Couple of questions about where to start...

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I am looking at getting my first project car in the next couple of months. I know some about cars already, and have always wanted to learn more. I have access to a essentially a full garage, with most tools that I would need. I'm kind of stuck on a chevy nova (early 70's) or an early 70's camaro/firebird. But they seem to be a rare find.

Would it better to get a running car to restore? Or just a frame on wheels? I plan on taking my time with this project, but if it it starts as drivable, then I wouldn't mind either. Doesn't _need_ to be a "Hot rod", but I do want to drop a decent motor into it, and I really want to get a manaual tranny.

I know some models are harder to find parts for then others. End value of the car isn't as important as what I want the car to look/mean to me.

I'm continueing to reading previous posts and taking down notes, but I'm always looking for input...


posted by  plainzwalker

Bascially any of the older Camaro's/Firebird's below 1973 will be generally harder to find and a little more expensive, but pretty much every part you could ever need for those cars is easily available (the Nova is about the same, although from what I've seen they are a little cheaper to buy).

It seems most older Chevy cars have bigger reproduction parts resources, compared to say.. Mopar (Dodge). It's usually better (and easier) to start with something that is complete (minus an engine/transmission.. especially if you plan to do a swap anyways), but it depends on what exactly you plan to do with it.

Really if you wanted something that you can drive at the same time you are also restoring it, then that's not a bad way to go, as you can enjoy it while you gradually make it better.

You can ask anyone and they'll tell you it's a long hard time and money consuming thing when restoring an older car (especially if you come along unexpected problems).. but in the long run it's worth it (if you have the will to finish what you start), and it's something you can enjoy and take pride in.

I don't know what really to tell you other than reading and talking to people that are more experienced is the best way to start out and get some ideas. Good luck to you, hope you find what you're wanting and enjoy making it what you want. :thumbs:

posted by  car_crazy89

There is not much more to add except to repeat the "complete car" idea. It is always best to find a car that the disassembly has not started. No mater how "complete" they tell you a car is...if it is apart and in will never know what parts you are missing until it is too late. And it is always the thinga mabob that is impossible to find that is missing. If the car is together, then it is easy to spot what you are missing.

And running is not as big a concern if you plan to rebuild or replace everything, but this can get expensive. If it is currently running (and driving), then you can easily test everything out: trans, engine, brakes, charging system, lights, etc....this way you know going in what is broken and what can be reused.....

Good luck and remember to take your time, ask lots of questions and above all have fun!

posted by  corbett_auto

Given that this is your first project I'm going to go with what's been said already, a car that is already running will always be a better place to start than just a frame on wheels! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Get a drivable car and restore it. Sounds like what you need.

A big tip of advice is be sure and get a car you love and will continue to love after money and time. Don't want to lose interest in the middle of it.

posted by  67Coronet383

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