Selecting a Project Car

I’ve included the broad categories of vehicles that people are usually attracted to. I know I’ve missed a few and I’ll take any suggestions my readers have. I’ve tried to focus on broad cool appeal and slightly older cars. That being said, *any* car can be a project car and some of the coolest projects have been taking something unassuming and doing a really nice job restoring or customizing it. I haven’t included cars that I deem too collectible or expensive for the average hobbyist.

There’s a basic 1-5 rating system here, using four metrics. I established these based on my general knowledge of the model and some quick research, anyone more intimately familiar with the cars can recommend modifications.

  • Purchase cost: This varies a lot area by area so it might not be accurate everywhere. Also remember that a range of conditions are available. A really rough correlation that you should not rely on in pricing a specific vehicle at all:
  1. <$1500
  2. $1500-$3000
  3. $3000-$5000
  4. $5000-$7500
  5. >$7500(I don’t think there are any 5s on the list)
  • Maintenance cost: Since this will be an ongoing cost it’s pretty important. Some cars have cheap parts that are hard to find and I’ve tried to reflect that in the rating since time is money.
  • Maintenance difficulty: Some cars aren’t for the faint of heart, some are as simple as can be.
  • Rarity: Doesn’t matter how much you like it if you can’t find it.


So you like…

…muscle cars

…European sports cars

…off roading

…roadsters and convertibles

…Japanese sports cars

…hot hatches

…or you want to build your own car from scratch.