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The Perils and Pitfalls of Stalled Project Cars

The Project Trap

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One of the main stories in this issue is the Week To Wicked build where we gave a stock ’67 Chevelle a complete makeover in just five days. Reality? I wish. As much as I would love to have my projects done in a week, or even a few weeks, life seems to always conspire to crush that dream into dust. Like many of you, I have projects that seem to get done quickly, but for the most part they just drag on due to shortages of cash or time, usually a mixture of both. I can only imagine how many stalled project cars are languishing in garages across the country. What we need is to find the time to sling some wrenches in a productive manner. I know, easier said than done.

The joke my wife likes to tell is that I’m so busy messing with project cars that I don’t have to time to mess with my own cars. Yep, I’m the dentist with bad teeth or the carpenter with a leaky roof. I have a ’68 Camaro project called Track Rat. It was going to be a simple build, but things escalated and now it’s been going on for over three years! Yeah, years. You know a project is taking too long when parts get discontinued or replaced with better parts before the car even hits the road. For one of those years the car just sat since I was buried with other “stuff.” But it was recently dusted off and we’ve been making good progress. It’s been layered in Axalta paint, has a sweet Chassisworks suspension, and the fuel system and Wilwood binders have all been plumbed. The engine, being assembled at Evod Garage, is at the machine shop, and once that gets dropped in, along with a TREMEC Magnum trans, it will get wiring and then be sent off to TMI for an interior. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like the project is moving too slowly. I set a done-date of SEMA 2016, so that should be some motivation. I look at the Week To Wicked project and wish real life was so easy, or at least easier. But it shows what is possible, even if it’s not probable for most of us to knock out a major overhaul in a week.

The other car in my stable of non-running projects is my ’68 Camaro called Bad Penny. It was one of the earlier Pro Touring cars and hit the road around eight years ago. Just over a year ago I decided it was time for a simple overhaul. You know, pull the 461-inch RHS engine, quick change of rings/bearings, and then back on the road in a month, maybe two. Well, pulling the engine revealed other worn items and before long the Camaro was in a bazillion parts. Then I decided to upgrade the old engine management system with a new Holley Dominator system, which delayed things longer. Again, the lacking ingredient is time, but with the help of some friends, she should be back on the road by the time you’re reading this. Well, at least that’s the plan, but you know how that goes. So, if you have a project gathering cobwebs in the garage, know you’re not alone and many of us are drifting along in the same leaky boat. So, dust it off, work on it when you can, and with slow steady progress you should eventually be hitting the highway, which is the goal, right?

Bad Penny Camaro Project 2/2

Bad Penny

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