That's what I did with my Austin when I built it. I put it together over the first winter after purchasing it, and then drove it all summer the next year, while working out bugs and finishing bodywork. I had a lot of fun with it, and still hit a lot of cruises while progressing with various changes. Last winter I tore it apart again and did the final prep and bodywork before sending it off for paint. Then drove it all 2012 again after paint, and continued small upgrades. It's made for a more enjoyable project having it to use as I finished it. I'm doing my next project the same way. I started a '63 Falcon gasser a couple months ago, and hope to have it driveable in about 6-8 weeks from now. I'll drive it and work out bugs, then get deeper into it this fall.