Hooniverse Asks: Have you ever had trouble letting go of a project car?

Project cars come and go. Some you love. Some you loathe. Each has its moment in the sun, at least for a flash. Be it when you pluck that new project home and day dream about its future. Or when you actually finish your task, and set off into the sunset.

Have you ever had trouble letting go of a project car?

And before you ask, no this one isn’t about my motherfucking wagon. Our man Ross has a tale to tell about his Toyota 4Runner. It’s up next, so you wont’ have to wait long to hear it, but spoiler alert: he sold it.

Sound off below with your wonderful tales of project car adventure. We want to hear them and commiserate, berate, and nod along in knowing understanding.

19 Comments

  1. Generally, yes. Typically, it boils down to running out of storage, or having something catastrophic happen to the car.

    The ones that are easier for me are outright swaps, when someone really wants what I have, and they’re willing to give me something I want more. Especially when their tradebait is in better condition than mine.

    1. I’ve always wondered about this trade thing. My former neighbour did that. Is there really a sweet spot where both parties feel like they come out on top? Or do you expect one side to part with some cash, too? He did occasionally, but far from every time.

      1. The first one, I was in college, ended up with a 69 Corvette with a very healthy big block in return for a somewhat-healthy 383 Challenger with a transplanted 440-6. The guy offered me a choice of his collection, which included a W30 Olds, a GS Buick, and some other GM vehicle I don’t remember. He was happy I picked the Vette. I think he wanted to focus on the musclecars.

        Second one was a guy who wanted my Syclone. I told him I liked it too much to get rid of. He went out and bought a Typhoon. A year or two later, he had a vibration issue and asked if he could borrow my wheels and tires to see if that isolated the cause of the vibration. We swapped tires. Then he asked if we could just swap vehicles. I bought the Syclone when I was single, but by that point, I had a kid and needed a back seat. Typhoon fit my lifestyle better. Since it was his suggestion, I assume he was happy at his end, too.

  2. Definitely yes, after moving one on the weekend and getting rid of 5 parts cars last year I still have 4 project cars to shift, probably in both senses of the term. (Free storage can be a good and bad thing)

  3. I’ve had the nagging feeling that it’s time to let the Thunderbird go for a couple of years. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves and I could use the cash to get in a different kind of trouble car. But, this car has been around the family for a long time and I am not sure I want to give it up.

    It’s getting some over due attention this week which will hopefully make it driveable again. I think that may rekindle my love for it.

  4. Yes, I’m having trouble getting rid of the Fiat. But it’s less “Dangit, I wish I didn’t have to let this one go” and more “Dangit, why can’t I find a buyer for this thing?”

  5. In my entire life, I’ve only sold 3: a ’66 Mercury Monterey, a ’77 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade, and an ’87 BMW 325. The rest, I either still own, or else I cannibalized them to create something else.

  6. I have an AMC Spirit. I’ve had it
    for 18 years. Restored it in high school with my dad. And currently don’t have much interest in it. Nothing gets me excited. That engine build I’ve always wanted to do? Not all that excited anymore and rather spend money on other toys.

    It feels like it’s time to move on, but I can’t seem to actually list it for sale.

    1. I’ve had my Spirit GT for 25 years now, but I pulled the 360 out of it years ago for another project, so it’s just sat in storage at my dad’s. I’ve considered dropping in a fuel-injected 4.0L from a Jeep, considering the engines last forever and the Wranglers rust away beneath them.

      1. I don’t have the storage, and I’m up to five cars now, which really is one too many given my space for storage and time to work on them.

        I’ve considered a carbureted 4.0 swap too- cheapest way to add power. I have a 258 in it now. Really shouldn’t be an extended project, and the added power might make drive fun enough again to reinterest me.

        Also just had a conversation with someone that said the current overheating combined with feeling down on power is indicative of a distributor off a tooth. So that’s worth a check…

        1. That’s my aim as well– a rekindling of interest. Living in town, I personally don’t have space, but my dad does, so I’ve taken advantage over the years. I have seven cars in storage at his house!
          My GT originally came with the 258 and 4 speed, and all I changed to install the V8 were the engine mounts, so I’m thinking the 4.0L would be an easy swap (other than wiring). The 80-hp bump over stock would be welcome, especially considering it comes without all of the vacuum issues that made tuning the carbureted 258 such a pain. I often see cheap TJs for sale here in the midwest because of rusted-out frames, meaning donor engines wouldn’t be hard to source. I also have an SX4 that might make a fun autocrosser.
          I hope you hold onto your Spirit! I think they’re vastly under-appreciated, and there aren’t too many of us left keeping them on life support.

        2. That’s my aim as well– a rekindling of interest. Living in town, I personally don’t have space, but my dad does, so I’ve taken advantage over the years. I have seven cars in storage at his house!
          My GT originally came with the 258 and 4 speed, and all I changed to install the V8 were the engine mounts, so I’m thinking the 4.0L would be an easy swap (other than wiring). The 80-hp bump over stock would be welcome, especially considering it comes without all of the vacuum issues that made tuning the carbureted 258 such a pain. I often see cheap TJs for sale here in the midwest because of rusted-out frames, meaning donor engines wouldn’t be hard to source. I also have an SX4 that might make a fun autocrosser.
          I hope you hold onto your Spirit! I think they’re vastly under-appreciated, and there aren’t too many of us left keeping them on life support.

          1. I think it’s a great looking car! And for as low on power as mine is, it really is fun to drive on the right road. I’ll probably keep it…

  7. I haven’t ridden my motorcycle in four years (a combination of less commute – less opportunity to ride – and it feeling like it was running hotter than I was comfortable with, but never sorted that out). It took me until this spring to at least commit to that I wasn’t going to be riding it again to stop insuring it (driven by both losing parking for it since a new condo management company decided that I couldn’t park it in the same space as my car, and my wife being pregnant meaning it was in my best interest to start cutting expenses). That said, it’s stored away in a shed at my in-laws’ place. March in Canada (when my management company demanded the motorcycle be gone) is a bad time to try and sell a bike, and I really don’t want to try and sell it when it’s an hour away from where I am.

  8. Yes and no. I’ve had to let most go at some point and never got to the stage of feeling I’d really made progress. Sad to see a car go, but I also hate the idea of a car just deteriorating when I’m not making forward movement. The Cappuccino hasn’t seen road in a few months now, but I am making forward progress and that’s what counts really. It’s not so much about the rate of progress, but whether the projects going in the right direction.

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