QotW: What’s the best way to make progress on your project car?

There are many hurdles to moving forward on a big project. In the past year, my wife and I bought a house, moved, and had a baby. I waited a long time to have my own garage space but now that I do, I’ve barely touched it. The space became a temporary storage facility as we were getting settled in the house, and then it just kind of stayed that way. However, this weekend I ordered something that will hopefully change all that: a shed. When it arrives, we will have a space to throw all the extra paint, tiles, garden tools, and other stuff that we never use but can’t seem to throw out. Whether it’s keeping a clean workspace, finding a babysitter, building a workbench, canceling your Netflix subscription, or something else:

What’s the best way to make progress on your project car?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Do you have any fond memories of the Lexus GS?

It’s truly sad to see a beloved hero enter retirement, as was recently revealed that the Lexus GS would. Many of you shared memories of the sports sedan, whether it was jayrdee‘s quest to go buy one from afar, Lupus‘ recent acquisition, or fe2cruz‘s memories of its pop culture impact. The winner this week is Matheus Broetto, who remembers catching just a glimpse of one on the streets and having that vision seared into his brain:

Easy answer for me!
It was the first and so far only time I saw one in person. Thus being the fondest memory I have of the Lexus GS.
It was a sunny day in the late 90’s.
The place was downtown Uberlandia (Brazil).
I was barely a decade old and was riding our car in the backseat.

As a kid from Brazil, who grew up devouring Gran Turismo 2 on PlayStation, by that time I knew tons of ‘unknown exotic’ cars like Mazda or Acura. One could ask me “What in the world is a Legacy SW?” and I would proudly tell them, at the top of my 10 years old of wisdom, what a Legacy SW was.
You see, most cars and brands from the game are rarely seen ’round here. I knew the cars from the game, but only from the game.

That said, back in that sunny day in downtown Uberlandia, in the later years of the 90’s, suddenly a young me starts to joyfully shout in the backseat:
“Aristo! Look an Aristo! What is it doing here? How it ended up here? It’s an Aristo, how did he got one?”
As we crossed our ways, I could see the Lexus badging, on that beautiful, sleek wine-coloured sedan, but my child’s brain could only remember the Toyota’s nameplate.

It was a fun 15 seconds or so, of pointing at a car and staring at it from the distance. But I still remember that moment!

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11 Responses to QotW: What’s the best way to make progress on your project car?

  1. Nigel says:

    Find a “lock up” and then buy a project car…

  2. Lee L says:

    I am still looking for the answer.

    I’m in a similar situation with the garage. Working on cleaning mine out and moving stuff into an adjacent shed, but also trying to purge stuff instead of just moving it.

    When I’m working all day I think about things I can do in the evening to move forward with the car then never seem to get around to it.

    I think the best answer is just a big pile of money!

  3. Gene Abelow says:

    1. Go over the car bumper to bumper.
    2. Make a to do list.
    3. Decide what is urgent and important.
    4. Decide what to do yourself and what to hire out.
    5. Find a great mechanic who experienced with older cars.
    6. Have lots of cash for unexpected expenses.
    7. Get started on your list.

  4. MWC says:

    How to make progress on your project car?
    1) quit your job, work on project car til you run out of money.
    2) the day after you quit your job and have run out of money, work diligently to develop super-human nocturnal behavior that allows you work on your car and work 40 hrs a week, and of course develop more super human powers.
    3) while you are taking a break from you’re new activities, embark on a crusade to educate on time management and write your best-selling self help book that will fund your J-tin restoration addiction.
    4) after the book tour and TV interviews, become recluse and enigmatic, only showing up to the occasional car show and vintage race with your latest creation; enjoy being forgotten and labelled as eccentric and the guy everyone points at as “not knowing who he is but knows the quality of his work”…

  5. Banpei says:

    Since mid-March me and my wife have been locked up at home with our two kids. The eldest is now home-schooling and requires our attention about every hour, while the youngest used to go to daycare and requires full attention. At the same time we both have WFH and we have been running shifts since. This means there is little time available to do anything than kids or work. I could take a day off from work, but that would be little to no use as it would just be spent 100% to the kids. I haven’t even been able to pick up the AE86 from the lockup this year nor be able to start the Carina in the garage I rent on the other side of town…

    Luckily starting from next week (11th of May) daycare and schools will open up again in the Netherlands. The schools will open, but only 50% of the kids are allowed in the school at the same time, meaning they will only attend school two days a week. This probably means me and my wife will be able take a few days off here and there, catch some breath and see what our new WFH schedule will look like. I will probably be able to pick up the hachi from the lockup during this time and perform the basic maintenance. In September our youngest will become 4, meaning she will be able to attend primary school and I will have about half a day a week that I can spend on my project cars.

