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Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-11-2012, 9:23 AM Reply   
Ok - wanting to try to restore or build a car. I have never done this before but have the time and space to give this a shot.

Couple of things...dream car is a 32-34 Roadster or 32 Coupe. Have found I can try that with a kit. Also I have access to a 65 Mustang Fastback that needs restored. Could also go get a VW bug (always wanted one as a kid) and make it a Rat Rod. So my questions are many.

1. Which car would be best suited to someone learning?
2. What do I need to get started. Have alot of tools, just most are wood working types. Have sockets and things like that. Don't want to paint (will sub that out and body work) want to work on motor, brakes, trans, interior, dash..etc....

3. Anything I should be lookin for aware of...etc...

4. Kit cars - easier to build or car like the 65 Fastback easier since it is all put together just need to change just about everything.

5. Has anyone else on this forum ever build or restored a car? If so what and can I pick your brain..
Old     (Raf1985)      Join Date: Mar 2012       07-11-2012, 10:02 AM Reply   
I'm doing a 64.5 mustang 289 right now. The good thing about mustangs is that there are tons of parts, both OEM and aftermarket, for them. Kit cars require a little more fabrication unless you find a bolt on kit or something. Plus they are just kits and not original cars. Old school rat rods are fun also because there isn't much to them.

As for the tools, you will eventually find out what you need as you go.

Here are a couple current projects of mine:

Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-11-2012, 10:16 AM Reply   
I think kit cars are lame if they try to be something they are not or try to look hot but they are not.

Rebuilding a "real" car is so much more interesting and a much better investment.

If you have not seen it yet, check out the show "fast and loud". It's a neat show about a few guys from "gas monkey" garage who fix up old classic cars for a profit.
Old     (95sn)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-11-2012, 10:28 AM Reply   
Bugs are great still reasonably priced parts and availability. Busses are $$. Current project is a 68 Ghia. Painting can be one of the most expensive part of a resto. I ended up doing it in a friends garage in single stage paint, Sanded, buffed to a professional finish. The 67 Double cab is on deck.
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Old     (bhyatt_ohp)      Join Date: Oct 2007       07-11-2012, 10:35 AM Reply   
My suggestion would be to start your first project with an easier build that is more turn-key. Not a kit car, and preferably something simple with little to no electronics and easy to source parts. About 4 years ago I got into older Volkswagens after my uncle's 1988 Fox 2dr wagon quit running on him and he gave it to me for free. $200 in a fuel pump and parts and I had it running. Sold the Fox on eBay for $750 after my friend offered up his fairly beat, but running 1988 GTI to me for $900. The GTI was much faster but the ol' 16v motor had seen better days and leaked alot oil and coolant. Long story short, I bought a wrecked 2000 Golf GTI 1.8t for $1200 and swapped the motor and trans into the 1988 GTI. Parts and all, I had $3700 in the car and ended up in a trade deal for a 1995 jetta vr6 that I later sold for $4500. I haven't built anything since, but when I can free up some funds, I'll restore my grandfather's 1966 Ford F100 step side.

If it wasn't for the internet and resources I found on's forums, I wouldn't have been able to diagnose the fuel problem with the Fox, found half the parts i needed for my motor swap and I wouldn't have met local VW guys that enjoyed drinking beer and building things in the garage. So my next suggestion if your flying completely solo on your project would be to find an extremely good internet forum for the car you want to build. There you can obtain info and get help from fellow enthusiasts. I'm sure other car forums are the same way, but the VW forums went into extreme detail on every possible motor swap - what mm axle flanges I would need, what motor mounts would work where, wiring details, etc. If you do the VW bug, there is an air cooled portion on vwvortex as well that will point you in the right direction. is your friend for stocking the garage for cheap. You'll need high lift jack stands, good heavy duty jack, engine hoist, transmission jack, impact and air wrench with full range of standard and deep sockets in SAE and metric, tons of extensions and swivel socket adapters, air powered die grinder for cleaning gasket material, cutting exhaust, etc. Mig/Flux welder for fabricating brackets, welding exhaust, etc., Pry bars, magnetic bolt picker uppers and bolt pans and a nice rolling tool cart - just to get started. Always anticipate spending more $ and time to complete than you expect. Good luck and most of all, have fun with it.


Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-11-2012, 10:36 AM Reply   
Raf - You may be the guy I need to chat with. that 64 fastback (haven't seen it yet) comes from a friend of mine whom I trust and he said I can get it looking sweet for 25k. That is about my budget and my time frame is 3 years. Want to be able to drive it earlier but complete done in 3. Anyway, anything I should look at when looking at the fastback? Things to be aware of...what motor and trans should I look at?

Love Fast and Loud...been watching it. Cool guys, cooler cars!

