See yourself bombing down the highway in a sleek BMW but your bank account is saying ‘think again’? Not as big of a problem as you’d think. With the right game plan and some elbow grease, you can build the car you really want. So, crunch some numbers, grab your tools, and get ready to bomb down that highway in your very own customized creation.
Design your dream ride.
Want to rebuild a vintage Mustang to spec? Want to start with a late model Integra but create something original? Want to Frankenstein together parts from an Audi, VW, and Volvo thus creating the world’s first Aud-volks-vo? Well, it’s truly all up to you. But before you start buying and building, take the time to map out what you want your car’s exterior, interior and engine to be—it’ll save you a lot of headache down the line.
Find a chassis that’s less than perfect.
So you’ve imagined the car of your dreams and you’re raring to get started creating it. But here’s a place where you can save major money: Pick a car that’s less than ideal to start with. Maybe it has hideous 90’s tuner bodywork. Maybe it has an awful wing on it. Maybe it’s been modified to high heaven but hey, that’s ok because it’s a project anyways. Find a car in your budget that you can work with and make your own.
Use second-hand parts whenever possible.
Another place to save money on your build: Look for authentic used parts first. There are so many gently used, practically mint parts out there that are upwards of 50 to 70% off retail—and they can be found with relative ease. Save time by using a site like throtl to search for and order parts from all corners of the Internet in one place. Added bonus: You’ll end up finding at least 5 other things you also needed to get.
Sell everything you don’t end up using.
Speaking of throtl, you can also use the site to sell back parts you don’t use. Remember that awful wing from the less-than-perfect body you bought? List it for sale! It gets useless clutter out of your garage, gains you back some of your investment and can go to cover work that’s outside of your DIY capabilities.
Find a shop you can trust.
Don’t have access to welding tools? Don’t know a thing about bodywork or wiring? For every repair, install or mod you can’t do in your own garage, you’re going to need a mechanic you trust. Take some time to do some research (a lot of research, actually) and join the conversation on car forums—you’d be surprised the kind of work you can get done inside your budget by working with fellow talented auto enthusiasts!
So… what are you waiting for? Grab your ratchet and get to building!