Topic: Budget project car?

Good afternoon folks!

I'm trying to get into wrenching and after a bit of a bad choice/bad luck in my first project car (more on that in another post *audible, rusty winking* ) I'm really wanting to make my next go at it a little more fruitful.

While I'm not looking for anything very outlandish or RaRe NO LOw BalLERs I'm wanting to keep it around 2-grand for a starting price. Have any of you bargain racers had any luck in this price range, or anything that might be a good buy for that price? I have some wrenching education under my belt and plenty of books but not a lot of "real world" experience. This is just a hobby for me, I just really love cars and want to learn all I can about them on weekends.

Re: Budget project car?

I can make you a deal in your price range for this


https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/cto … 89964.html

https://iili.io/J5SbGj.jpg

https://iili.io/J5UiKv.jpg

https://images.craigslist.org/00i0i_gLjU8bAQmF7_0ak07K_600x450.jpg
https://images.craigslist.org/00w0w_5rF00elxdnY_0ak07K_600x450.jpg

Re: Budget project car?

I can't tell if you're being serious or not! Way too far for me anyways (I'm in Ohio.) I do love the idea of a small but "nice" car, in fact my recent attempt with a fixer-upper was similar in spirit:

https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=39257

I actually liked this car, which is why I hate having to give it up. I was surprised at how it was small-ish but managed to have a big car feel to it, it was more comfortable and, while sloooooow, was pleasantly smooth to operate! Is the Rover similar? I feel it would be.

Re: Budget project car?

I've never driven a Rover TC2000. I bought this as a favor for a friend of a friend who was in a bind. I'm not too up for learning what it takes to make it go vroom. Kind of a shame. Just doesn't interest me. It was on track to be a $30K plus restoration.

(relocated post that had been accidentally posted in incorrect thread)

Re: Budget project car?

Those suspension pics make my brain hurt. They were trying to make sure there was room for the gas turbine engine Rover was enamored with developing in the 60s. End result, that front end.

#111 Tradewinds Tribesmen VW Passat Inde ‘20... shhh, the Benz is napping!
#888-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18,’19. Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)

Re: Budget project car?

Now that we know where you are...what do YOU want as far as the end result?  Something cheap and cheerful but also pratical (hot/warm hatch)?  Something you can constantly upgrade over time on the cheap as money allows?  Something you can get cheap, learn on, sell for break even at the end?  These are only three permutations.

VR6 GTI out of a southern state, MAYBE you could find a Vibe GT at that price point
Cobalt manual with the ecotec, any Panther platform (handling mostly),
Focus ZX3, Solara/Avalon (shift solenoids and coils are about all that go bad), NB Miata before the prices go up, any Ranger or S10, any GMT400's (GM/Chevy trucks) but do go southern and try to go 2wd

Brain is not working real great right now but about anything anything can work to learn on if you do not start with a hacked up mess or a rusted to oblivion turd.  In my case after working on motorcycles all through college I got into RWD Volvo's...7/9 series redblocks are still good to learn on but the interior plastics are about irreplaceable now and you will break some.  Volkswagen Mark III/IV Jetta/Golf if not rusted are good learner cars.   The oddball Ford Falcon/Plymouth Valiant/GM G-body in that price range are all excellent bets but they are super hard to find around that price anymore.  If you want a boat Series II equiped LeSabres/Park Ave's that still have a good shifting transmission will teach you only about replacing price-cutting steering/suspension/interior electrics because if they are still running they likely have all the known failure points in the engine bay fixed (lower intake manifold gaskets, upper intake, plastic coolant elbows).

7 (edited by Lemon_Newton-Metre 2020-07-03 07:21 AM)

Re: Budget project car?

'91 Caprice Classic for $1000, Alex?

8 (edited by Troy 2020-07-05 08:04 AM)

Re: Budget project car?

Are you tryong to build a race car or driver?

I recently went down the $1000 car wormhole for a new driver. I picked up a pretty clean, well maintained, high mileage and slightly dysfunctional Ford Explorer for $800.  A battery, fluids and minor repair got us a decent car for $1000 but still needed tires. Turned out it had a bad control arm too. So tires, control arm and an alignment ended up being $725.

By the time I finished a bunch of preventative maintenance we were about $2400 into the Exploder.

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: Budget project car?

Do you care about performance or is it just the learning experience of getting familiar working on stuff?

I mean, if you really want to get so NOTHING intimidates you any more, the answer is clearly a Jaguar. If you can chase all the gremlins out of an XJ6, you will feel invincible.

Always something to be said for a land yacht. Big cushy old American iron. Everyone ought to own a real Caddy once. (The real ones have 350+'cubic inches, IMHO) Chintzy trim but dead simple to work on...

I personally am partial to w123/w126 (70s-80s era) Benzes. Enjoying a nice 1982 500SE that I got for $1500 last month, actually.

None of these are great performance rides, if that's your concern, I'd probably get a Miata or an E 36 BMW...

#111 Tradewinds Tribesmen VW Passat Inde ‘20... shhh, the Benz is napping!
#888-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18,’19. Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)