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12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Tearing Down Your First Project Car

Posted March 31, 2021 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: car parts Tools

Many of us have purchased a project car, dragged it home, and almost immediately began stripping it to its bare bones in our desire to quickly get it on the road to recovery. The wrenches start turning and the rusted hulk is reduced to a giant pile of crusty parts in what seems like record time. Speed wasn’t really the point of the exercise, however, so the restoration typically ends up costing more and taking longer than it really should, due to a lack of planning.

To help limit miscalculations, we’ve provided some basic information in a question-and-answer format for first-timers to consider before beginning the teardown. We also spoke with Jamie Cooper, co-owner (with Joe Griffith) of Super Car Restoration in Clymer, Pennsylvania, for additional insight.

1. How do I intend to use the car once it’s finished?

Deciding to build a weekend driver that need not be perfect will get you back in the pilot’s seat more quickly and cheaply and with less effort than trying to create a national-level show car or a concours-quality example that’s so pristine and cost so much to restore, you may not want to drive it for fear of wear or damage. It’s important to know, before teardown, the level of restoration you are attempting, as your threshold for which parts can be reused and which should be replaced will be different.

2. What are my restoration skill limitations?

Take stock of what you can realistically accomplish on your own. You don’t want to end up standing amongst the scattered components that used to be a car and not know how to restore what’s needed before you can put your ride back together again. Or worse, spend money you didn't budget to pay someone else for work you can't do yourself.

Read the remaining 10 questions and answers here.

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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Re: 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Tearing Down Your First Project Car

03/31/2021 11:16 PM

The first question I asked was if this car could help me pick up girls, after that all questions would be rudimentary.

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