Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects What do you consider low budget?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fastcar1953, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. under $5,000

    26 vote(s)
  2. $5,000 to $10,000

    14 vote(s)
  3. over $10,000

    4 vote(s)
  1. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,217


    Building cars what price range is considered low budget? Mine would be under $5000 for daily driver. . Under $20,000 for something to take to shows expecting trophies. Your thoughts? Price range would be for a safe running car or truck. Maybe cheap paint job or decent older paint. Decent interior. Nothing junkie or ratty.
  2. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    I'm cheap, but I can do all of my own work, except machine work and upholstery, and I could do the machining if I had the tools. Under 5K for me, yes.
  3. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,352

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    This question smells like Florida: Depends
    VANDENPLAS, williebill, raven and 2 others like this.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510


    I've always had a skimpy budget hot rod wise so I am probably a bad one to ask.
    To me a "low budget car" is one without a lot of bought and paid for frills but can still be a damned nice car.
    I've very honestly got more money tied up in the polished finned aluminum for the 292 for my 48 than I had in it in 1973 dollars when I drove it to the street rod Nationals in Tulsa in 1973. It was painted and upholstered with Z28 rally wheels and passed the 30 ft test but was pretty simple.

    If you were to sit down and write down the basics of what you have to have on a nice clean and simple hot rod that is done right and finished but has no extra dollar frills and then make a list of the extra dollar frills that you would just love to have the extra list will probably have a larger total than the basic no frills list.
    That doesn't mean you went cheap or cut corners it just means you didn't blow money on high ticket frills. It also means you left a lot of the nifty bolt on trinkets for a later day.

    My best friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago was one of the best at spending extra money on something that you didn't really need to blow extra money on.
    I'd swear he would buy the same exact part from a vendor who charged more just to be able to say he paid more for it or so it seemed. it blew my mind some times on what he paid for certain simple items rather than hunt for a deal.
    I'd say that is the main thing with a low buck ride. Keep it simple and hunt the deal without compromising quality.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,849


    yeah, it depends. A low buck car that ended up on the cover of Hot Rod, $15k. A low buck car that would win a Lemons Rally, well under 5k.

    Building a traditional hot rod today, if you can do it for under 10k you're doing very well.
    AHotRod, VANDENPLAS, alanp561 and 4 others like this.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510


    Gotta have cool guy engines and the trinkets to go on them are probably one of the Hamb folks budget busters for a lot of guys.
    That 330 Desoto out in the shed would skyrocket a lot of budgets real quick with just a simple rebuild and an interesting intake and headers. High bubba factor but a lot of money just to have one of the "cool engines" in a row of cars at a rod trot.
    D-Russ likes this.
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,266

    Jalopy Joker

    do not know how this open ended question can be easily answered - be different for most everyone - as long as it is something that you enjoy who cares what it cost - RR rides were low buck but, now many of them are priced pretty high -
    okiedokie likes this.
  8. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,515


    Low budget for me is under $5k. That's what I have in the roadster. Of course, I made most everything and repurposed a ton of stuff. Isn't that what hot rodding is all about?!
    AHotRod and wheeldog57 like this.
  9. Lowbuckbuilder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2018
    Posts: 140

    from San Diego

    Under $10k here. Maybe even under $7.5k, if i keep finding deals. My total includes the cost involved in the vehicle i horse-traded to get the Plymouth which was about $4k. Thats my starting number and what i add the subsequent costs to.
  10. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,771


    Low budget would be anything I can actually afford.
    AHotRod, X-cpe, VANDENPLAS and 10 others like this.
  11. ...........................We live in the same world.
    AHotRod, X-cpe, VANDENPLAS and 5 others like this.
  12. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,309


    I do real work for a living so every dollar I spend equals pain I went through to get it.. So all my stuff is low budget.. I have been saving for a set of ET wheels, in the morning I think these wheels will be great to have , when I get out of my work truck at the end of the day I think those stock steel wheels that are on it now are good enough lol...
  13. Yes I found when I saved up the cash to buy something by the time I saved up the money I realized I liked the money better that the desired item. There was a number of 55 chevy project cars I wanted. two 2 dr wagons one 2 dr sedan and a 4 door Price was a firm $3500. I ganged up the money hooked up my trailer and was going to call the next day and arrange to buy them. When I got up the next morning I decided I did not need them I already had enuf stuff. To date I only have about $1000 in the 55 in my avatar. I could easily spend another ten grand & hundreds of hours of labor on it trying to make it perfect. never gonna happen.
  14.'s a relative;...if you are a millionaire, lowbuck means somethin different.
  15. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263


    For me, low buck is trying to find something halfway decent for under 5k. I can do most of the work from there. I've got a 50 Styleline in storage I picked up years ago as a complete driver for under 4k. I tore it down to customize it and fix a lot of hacked up work, but I did drive it for about 4 months.

