If any of you have ever built a project car, you know what it's like to grow accused to those project car eccentricities. We've all spent time coaching someone to drive our cars. "Oh, be careful, the accelerator pedal sticks open, just tap it and it'll come back." Or "If you need to stop, just pump the brakes."
The other day, I had my own turn on the receiving end of this kind of coaching. For most
non-professional project cars, the project begins to lose steam over time. You either run out of money or get tired of
trying to make everything perfect, so you just leave it. Perhaps those little quirks require too much work to
straighten out, or maybe there really isn?t a feasible fix. Automobile Magazine did a great story on a Ford Focus V8
conversion that brings this to light as well.
So I drove this guy?s Malibu Classic wagon. It was a sharp ride. The owner had done the right things to the outside, and on paper done the right things to the inside. It had a 305 V8 with TPI and a five speed manual twisting a posi rear end. The car had little rust, good paint, and a straight body. It was a very nice car with loads of potential. You learn to appreciate modern cars when you drive a car like this, but I digress. It had little quirks, just like any other project car. It needed the clutch linkage worked out or a hydraulic clutch, and the air conditioning needed to be sorted out. The guy drove the car around town, and he must have a huge left calf muscle because that clutch was tight. It still needed to be sorted out, but it was drivable.
That leads me to the point; can another person really finish your project car? Of course they can, but doesn?t it become their project? When I sold my last project car, I remember giving the guy a debriefing on everything I had done and was planning to do. It was only two years later that I saw my car again, running around with a for-sale sign and no noticeable changes. Such is the tragedy of project cars.