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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/23 3:07 p.m.

So tell me about your latest project. Can you picture the outcome in your mind or are you just flinging parts in a general direction in hopes that some divine entity smiles upon your haste and miscalculations?

Believe me, I’ve seen plenty of builds that could best be described as rolling chaos: no direction and even less cohesion. Sorting and …

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dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/6/23 3:26 p.m.

Project started this week.  


As delivered to the shop this week. I am having bring it back to life. I realized about a year ago that I will never get to it.  I got the car partially taken apart in boxes for less than challenge $$$$. Someone else's project. Missing a couple things but should be all in under 10k. Was hoping to bring it to a challenge. But life and Covid got in the way. Now I want to save it and just have a fun car.  

Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/6/23 3:38 p.m.

I guess it would be nice if I had a clear end goal for projects.  On my Eclipse I wrote a list of things it needed on the windshield with a paint pen.  It is no longer readable.  *sigh*

APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/6/23 3:55 p.m.

I always have a plan or my projects.  Being an engineer they're often even documented.  Race car projects usually even have a written budget and schedule.  Some projects, like my fuel injection conversion on my Seca 650 Turbo don't have written budgets, schedules or plans because that feels too much like work but I do have a clear end goal in mind.

z31maniac MegaDork
12/6/23 4:01 p.m.

The BRZ is mostly done. At this point it's what, if any, lip kit do I want to put on it. 

Down the road I may do an intake (just for the noise they are proven not to make any power) and a UEL for the Subie rumble, but that's going to wait a bit. 

Right now I'm trying really hard not to order a Traxxas TRX-4 Rock Crawler and customizing it like crazy.

AMiataCalledSteve HalfDork
12/6/23 4:14 p.m.

Sometimes goals change, though even if a goal changes, it doesn't affect the project if you move slowly enough lol.

I bought my stock car project because it was cool, I had space and it was super super cheap. My initial goal was to make something street legal out of it, so I started working on getting it running since it had been sitting outside for about 2.5 years. As I did that, I decided the whole street legal, body-grafting project I had in mind was out of my wheelhouse so I decided I'd shift my focus to track work only. Of course, I still had to get it running for that.

Once I got it running, I drove it up and down my street twice and then started taking it back apart to make it more track worthy. The biggest step for that was upgrading the oil delivery system, which I have been inching towards for the last 1.5 years haha. Like I said, I'm moving really slow...

L5wolvesf Dork
12/6/23 4:23 p.m.

I have various projects in various states of project-ness. Some people (with limited vision) might say too many. All have a detailed plan on my computer.

55 Ford Customline "Cat's Cruiser" – disc brake, small block and interior swaps,

64 C10 – 348 engine, trans and disc brake swap, need to get engine rebuilt and find a trans

68/9 Wards Mojave "McQueen" – CB550 motor swap, need to strop frame and powder coat

70 Fiat 850 SCCA H-Production – swap out empty wallet for full one,

Tom1200 PowerDork
12/6/23 4:36 p.m.
L5wolvesf said:


70 Fiat 850 SCCA H-Production – swap out empty wallet for full one,

You need to bring that vintage racing; as it's not going to be hugely competitive with the hyper developed Sprites, just slap some fresh tires on it and have fun with the rest of us mid pack cars.

Tom1200 PowerDork
12/6/23 4:39 p.m.

The Datsun is a 39 year running rolling project - it's getting a freshly built motor which will be about a 12-15hp boost.

The yet to make it to me Foxbody is going to get a horsepower boost of 25-50hp

L5wolvesf Dork
12/6/23 5:00 p.m.
Tom1200 said:
L5wolvesf said:

70 Fiat 850 SCCA H-Production – swap out empty wallet for full one,

You need to bring that vintage racing; as it's not going to be hugely competitive with the hyper developed Sprites, just slap some fresh tires on it and have fun with the rest of us mid pack cars.

I have a built motor in it but it has the PBS head so its not eligible for vintage. There is a lot of other work to do too.

The original Fiat head was a good part of why the 850s had problems. Short version is: when I discussed it with SCCA they were afraid of the PBS head. By the time they agreed to it most, if not all, of the 850s had left H-Prod.

Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
12/6/23 5:04 p.m.

