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jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
10/30/19 4:18 a.m.

so, over the last 15 months, ive been building a notchback mustang. i have always had thunderbird turbo coupes, and wanted to swap the driveline in to a notch for YEARS. i finally got the chance when an older TC i was DDing rotted out past safe operation, and i found a decent swap candidate. my wife even bought me a PIMPx MS3 setup for it ($900), and was generally supportive of the build. i went through the motor, the engine bay, and most of the driveline. i did upgraded brakes, better flywheel, lower control arms, mini starter, lowering springs, stainless steel exhaust system, upgraded cooling, etc. and for the most part its complete, and ive been driving it for some time now. it looks great, runs well, and is fairly fast, with plenty of room left for tuning and boost increase. the interior is nice, heat works, etc, and its an all around decent, fun, fast DD. but theres a problem...


i hate it. i hate all of it. i hate the size, i hate the color *I* painted it, i hate the wheels/tires *I* specked out for it, i hate the seats *I* swapped in, i hate the light switch clutch *I* picked out for it, etc. Plus, the wife hates it. i was hoping it would be a fun car for when her parents are watching the kids and we could go out on dates with it, but she *hates* the car. shes simply not comfortable in it. i actually fixed some things she hated about it trying to make it better for her, replacing the exhaust with a quieter (far more expensive) setup. i replaced the $400 racing buckets with standard GT seats, i repaired the non-working heat... but every time she gets in it she finds another thing she hates, and i dont even disagree with her. we just dont like the car. 


problem is i cant really sell it, as theres still a bunch of finish work to do, and quite a bit of money to spend, but with both of us disliking the project, its hard to justify spending time or cash on it. 


what do i do? strip it, cash out the shell? just take whatever i can can get as-is and move on? make the case for finishing it to get decent money back out of it? double the insurance and slam it into a tree?


anyone been here? came close to or finished a car that you discovered you hated?



SVreX MegaDork
10/30/19 5:25 a.m.


Seems the answer is generally pretty simple. Lose money, get rid of the damned thing, and enjoy your freedom. 

Woody MegaDork
10/30/19 5:47 a.m.

Sometimes, stripping the stuff you want off of a car that you no longer love has a way of re-energizing you to some degree. Sure, you’ll never get your money back, but you will get to keep some of the stuff that you do love. And a good notchback shell will never be hard to sell. 

ultraclyde PowerDork
10/30/19 5:55 a.m.

Even if you complete it, you wont really get your money out of it.  If there are rare parts or stuff you want to reuse, strip em and sell the shell. If you want to try something completely different that's fine too, just sell it as is.

Everyone reaches this point if you mess with cars long enough. We just hate to admit how big the investment to worth gap really is, so it's hard. 

10/30/19 6:08 a.m.

Can you actually see a point where you could do something that would make you ( and the wife) love this car?  If not, then parting it out might make the most sense. 



Saron81 Reader
10/30/19 6:35 a.m.

Pictures of the car?

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
10/30/19 6:54 a.m.

I think your supposed to sell it on the forum for $1000 as a challenge starter kit. 

APEowner Dork
10/30/19 7:18 a.m.

Fun cars are supposed to be fun.  We all play numbers games and compare makes, models and build options pretending that we're making informed adult decisions about them but the reality is that we're spending money to have fun.  We may get some of that money back (and its nice when that happens) but that's not really why we're spending it.  

When you're not enjoying the car anymore either part it out, rebuild to something you like or sell it to someone who will enjoy it.

dculberson MegaDork
10/30/19 7:33 a.m.

I have never regretted giving up on a project. Sometimes I think of projects I've dumped and feel relief all over again, thinking "I don't have to do that!"

dump it. Get something your wife will love riding in with the proceeds. Think about what she and you hated about the mustang and get the opposite. 

Javelin MegaDork
10/30/19 7:47 a.m.

Strip it and bug me for the white TC until I give in... laugh

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
10/30/19 7:49 a.m.

Yep. I've felt that way about a couple of projects. Yes, thinking about the amount of money lost hurts, but at the same time, watching those tail lights for the last time is a great feeling.

While most people on this forum love E30's, I bought one from a fellow forum member back in 2011(?) and ended up hating just about everything about the car, eventually selling it for a fraction of I had into it.  I don't blame him for it. If anything, I blame myself for not listening to my gut feeling when I first test drove it and letting my ex-g/f persuade me to go against those feelings. But my ex- is one of those types who once she sets her eyes on something, she WILL have it, and when I expressed a level of hesitation about buying it, she convinced me otherwise. 

