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Feelings on doing a car yourself or buying one done

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1953fords, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. bje31
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 321

    from Western PA

    I have done both and will probably do more buying than building in the future. This old rack of bones can't take the cold cement floors or cold garages like I did when I was a youngin'. And there were things I had to farm out even when I was younger. My bottom line is this I did what I was capable of doing and depended on my fiends a bunch to help out. As long as the hot rod has my name on the title and I could care less if I did all the work, some of the work, or none of the work. I had to work at other things or jobs to finance it one way or another.
  2. flatheadz-forever
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 501

    from new jersey

    Pride is in what you build not what you buy.................
  3. OldCrow
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 134


    I've only bought one rod, but built 8 over the past 45 years. the one I bought (3 years ago), even though it was a totally finished car when I bought it, now bears no resemblence to the car I originally purchased. nothing was REALLY the way _I_ would have built it, so one thing at a time I changed it. for that reason I don't see myself ever buying a finished car again. from my one experience, I'd say it's cheeper to build than to buy and rebuild. that, and _building_ is still 90% of the fun for me anyway.

  4. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    I think that it depends on the car.

    I bought my 60 Lincoln sort of done, good paint (except the roof), presentable chrome for the most part, good interior, no rust. I'd love to totally rebuild one, but it's financial suicide and I have absolutely NO time WHATSOEVER to do it. Heck, I actually had to take it to a mechanic to get stuff done... working 6 days a week 12 hours a day....... But I'm thankful that I'm employed.

    My 60 Vauxhall needs everything, with the free time I have it's gonna take years.
  5. teddyp
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,197


    i have to thank a lot of my buddy,s that have better skills then i have that have help me with things that i,.m not the best at and it,s great to say i build my own cars but i have met people who are car guy,s that can hardly turn a wrench but have the love of cars so i say it doesn,t matter
  6. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,188


    i've gotta build it myself. hell, thats where the most of the fun is.
  7. 48SuperConvert
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 107

    from Seattle

    I can't afford to pay someone to build I build my own or trade skills to have parts built. Either way I would be just as proud as long as I liked it.
    Keep driving them.
  8. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,735


    I look at the workmanship and style of the car, if it suits my tastes. Build or buy doesn't matter, it's the attitude of the owner that makes a difference...........
  9. skyrodder
    Joined: May 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,924


    I'd rather build my own car, I learn more and more with each one, and a lot of pride when it starts, and then again when it rolls, then again when you drive it, then again after each step, people say they work too much and don't have time, to me that's an excuse. I work a full time job have a family and i still make time to build my car, IF i ever had enough money to buy a built car it would be a known car example Sam Barris Merc/Hirohata Merc and so on.
  10. Dblbeard
    Joined: Mar 25, 2011
    Posts: 58


    Well, as for me, I work 60-90 hours a week and I drive 74 miles one way to work, so thats 3 hours of driving along with the hours I work. So the time I do get to spend with my family I really can't see me spending all of it on working on a car.
    Yes, I'm sure it would feel a little better telling people I did build it, but I can't and I don't. My family time means more to me than anything so instead of working on building one I traded a fairly new Harley for a 31 Sedan, and then traded it for a 29 Coupe, and then finally for the 49 Mercury. So instead of spending so many hours working on it I spend it riding around in it with my family.
    My hat does go off to those that do put in the hundreds of hours to build theres.

    Just my opinion folks..
  11. wallygator
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 124


    I love the cars, I love to build them, but if I had the chance to buy one built by one of the many artist in our little hobbie I would not hesitate.
  12. i bought a incomplete car abandoned by someone else and worked about 4 months steady and did not get it done, quit and bought about 5 more cars

    even if you buy then they need spot painting and lots of mechanical repairs and updates so i do get quite intimate with their workings but really dont want to build much, too much aches and pain

    i got engine work to do, 2 transmissions to replace or reseal and a duramax to repair the front axle is that not enough to do?? and one to be painted, all for a disabled old man, no thank you i will go out and buy the best car i can get so i dont have to fix on it forever:D

    and fixing maintaining and showing my cars seems to be a full time job for me and i even need a assistant for shows
  13. Dblbeard
    Joined: Mar 25, 2011
    Posts: 58