I have a plan.  It's been in my head for 40 years now.  I just got the car 8 weeks ago, stay tuned.

wae PowerDork
12/6/23 5:12 p.m.

I always have great plans, but I keep getting punched in the mouth....

DjGreggieP Dork
12/6/23 5:50 p.m.

I've always had a vision for the Intrepid in my head. I can't put it into words or draw it out so I am the only person who can make it happen. I *have* shifted from all out track car (too many bespoke parts needed = more down time when things break) to a very fun, joyful cruiser. I still kinda want to swap from turbo to ITB's.

The 94 GMW I want to be a fun daily summer / winter, so here forward its a focus on getting it reliable and 'un-hillbillying' what the builders did.

98 BMW 328is will be the track toy. Purchased gutted and without a VIN, its going to be the track toy. Drag, Drift, Time Attack. It'll be a back marker is all three but seat time is seat time. It came with so many wheels I can have dedicated Track wheels with good tires, a pair of steering wheels for drifting and a pair of slicks (if I wanted to, probably not) and still have extra wheels left over for mounting drift spares to burn off. Probably go with a bit of a rat rod / mad max-esque aesthetic because it's never going to be a super pretty car, so may as well make it a neat car


chandler MegaDork
12/6/23 5:54 p.m.


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/23 6:18 p.m.
chandler said:


I know, right? (I admit, though, I tend to overthink pretty much anything.)

buzzboy UltraDork
12/6/23 8:01 p.m.

PlanA(1)           <---I'm about here

Appleseed MegaDork
12/6/23 8:32 p.m.

yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/6/23 9:06 p.m.

I used to plan all my projects on Trello. But I lost control of my life and stopped doing it. 

190e: EFI swap, wheels, bodykit

250se: m273 v8 or m137 v12 or m275 v12tt swap with manual transmission, figure out the rear end (6.3/6.9?), brakes (6.3 or modern Mercedes), suspension, further gut interior, do some cool color scheme. 

450SEL 6.9: Euro bumpers and lights, paint, wheels. 

Priority is efi for the 190e. If I get that done then I'll be able to enjoy it as is. 

bobzilla MegaDork
12/7/23 7:57 a.m.

Nope. I am without a project currently and it feels good. May have to source an engine for hte Rio but that's more a maintenance than project.

4cylndrfury MegaDork
12/7/23 9:01 a.m.

Im still searching for a copy of "How to Upgrade Your Classic Chevy in 286 Easy Steps", but sadly Ive not yet found a copy in stock anywhere...

aw614 HalfDork
12/7/23 9:16 a.m.

My plan is pull engine out of Integra, get short block rebuilt and figure out the head stuff.

It's taking me forever to pull the engine out

j_tso Dork
12/7/23 9:39 a.m.

There's an end goal, but getting there hasn't been a straight path.

Usually it's modifications that didn't work as intended or other areas that end up needing attention.

akylekoz UltraDork
12/7/23 9:39 a.m.

Hmmm.  Plan, good idea.

Current plan for Sangria (08 Mustang GT) is to keep it looking good while slowly improving the handling.  Age is more of an issue than mileage at this point, so upgrade suspension components as they age out.  Make reliability improvement to the engine, oil cooler, better valve springs, someday maybe a different tune.  Learn how to polish paint, I have other cars to practice on.

Yes, I have a plan.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/7/23 10:00 a.m.

I seem pretty disciplined about coming up with a plan, and sticking to it long-term with project cars. Engineer brain. Sometimes it takes the fun out, when you've been thinking about the same concept for years and still slogging towards that goal. The results are hard to deny though. 

  • 2JZ hot rod - I dreamed that one up in college and searched for over 2 years until I found a body. I even had the idea of ITB's on the inline six before I installed the engine, and 6 years later I finally put them on. 
  • Datsaniti - I decided in 2017 to win the $2000 Challenge. I analyzed a ton of platform/donor car combinations, then waited patiently for a cheap example of each. Just happened to land on a Nissan/Datsun build. It was driving in 2018 and won in 2019. Plan accomplished, so I sold it in 2020.
  • Lotus Europa - I postulated a plan on page 1 of my build thread in 2021, and ultimately that's what I achieved after 2 years of work. Parts of that plan, like the manual swap, aren't finished yet but I wouldn't bet against me at this rate. 
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/7/23 10:08 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

And the planning shows. 

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