    So in other words:
    1. Have the lockdown lifted for daycare and schools by our government
    2. Have my daughter attend primary school

  6. エーイダン says:

    Easy. Con a friend into helping you for a couple beers.

  7. F31roger says:

    Best way is to look at what needs to be done (what you can do) and start taking small steps. Time to stop procrastinating and get them knocked out!

    Projects can be tough. Especially being a father, working full time and of course.. having that expensive hobby.

    I am fortunate. While my hours were reduced (I work in the medical field, and it was reduced so my colleagues and I can still work and pay bills), I also had a lot of small project and ideas just sitting. On the days I don’t work, I spend time on these projects.

    A lot of it is prepping parts for Project Car Magazine M30 (which is in LA). All I can do right now is buy stuff for the car, mainly the RB25det upgrades. Machine shops are somewhat limited hours and of course have back up, but also my builder (SR20store).

    I am preparing a lot of the other aspects of the project car though. Working on the Zenki F31 Leopard front end, swapped the interior from brown to grey, so cleaning all those trim pieces, looking at the Digital gauge cluster wiring diagram and where match it to the Infiniti M30’s.

    step by step!

    1. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/10/project-leopard-interior-change/
    2. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-roof-liner/
    3. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-organizing-storage-units/
    4. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-m30-carpet/
    5. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-r31-shift-boot-replacement/
    6. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-project-leopard-glove-box/
    7. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-90s-to-2k-accessories/
    8. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-spare-bumper-repair/
    9. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/17/covid19-projects-rusty-bumper-repair/
    10. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/21/covid19-projects-zenki-front-lip-work/
    11. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/21/covid19-projects-zenki-tail-lights/
    12. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/22/covid19-projects-m30-tail-light-disassembly/
    13. http://www.f31club.com/2020/04/24/gk-tech-radiator-fan/

    What I found to be a barrier is if you need items and the specialty stores dont have them.. so you have to order online.

    For example. I needed polyurethane rods for my plastic welder to fix the rear bumper.. had to order online.
    I needed modeling clay because I wanted to make silicon mold and start casting resin… I couldn’t find enough molding clay.. so gotta order online.

    Same with ordering parts. There is slow down in shipping… so my stuff from Japan is probably not gonna be here for a month (making it 2 months) and I have big stuff to ship over.. but don’t know when this will get back to normal.

    I’m waiting for some Platinum Racing items from Australia (anodized blue) and PRPUSA hasn’t given me a time frame when they will be shipped.

    But in honestly, I wouldn’t have had the time to finish these things since I typically work 6 days a week and Sunday is just running errands.

  8. Amar says:

    I’ve been restoring sections of my 260z, and i find that the easiest way is to approach the problem is with small steps everyday. I recall watching a video about Toyota Production calling something similar by `kaizen`, and it resonated with me. Instead of spending 10 hour days at repairing some of the sheet metal on my Z I try 1-2 hours after work.

    Monday: I assessed the problem areas, and started planning.
    Tuesday: I started drilling out spot welds on the panels.
    Wednesday: I took measurements for templates.
    Friday: I started cutting from templates to steel.
    Sunday: I formed the steel to fit on the car.

    I bought myself some time because the supplier I’m going through for the replacement top panel (the one you look at when you open the hatch) is back ordered for a couple weeks. But I think ill use the time to do some more work on the interior.

    I also feel that i don’t get discouraged if something comes up that takes away my time from the car, because i know that it’s the small steps that I’m after.

  9. bryan kitsune says:

    I’m completely unqualified to make any real suggestions, but I should probably print out other peoples responses and study them diligently.

    My ’67 Datsun continues to sit in the garage, going on 4+ years. Little progress made in the last year.

  10. My_Fairlady_ZFG says:

    During a slow period at work a few days ago, I switched the TV to the motortrend channel to see what was on. I don’t generally watch motortrend because I don’t have cable or dish or whatever, but there was this show on called Garage Squad. The premise seems to be the team chooses an individual with a stalled project whom they deem deserving of assistance, and finish their car in a week. The subject in this episode was a late sixties Chevy K30 with a 72 front end that needed a loooot of work. (Yes I also like domestics. Sue me). They proceeded to LS swap it, replace shocks, gas tank, fuel lines, windshield, and do a bunch of other stuff, as well as some necessary fab work. All in the course of a week. I really drove home for me how a project can be competed and a goal accomplished in a very short amount of time. Granted I don’t have a whole crew of people helping me, nor all the expertise, but I also don’t have near as much work to do, and thank G-d ,y father has more than enough know how to help me get my 240Z big ‘n burly and road worthy. So I guess for me, the answer was watching TV.

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