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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. Tacson
    Joined: Jul 14, 2006
    Posts: 833


    I have had two Ford F100's on the road. Neither one I built myself. While I worked to come up with the cash to pay them. It is was more beneficial for me that way. I have no problem saying "My friend and his Dad in West Tennessee did it" Most of the big work someone else did it for me. Like Tommy says here if you find one that suits say 75% or greater of your taste you sometimes not always can get it cheaper than you can build it if you consider cash and TIME to get it on the road. I think it is truly more of a preference. If I had time, skill, and a place to do it I would build my own but since I dont no shame in buying one IMHO. The smiles and thumbs up you get going down the road feel the same either way.
  2. s1buell
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 35

    from Indiana

    I recently struggled with the question of build or buy for a year. In July of 2010 I sold my 51 PanHead and had my wifes blessings to do whatever made me happy with the $. My hunt was on. I spent hours in online classifieds looking for the perfect donor car. I made multiple day trips that returned me with an empty trailer. My wife and kids took notice of my obsessive searching and the questions began to be asked like “how much time will it take you to complete whatever you buy?” Realization set in that of the 5 things needed to build (1. Tools, 2. Space, 3. Cash, 4. Talent, 5. Time), I had the first 3 covered. The 4th (Talent) would be discovered (or not) in the process, and I came to realize that other priorities (work and family) consume all of my 5th requirement of Time.

    So in July of 2011 I purchased my 30 sedan that I drove from Kentucky 3 hours home. Since the purchase I have added the hood, replaced the wheels, tires, valve covers, air cleaner, headlight bar, headlights, turn signals, removed spare tire, relocated license plate, added plate light, added a horn, removed head rests, removed head liner and radio, flushed radiator, replaced oil and drove the car to the NSRA Nationals in Louisville, drove my wife to her first event in Evansville IN to the Frog Follies, and had my car at GoodGuys in Indy.

    With my purchase I have NO regrets. My son is the only 6 year old that gets dropped off at his school or driven to soccer practice in a hot rod. I am making lasting memories now. For me, once the kids are out of the house and my wife would rather me not be bugging her, I will learn the feeling of pride that I can have to say “Yes, I built it”. Till then, I am going to continue to drive and make changes to one that I have purchased. Hope you are having as much fun as I am.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  3. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,256


    I've built and bought done cars and have enjoyed both. I'm sure there's no one out there that has seen a done car and wished it was theirs. There's always some thing you can do to a done car to make it yours. Besides I'm way beyond spending winters on the garage floor. Thats for you younger guys.
  4. I'd love to have the time and skills to be able to build a car from start to finish. Truth is though...I don't have either of those. I don't have a ton of money either, but I'm fine with doing that I can do to my car and paying to have the rest done. Might take me a few extra years, but in the long run, it will still be my car, my vision, and my style.

    I do agree with what someone else said....if you buy a car that's fine, but at least try to educate yourself a little about the car. I've asked alot of people questions about their cars at shows and it's surprising how many people have no idea.
  5. gdub
    Joined: Sep 16, 2004
    Posts: 202


    I'm building mine because I really enjoy the challenge of doing it myself, I also built 90% of my house by myself so it's just the way I've always been. Plus I'm too cheap to spend what it would cost for a finished ride. It won't be a show winner by any means but will stand out in a crowd.
  6. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,556


    I have no problem with anyone buying a done car but what I dont like is when they tell everyone at a show that they built it themselves,I try to do most of the work myself but there are times when I need to farm out some of the work. I cant do chrome,front end alignments,ring and pinion changes and automatic trans rebuilds but seriously thinking taking a trans course at the local community college over a winter so i can do them myself.
  7. onekoolkat1950
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,864


    all the fun is in the build!when i'm drivin it i want something's a sickness.
  8. Never built one from the ground up but did rebuild one totally to make it the way I wanted it. Thought it was what I wanted at first but changed my mind. Far more expensive approach since I had purchased a done car. Just sold it after 21 years and bought a similar one but much nicer for less money. Decided buying the right car that already meets most of my requirements but to which I can add my own touches is the way to go. Have no problem telling folks I bought it as long as they don't call me a Gold Chainer. :D
  9. If you enjoy the build as much as the driving, and have the skills to pull enough of it off on your own, then build. If you don't have the skills and just want to drive it, then buy. But it's probably good to learn enough to at least be able to fix something that breaks on the side of the road.
  10. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I enjoy building. It's my hobby, source of relaxation and frustration.
    I like driving. It's also my source of relaxation and frustration.

