Buying and shipping a project car

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Have you always wanted to buy a project car and finally got your chance to fulfill this dream? Maybe you are a classic car lover who’s been obsessed with restoring that old beauty to its former glory.

Does breathing new life into historic cars makes you feel alive and happy? Maybe rebuilding vehicles is a way for you to express yourself.

Whatever your reason for buying a project car is, we are sure it is important to you. The real question is: Are you completely ready to take on this project?

Investing in a project car

Buying and rebuilding a project car is like embarking on a new adventure. It is a huge step into car culture that will push you toward experiences you may not be prepared for. But before we get into details, let’s first define a project car.

There is no official definition of a project car and it has long been up for debate. The way we see it, it’s a car you buy with a plan to rebuild or significantly modify. Many enthusiasts insist that it also has to have the element of sacrifice – be it time, convenience, effort, or money.  Otherwise, it seizes to be a project.

It’s true that it is going to be time-consuming and even exhausting at times. It will eat into your bank account. But look at it this way: if you are not ready for sacrifice, then that is a clear sign that you are not ready for a project car.

And if you are on a hunt for your new project, you can start by checking Craigslist, eBay, or Bring A Trailer. Visit car shows and automotive swap meets. Talk to people. You never know, your next-door neighbor’s aunt may have an old beater in her garage she can’t wait to get rid of.

Things to consider when buying a project car

Is the car original?

There have been numerous cases where you see a classic car on TV or during a car show but you don’t really know whether that specific car is original. Some people may make changes to a vehicle just to make it look like a desirable model.

Want to make sure you know the real identity of a project car before you buy it? Get its Body Tag Code, VIN Number, identification, and any paperwork you can find before buying it.

If the seller has made modifications to the car’s engine, make sure he or she has the whole history of changes documented. It will give you a clear idea about the car’s state and platform to build on.

Availability of replacement parts

Whether replacement parts are readily available can be a deal breaker. In case you need to replace some parts of the car, but the market demand is not big enough for companies to make them, you may not be able to continue working on your project. To avoid this, make sure the replacement parts are available for you to buy.

If the seller is including spare parts in the price of the car you want to buy, you should take advantage of the offer. You may just save time and hundreds of dollars in the future should you need to use these spare parts. You can also sell the extra parts and use the money to buy auto parts or accessories you need.

Interior vs exterior

Don’t shy away from a car that looks old and rusty on the outside. The important thing is to make sure the frame is solid and doesn’t have any rust. Checking the trunk floor would also be a smart move. How the interior of the car looks should not concern you. It is very easy to replace carpets and seats for example.

Is your budget ready for this project?

Since you have already made up your mind about undertaking this car project, you should be prepared to invest time, energy, and money. Any project car requires its fair share of repairs. Depending on the type of vehicle, the repair costs will vary.

Nonetheless, you should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money. Especially if you also are planning to modify the car. If the vehicle is not operable, you will need to invest a considerable amount of time and money to get it up and running.

When you buy a project car, you will also need to plan ahead the amount of time you are willing to spend on this project. You don’t have to put your whole life on hold for the sake of the car. Putting aside 1-2 hours per day to work on your project will keep you on track. It may even help you finish the project sooner.

Shipping a project car

Shipping a project car is not like shipping any other vehicle, especially because most project cars are non-operable.

Any vehicle that cannot be driven on and off a car carrier under its own power is considered non-running. When you need to ship a non-operable project car, expect the shipping cost to be more expensive.

Why? Because the auto transporter will have to use extra equipment, a forklift or winch, to load the car onto the carrier. Find more info on how you can ship a non-running car.

Finding an auto transport company to ship your inoperable car is not that hard. All you have to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Research as much as possible, look beyond the first pages of Google search results, and read shipping companies’ reviews
  2. Pick 2-3 favorite companies and request quotes. Make sure to mention that your car is inoperable. Don’t hold back any information about your vehicle.
  3. Before making your final choice, pick up the phone and call your potential auto transporter. It is the best way to really learn about their customer service.

Going with the company that offers the lowest quotes is not always the best choice. Look for the shipper that offers fair prices that reflect the current supply and demand situation and has great customer reviews.

We at Corsia Logistics have shipped a good share of non-running vehicles, and we would be happy to transport your car anywhere in the US! We are well-known for our professionalism and transparency. Give us a call at (818) 850-5258 or chat with our car relocation experts. We are here to help you at all times. Thank you!


About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves painting, watching documentary films, drinking green tea and taking pictures of classic cars (mainly cute Volkswagen Beetles). Juxhina holds a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from AUBG. She is currently studying Masters in Communication Science at the University of Vienna, Austria.

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