APRIL 14, 2014: HOW LONG IS FOREVER? THE FIRST QUESTION TO BE ASKED FOR EVERY CAR GUY PROJECT

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The grim truth is a car project will take longer and cost more than anticipated if you want to do it the right way.

 

Patience will be your biggest virtue when you hit the starting line on a project and you will need plenty of it along the road to completion.

 

The second question will be how much can you tackle on the project.

 

 

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What can you bring to the game that will help get this project vehicle out of your garage, back on the road and, most importantly, in better shape than when it went into the garage for the transformation.

 

We will assume you have a skill set suitable to the betterment of the car, things like enough mechanical or auto body skills to jump into this big bonfire called a project.

 

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A lack of skills will likely mean a death sentence for the vehicle because many foolish car guys will make a big mistake and dismantle the vehicle before they get a solid game plan written in stone.

 

Ripping a vehicle apart is actually pretty easy in that any-idiot-can-do-it sense. Most car guys have been in garages where the vehicle is stripped down to boxes of mysterious and unlabeled pieces that are stored haphazardly inside the building.

 

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The mindless evisceration of an old ride is always sad to witness and it is a grim reminder of a vehicle that may be yet another victim of death by stupidity.

 

The owner has ensured that his blunder may be the final nail in the coffin for his vehicle; in fact he may not be even able to sell it for parts because he may have lost the good parts over the years.

 

Even a good game plan may not be enough to cut down on the third question which is what exactly do you want to accomplish with your project?

 

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Do you want a stock restoration or do you want to make it better and faster than stock? Either way you will find a search for original replacement parts or a merger of old ride with new tech will add complications and extra time to the project.

 

The fourth question is what level of quality do you want to hit with your project? Do you want a driver quality or a show winner when you hit the finish line with your ride?

 

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Bear in mind a show winner is a completely different program from a driver and will most assuredly require the services of a very good body and paint man to hit the highest levels of quality.

 

The amount of metal work, sanding and fitting to reach the top level is not usually within the skill set of the average car guy because the restoration/custom pros have honed their skills over many years in the trade.

 

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Author Malcolm Gladwell believes in the 10,000 hour rule, a number he feels is the bare minimum time required for people to become experts in their fields. We believe Gladwell is dead-on when it comes to car projects and the proper skill set for excellence.

 

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The last question bounces back to the initial question in the title because you have to ask yourself how much patience do I have and is it enough to tough out a long process that will severely test me?

 

You may find out first- hand how long forever may be when you tackle a car project, in fact it may be an inevitability.

 

Jim Sutherland

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