    Well Eugene Vik, I just get the same old " check book car " saying from time to time about me not building the Mercury or one of the others.
    However, I've worked in maintenance all my life and the one thing you must have in that line of work is thick skin, so I really don't pay any attention to any of the guys that say stuff. As a matter of fact, I'll usually tell them they can just kiss my a%*.
  14. fbama73
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 990


    In my opinion, once the car is done, half of the fun is already gone.

    But that's what works for me. You do whatever puts the biggest smile on your face and I'll be cool with it.
  15. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 793


    I don't have the time, money, or skill to totally build a hot rod or custom. I got my Acadian about 4 yrs ago in mostly a re-built state. It still needs some work done on it, stuff I can do, and make it into the style of car I want, and drive it while I'm doing it. I may not have done all the work on it, but it's my car and I am proud of it and don't plan on ever selling it.
  16. I like to build and built my 3W myself in a one car garage. I did it all....except stitching the interior. And I did it with a real bad back so I have an immense sense of pride about the way it finally turned out.

    It was extremely gratifying and you know your car inside out as well.

    But lately I seem to be having less time than ever for major builds/work and am mainly wrenching on engines on stands and doing basic stuffthat doesnt require a lot of bending and even that is real hard with my back pain. I have already had two back operations and lately the pain seems to be getting worse.

    So I guess it also depends on your health as much as it does on how much space you have or what kinda $$$ or time you have to throw at a project.

  17. preppypyro
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 18


    My take on this, a car guy, is a car guy. But that being said, anyone can buy a vehicle.

    Granted I don't do every single thing on the vehicles I work on, but for myself half of the fun of owning a classic is repairing and restoring it.

    IMO a true car guy is a car guy that built a good chunk of a car at least once in their life. Not the guy that has a good job and likes vehicles.
  18. MemphisRaines
    Joined: Jun 9, 2011
    Posts: 96

    from Texas

    As a builder and buyer. I don't see any real difference either way. If you have the funds to buy it and you enjoy it then that is the main thing. It is what you get out of owning it and driving it. If you build it then sure it may have a little more priceless value but it really boils down to the fun factor. I have had just as much if not more fun in a bought car than cars i have built. If it is only about lip service and being a show off at the local car show then yes, the built car would be the better choice. For me, that is not where it's at. It's about being behind the wheel and cruising down some country road listening to my choice of music on a warm sunny day. I just love all old cars and trucks no matter who built them.
  19. SulphuriousSam
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 98



    I agree, the only reason I'm learning how to build my own vehicle is the lack of money to buy one! Sure I'll have pride in what I built but I just want a cool ride and if I could pay for one finished I sure would. I could skip all the work and just enjoy the damn car :cool:
  20. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,515

    from Oregon

    I'd much prefer to build it myself, and do as much as I can, but I understand buying one too. Depending on your skill level, it's sometimes necessary to buy something that's either complete, or nearly complete.
    I will agree that if I talk to an owner that tells me he bought his car completed, or had all of it done by others, then I'm not impressed like I would be if he did most the work. But if I came across a great buy on an old build I'd jump on it in a second, and if it looked great just the way I bought it I'd just clean it up and enjoy it.
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,645


    I bought a finished, "restored" car. When I bought it the PO had let it sit for a lot of years because he thought he broke the timing chain. It had paint, interior, chrome....all the hard stuff done. It wasnt a running car. Luckily for me it was an easy fix and I have been putting miles on it ever since. I also have been making it a little bit more mine. I lowered it, I added a stereo, I had my wheels chromed/reversed. Eventually I will have to repaint it and have the interior redone. This winter its getting a new engine.

    I bought a finished car but I have sweat and blood tied up in keeping it on the road and making it better. Its my car.
  22. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    There are some things I just can't do. But I do spend a lot of time on the things I can do.

