3rd point, Ocala Auto Repair does take in project cars, we do have restoration and classic car specialists and we have two ways to handle the time/expense of the project.

Let’s break down my time/expense statement. If you have flexibility on time and when you need your project completed then let us do it as a flex schedule, which is where we work your project into the schedule work during slower times at the shop, doing the project this does take longer but we discount our labor rate. If you need it quicker than we do the work during the prime time and charge our normal shop rates.

The choice is up to you

One last thing to consider when having a shop do your project is how they communicate with you during that project, at Ocala Auto Repair we will provide you with regular updates, as well as detailed notes on everything found as we progress and pictures to document any issues as well as consult with you as we go through the project. Finally, when your project is ready for its official first drive, we take you on that test drive with us. Most shops don’t have services at this level, but we think it’s critical when doing your project.

This most important thing with all this is to have fun! This is an exciting time for you and the road ahead!

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