    I've looked at other abandoned projects and non running cars in worse condition for way more than that. It all starts with finding the right car to start with, after that it's up to you how much you want to put into it.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    VANDENPLAS and 47ragtop like this.
  16. Back in 1974 when I first bought my 32 coupe I built it on what I considered a low budget at the time. I did all the work and bought the parts out of the many junkyards available at the time. Now days, unless you can find a great deal on your initial investment, I don't see how you can build anything much bigger than a T bucket for under 10k because its so hard to find used parts and materials are a lot more expensive. Steel for frames, and panels used to be reasonable I thought, but not anymore.
    I am thinking about rods, not the later 50s cars, I think they can still be done on the cheap side.
    low down A likes this.
  17. Baldbiker74
    Joined: Sep 4, 2019
    Posts: 3


    I agree 5 grand or less for a driver I am building a 53 Chevy flat bed and bought it for $400 traded for some parts and it doesn’t have to look perfect
    Old wolf likes this.
  18. Yes and a million dollars is nothing to a liar he can have as many millions as he wants. One of the best things in the two lane blacktop movie was Warren Oates telling those woppers!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  19. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,446


    Pretty much anything I’ve bought or own...
    chevy57dude and Old wolf like this.
  20. It's all relative. I made deliberate choices throughout my first hot rod build to keep costs down. First off, I chose a Model A body when I really wanted a Deuce, and I did nearly all the work myself in my garage with the help of a few friends which made it take 10 years. I compromised on making the car as traditional as possible by sometimes choosing less expensive, more modern parts. In the end I have well over $10K in it, but far less than what one might guess. Steve Coonan has jokingly asked me why I didn't chrome the front axle and spring, and Kevin Lee has ribbed me about my front disc brakes – both were conscious low-buck decisions along with the aluminum radiator, the T5, even the 2x4 intake and carbs. I'm just a workin' guy.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  21. 117687912-one-hand-raised-high-up-isolated-on-white-background-.jpg Me too. HRP
  22. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 601


    I bet many don't actually know what they spent on a build. It adds up quickly.

    I used a spreadsheet to track every expense on my last budget build. I didn't start with a stash of parts so I had to buy most everything except the body. I did all the work except for engine machine work and running the exhaust.

    The tally: $15K and it doesn't have much of an interior or paint.

    Unless you have parts lying around or you're content running junkyard motor and drivetrain, you're not likely going to build a car under $10K these days.
  23. I've often wondered about the low budget term. I see all the rat rod kids at auctions bidding thousands of dollars on some really worn out tin. Then, you see that body on some "homebuilt chassis" at a show a year or so later & listen as they tell everyone how little they spent on the build.
  24. Lowbuckbuilder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2018
    Posts: 140

    from San Diego

  25. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,021


    Low buck to me is my car and my wife's roadster. We do everything "in house" so we have the ultimate cheapness happening. It takes alot longer to complete just one part of a project when you mix in a full time job and life in general especially when your budget is slim. I'd like to use a fat checkbook and UPS to build a car but that is out of the question. Over the past 20 years I have 'way over $5K in my car but that really misses the nickle & dime stuff.
  26. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 420


    I don't keep exact numbers on the cars, but I try and keep loose track of any big ticket/ over a couple hundred dollars type purchases. My budget's usually pretty meager so I do the work myself, but if theres something I need to buy, i try not to beat myself up too much over it, it's supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all! My last project fell victim to a little project creep and ended up a little past where I anticipated, but it was expenses over the course of 6'ish yrs, I had a lot of fun working on it and learned a lot, so money well spent and I get something cool at the end. Including the purchase price of the truck, I ended up in the $12-$15k range, and for my current buick project, including the cost to buy the body/ rolling chassis and little else, I expect to be right around $10k to be driving with a real bare bones interior, but a painted body and maybe some shiny bits. Im not building it to be a low buck car, im just poor and trying to make something that's cool and looks good!
  27. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 377

    bill gruendeman

    Low buck for me is about 7 grand,I built my Pontiac with a sbc and junkyard parts for about that. With 21000 trouble free miles I am very happy. But a low buck 32 with a full on flatly could be about 10 times that.
  28. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,014


    The coupe was low bucks, probably $3500-$4000, but that was 7-8 years ago.

    Times have changed.

    When my 39 Pickup got past $8500 on a cheap build, I quit counting. I suspect the final number was over $10,000, and it needs a trans rebuilt...

    I'm building a 49 Dodge pickup, I just ordered the 4 pins for the door hinges, $49! They were the cheapest pins I could find that were the right size. This one started out cheap, but I'm over $1500 for a pile of parts without a drive train. The good news is the doors open and close nicely. The bad news is the glass & weather stripping is over $1,200, and there is none of either there. I'm pretty sure this one will go well past $10,000, and its not going to be anything special. Gene
  29. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,650

    from PNW

    when I built my own cars I never set a budget. I did all my own work, and bought the parts I wanted when I found them. I was that guy at the swap meets that offered a bit more than you did for the part you wanted after your offer was rejected and you set it down. You walked away pissed off(usually at me), but I walked away happy. For me personally, setting a budget meant that I had to settle for something that would work, but not be what I really wanted. I've always treated my hotrodding as a hobby, and hobbies are supposed to make you happy, not wealthy.
    D-Russ likes this.
  30. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,217


    So i gather if your talking 60's cars under $5000 is doable. 50's cars under $10,000. 30's and 40's probably under $15,000. That's for respectable drivers that are safe and reliable to drive.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.