    More importantly to me, is the owner knowledgeable about the car. I love talking cars with people, so if I ask someone about their car can they tell me about it? You don't have to be a builder to be able to do that. That tells me that you are in to the hobby and just haven't written a check.

    I have gotten a few responses like "I don't know, I didn't build it".... that turns me off.
  23. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,265


    I too have done both. The last one I bought was in need of some refining. I put a couple G’s in it to get it up to my standards and safety. It is a nice daily driver truck but I can't say I built it. So I'm solving that problem.
  24. My earlier comment is a little incoherent by my standards, so I'll say that I've had a lot of stuff done for me over the years, and I've done stuff myself too though it's usually what I'd call light mechanical and suspension. I had an OT car two years that I swapped a 9" and complete rear suspension into by myself, as well as swapping and building the upgraded intank fuel pump.

    I have a few chunks left on the Merc, will probably go like this:

    -Need front floating grille fabbed, I will pretty much just supervise the work so I can explain to my friend what we are trying to achieve look wise. I will not be chroming the end product either. I will probably be involved in bolting i up, but at this point am unsure how we will mount it.

    -I need full interior. Not a big priority for me, for now I will have paint friend sand and paint the interior garnishes for me so I can install those.

    -Door window/glass/vent. I need to have some stuff chromed or polished, and then can install. I plan to do most of it myself but I'll need to consult with Matt with the order in which the stuff goes into the door. I also have power windows.

    -Exhaust needs replace. Going to muffler shop.

    -Need to rebuild front end next year. My buddy Steve will do that.

    So I probably fall into the supporting-shops category but I really need to be at work driving sales for my company.
  25. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,501

    from Tampa, FL

    Don't do what I did. Instead, buy a solid, inexpensive car you like and can live with NOW and a few years out. If you don't beat it up, I doubt it could depreciate that much before it is time to sell it. Don't make a lot of changes to it, but improve it in easy / inexpensive ways. Then spend a few years cruzn, asking around, hanging out, and looking at other cars. When you are ready, build or have built what you want THEN. It took me 8+ years to build my first one. But at least it turned out like I wanted. It might not have... as you get more into it, your interests will probably change a little. I'd hate to sell a project early or have to finish a project I had kinda soured on. Gary
  26. I think if u can build it yourself great but if you cant buy the car of your dreams and run with it
  27. I build stuff out of need, I cant afford a finished vehicle so I build. It prolly costs me more in the long run but, thats the way it goes. It`s easier to spend $100.00 at a time than to fork out 15 to 25k all at once. BUT if i win the lottery, I would have a stable of fine vehicles and perhaps have one built for me while I smoke a big see-gar !!
  28. I've done it both ways; many times. First, is the time factor ;how much do you have they say it takes 2000 hrs to do a car complete car from scratch. However, there is a great deal of self satisfaction when you do it yourself. On the other hand economics of buying a turnkey is on your side. Last, what you could look for is look for an easy project with all the hard work done, that floats.

    You don't have to build a house to be a home owner.

    Remember there are no rules.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  29. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    I'll never have the money for a top car and i don't have the skills to build a top car. I do have a nice cruiser that i work on and push myself to do what i can, when i can. If i can't do it a club member probably can and i help, learn, get my hands dirty and be involved. I've never had 100% involvement in any of my cars but i know them like the back of my hand. Bought or 100% built, who really cares as long as folks are having fun and don't lie about things and seek kudos for their rides. i've even had some lay claim to doing the striping on his car when it was clearly mine, cheeky bugger!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  30. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    That has always been my feeling too but I bought my 34 P/U. I was building a 32 P/U at the time but I knew I could not finish my 32 with the cash difference in what I could sell the Deuce for and the cost of the finished 34. I've done a few changes that make it mine but I always make sure that everyone knows I did not build it from scratch. Hell I couldn't afford all the chrome that came with it. It is rare for a car or truck to fit my tastes to a Tee. This truck did and does. I no longer feel guilty.:D

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