    I like the whole damn car scene.
  11. whiskerz
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 148

    from Ga.

    for what you spend building one you can buy one . This is a buyers market right now
  12. gas4blood
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 787

    from Kansas

    Seems like a fair bit of hating going on in this thread.....kudos to those with minds open to all the different ways to be a "real" car guy or gal.
  13. 52pig
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 436


    Your hands will get dirty no matter which way you go.
  14. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,316


    This thread cannot be about whether one option is better than the other, or what's right vs. wrong, since neither is a legitimate question. It can only be about sharing your reason(s) for taking whatever route you chose to take.

    Therefore, there should be no hurt feelings or any 'hating' in here.
  15. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I don't care if you built it or bought it. If it's yours, and you didn't steal it it's good.
  16. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    There you go... I have assembled every nut, bolt, and wire on my still not done 39, and aside from a few simple repairs and easy upgrades on my 55 Lincoln I have done little to this car, except enjoy driving it, even though it is far from perfect, and far from the way "I would have done it" car.

    In my opinion cars are meant to be driven, any old car that makes the driver happy to drive is a great car, no matter who built it.
  17. enfieldjoe
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 839

    from Eustis, FL

    I like to both build and buy. Right now I have two builders and no drivers. The plan was to have a driver and a builder, but the driver turned out to be less than a driver and the work needed to get to a safe driver made it a builder.

    It is probably much cheaper to buy a driver (if you have the cash and like what someone else has built).
  18. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,041

    from Hawaii

    I don't think I'd want to buy a completed vehicle. Part of owning something is knowing I did it (or most of it) myself. I did buy an abandoned project and have had to redo a few things. In part, it makes the truck safer but also makes it "mine". I'm going to have to farm out the serious bodywork & paint, but this will go to a local hot rod shop. I think its important to support those guys, and I won't have any problem admitting I didn't do the bodywork if anyone asks.
    I also realize that some people just don't have the skills to build or modify something but still love the old cars and buy a completed one. Thats fine, as long as they acknowledge who built it and don't try to claim they did.
  19. joeyesmen
    Joined: Dec 24, 2010
    Posts: 462


    I did not grow up working on cars, never had tools in my hands as a kid. But I have always loved cars. So now I collect and drive. Thank God I can afford to buy a finished car.

    I can honestly tell you that I would LOVE to have the skills to do what a lot of you guys do on here. I spend hours sitting here reading and studying the build threads. Awesome work and craftsmanship and creativity. Slowly I learn about what it takes to put these things together. And my appreciation for the craft continues to grow.

    So obviously I personally don't feel bad about buying a car someone else built -- the same way I would buy a beautiful painting from a great artist and proudly hang it over the fireplace. Doesn't matter if I painted it or not -- I think it's beautiful and a work of art, so I love having it in my life. Hats off to all the skilled builders on the HAMB -- I think you guys have to realize there is such a thing as hot rod FANS (I am one) -- kind of like rooting for your favorite football team or sports hero.
  20. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,187


    with that kind of work schedule, i understand.
  21. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,943


    The one time I bought a finished car (1971 Camaro 11 sec drag car) I barely drove it, never raced it. I didnt trust it cause I didnt build it. bought plenty of finished street cars and it didnt bother me.

    Buy someone's half done project, they spent twice what it will sell for in unfinished condition. then you can finish to your liking. Learn enough about the car you want so you dont get a pile of shit
  22. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,138

    Special Ed

    This is really good advice, and will give you the best of both sides of the debate.
  23. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,907


    Good post.
    I have medium to good talent for building stuff. Can weld, finish, paint, and so on...
    However, I will never have a REALLY SHARP looking car, as my paint/body skills look great up to the primer stage, then fall off....
    So my question is...What do you really want (that you can afford) vs what can you fully complete yourself...
    Also the question of time comes in at my age (67) I want to wait to build it, or do I want it now..
    I have been working on my '63 Biscayne now for about (18) months, and finished rebuilding the complete drive-train, and am almost done with the body...soon will be in primer...and that will be completed for me! And it will look great, and I will be proud of it!! :)
    However, If at my age I sold it, or for some other reason did not have it, I would not take the time and effort to build another one....
    I would find one I could afford and buy it!!
    Good luck, and don't be to quick to sell something you really like, just because you didn't build it....:cool:

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