My '95 12V Cummins 4x4 was a somewhat similar experience (with even more of a financial loss), although some of that was due to a shady seller as much as the truck itself. 

pinchvalve MegaDork
10/30/19 7:54 a.m.

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Post pics here and see if you can find someone in love with it as much as you hate it.

Toyman01 MegaDork
10/30/19 7:58 a.m.

I vote dump it. Screw the money, nothing is worse than a project you hate.

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/30/19 8:01 a.m.
ultraclyde said:

Even if you complete it, you wont really get your money out of it. 

Yep. If there is something you could finish up very quickly that would dramatically boost the sales value, it might be a good idea - otherwise the question is whether you should sell as-is or part out. Last time I was faced with this choice (a Triumph Spitfire where the wiring caught fire, I changed out the whole engine and under-dash harness, only to find the hydralics packed up and quit while I was redoing the wiring), I decided to sell  the whole thing as-is and just get it over with. But it depends on how much work it would take for a part out and whether the extra money would be worth the extra work.

FuzzWuzzy Reader
10/30/19 8:40 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

Feel the same with my E30.

Got it at auction, expecting I was going to love it until I quickly realized....I didn't.

Now I'm just fixing up what I can for as little as I can and selling it. Give me back my damn garage space and hopefully a couple of bucks in profit.

Grizz UberDork
10/30/19 8:51 a.m.

Trade it to someone on here for one of their projects they don't like seems to be the most grm answer I can think of.

Patrick MegaDork
10/30/19 8:51 a.m.

In reply to Andy Neuman :

That's what i do.


how much

slefain PowerDork
10/30/19 8:58 a.m.
Grizz said:

Trade it to someone on here for one of their projects they don't like seems to be the most grm answer I can think of.

Can confirm this is the solution.  I traded a '88 Mirage to FastAsleep for an ex-Challenge prepped Metro. We both got something we wanted.

bobzilla MegaDork
10/30/19 9:06 a.m.

i got to the same point with my C4. I know a guy that likes buying unwanted projects...... (not me)

SkinnyG UltraDork
10/30/19 9:36 a.m.

As I fell out of love with my V8 Pontiac Firefly, I just wanted to get it "good enough" and then get rid of it.  Then the motor blew up..... But I fixed it, and then I sold it, despite a number of small details that still needed finishing.

My philosophy with vehicles is $1000/year.  If building it entertains me to that value or better, it's a win. Sell it or part it, and move on.

z31maniac MegaDork
10/30/19 10:53 a.m.
SVreX said:


Seems the answer is generally pretty simple. Lose money, get rid of the damned thing, and enjoy your freedom. 


I gave up on my S52 E30. I spent a year building the thing with refreshed coilovers, subrame reinforcements and powdercoated, Wilwoods, S52 swap with lots of goodies. It put down 240/240 at the wheels and was a hoot to drive. 

It lasted about 300 miles before popping the headgasket. I was so dejected after so much work, I had a buddy help replace the headgasket, then parted the whole thing out.


I gave up on an E30 convertible project. Interior was great, but needed work. I bought it for $500 and spent about $650 on maintenance parts.  I traded it all for an engine I sold for north of $3k. So at least I made money on the deal.

Jay_W Dork
10/30/19 11:29 a.m.

Right there with you. When my much- loved hotrod AWD Protege got totaled by the shiny happy person that drove into my lf corner, I bought another awd Pro to replace it. Got it running, and what it did was... remind me of what I'd lost. 

It needs sandblast and respray and a ton of other finish work. Meanwhile it sits, cuz I kick myself for having bought it in the first place. I should part it out and be done, and accept the rather huge finincial loss. 

10/30/19 11:46 a.m.

In reply to SkinnyG :

About the same thought process; I am in this  game for the building entertainment, not the transportation. I compare it to the cost of playing golf  or fishing and that way it seems to be a cheap hobby. 

10/30/19 11:51 a.m.

In reply to jmthunderbirdturbo :

I think you just need to take another run at this and rather than go with the high-strung hairdyer, fill the bay with torque


Cheap Coyote out of a F150 with an Auto box will give you the relaxed cruising that you wanted in the first place. The 4 banger never stood a chance.



Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
10/30/19 11:51 a.m.

Sometimes, you just have to let it go. I had to do the same with my old CSX project. I was close to having it back together, but the lack of motivation and the fact that I liked the IDEA of it more than the car itself made me sell it.

I'm not quite there yet with my Trans Am, which I've been unsuccessfully wrenching on since 2002, but I'm close.

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