Do It Yourself?

Do It Yourself? What do you think? “Do I buy an old car and restore it myself, or pick a restored one and enjoy it right away?” I’ve taken part in conversations just like this, probably a dozen of them in the past year alone. Do we want to invest the time, money and energy creating something from scratch, or simply write the big check and hit the road smiling in a completely done car? I’ve noticed more often than not, that the age of the participants in these types of discussions directly correlates to the decision that’s reached.

Last summer, at a car show in Cleveland, Ohio, I sat around with a few older gents discussing ’50s cars in general. One of the guys was itching to buy late ’50’s Chevy or Ford, didn’t matter. He just loved that era. He’d seen a few advertised for sale that had stirred his interest, and they had been relative bargains, but, they all required complete restorations. He’d said he’d come to the conclusion that he simply didn’t have the energy any more to embark on a lengthy project, and had decided to buy a finished, completely restored car. Totally understandable, considering how long it can take to build a car– be it a back-to-showroom stock restoration or a full-on custom build. This particular gentleman had the financial means to pull out his checkbook and seal the deal, good for him.

Younger folks, and by that I mean the 25-40 year olds (generally speaking, of course!) seem to be way more gung-ho on searching out that perfect project car and spending the time creating something they’ve always envisioned. After all, building a car yourself is a rite of passage, something you can take great pride in, and perfect fodder for stories around the garage and at car shows for years to come.

69-Camaro-smallI personally can empathize with both parties. When the kids are finally out of the house and the finances improve, I can totally see shelling out the bucks for a finished car and just enjoying the heck out of it. On the other hand, I can also get super enthused about spending evenings and weekends in the garage, busting knuckles, creating a work of art. Who cares if it takes a few years? It becomes a personal quest, and when it’s finally done, wow– an incredible feeling of accomplishment. Your baby– realized. Where do you stand on the subject? I’d love to hear it. Feel free to use the comments section below.