Ghia was another option for me. Have a buddy who has 2 of them. Only 2 I have ever seen. Very cool, but since he has one didn't want to copy him. He said it would be cool for me to do and he would help. Just not sure I want same car.

Love the look of the Rat Rod style...sorta rusted out looking POS. But, if I am doing the fastback that doesn't fit.
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Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-11-2012, 10:38 AM Reply   
3 different styles them all....if I had to pick....Coupe first, rat rod next then mustang. But, odds are the Mustang is what I will build. Thought about custom chopper as my first build....would that be quicker and easier?
Old     (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       07-11-2012, 10:40 AM Reply   
I'm in the process of my first engine build 455 olds for an old direct drive ski boat I'm restoring. Generally forum information is good but I found a building manual that is my primary source. I love the learning process and am pretty excited to finish.
Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-11-2012, 10:43 AM Reply   
Bhyatt - tools list is exactly what I needed. I have some of that but not even "most" yet. I know these things all cost money and time. 37 solid job and hopefully lots of years in my life left. So should work out. Space isn't an issue (see another thread bout my boat and barn). I am thinking of looking on craigslist for alot of that and think I can get my hands on all that fairly cheap.

VW has been talked about alot (GHIA) since know where to find a guy and lots of info ( not sure how to rat rod up a bug. Been looking. Love the chopped look and lowered....also love the rust look with those...will post pic if I find something. May be a cheaper learn...???
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-11-2012, 10:46 AM Reply   
I've never build anything - I have helped my dad though and this is why I figured I would chime in -
Couple of things...dream car is a 32-34 Roadster or 32 Coupe.
He currently has 2 - 32' modal A's a coupe (hard top) and a roadster he has chopped, as well as a 29' pickup (with a second body that is like a panel truck - he uses to take the truck camping so he can sleep in the back).

...Since I can remember he has been building hot rods, so he was by no means a new to it, but I'm sure he had to start somewhere.

I know engines/trannys are pretty reasonable for a small block, and from there I would say just find something with a good solid frame and build up from there.... he usually finds the frame first, then worries about a body and engine/tranny/suspension are the last to come for him.
Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-11-2012, 10:47 AM Reply   
something like....
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Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-11-2012, 10:54 AM Reply   
... and on another builder note... my uncle Don is an evil genius, I mean seriously amazing.
He does everything himself except paint. If there is something that needs to be done he'll go and buy the machines, learn how to, and do it himself.

This is is 31' buick coupe - he has done everything (except paint - which he got by traded to get done - he made a 100% working Gatling Gun for the guy who was to paint the car in exchange for the paint job .... like I said, evil genius). His next project on this car is removing the current engine (which has twin turbos, that he made... yes, he made is own turbos) and putting in a V12 he is making by cutting two Supra engines apart and putting them together with a custom crank.

Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-20-2012, 9:10 AM Reply   
Ok guys - finally after researching and finding the car I have decided what I am building. 1969 Karmann Ghia. When I am done I am hoping it will look like this. Gonna do some body work and engine work to hot rod it up some. Love this look though.
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Old     (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-20-2012, 9:13 AM Reply   
This is my blue print. The car I am buying is a POS that doesn't run. I will start a new thread once I start this project for any who want to follow.

going to bag it, paint, interior and ramp up the engine as much as I can. Thinking the wheels I may go more modern with it and make it a bit more hot rod but we will see. Really love this look of this car. The only thing that scares me is putting the bags on. Never done that....
Old     (spridle)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-21-2012, 12:55 AM Reply   
Kinda funny reading this. I drive my 63 Bug daily. To work at a Hotrod shop. Realistically for an overall investment of 25k as a done, no corners cut ride, I think you made a wise decision. Try to set forth a realistic plan and stick with it. Join up at . A lot of info there for sure. Bagging the front can be virtually bolt on anymore, no worries there.
If you got a sec hit up and watch me say cuss words at a 68 Chevy van we are working on. Congrats on making a choice, you have a long road ahead of you, good luck.
Old     (norcalmalibu)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-21-2012, 7:50 PM Reply   
Great choice on car! I'm glad you didn't go with another run of the mill mustang =)

Although if you can be persuaded I love the factory five 33

I've got a 67 Nova myself and its a blast working on it and going to shows etc.
Old     (spridle)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-21-2012, 9:33 PM Reply   
Factory Five got sued at least 2 times by Carroll Shelby, cuz their stuff is too good I guess.
Old     (95sn)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-23-2012, 11:09 AM Reply   
Excellent choice, 69 is such a good year with early look and IRS. keep us informed
Old     (Raf1985)      Join Date: Mar 2012       07-23-2012, 11:38 AM Reply   
I've always liked factory five's kits. They make some awesome stuff


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