Buying and shipping a project car

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Imagine restoring a rolling mess of metal back to its former glory; taking an old jalopy and breathing new life into its mechanical heart. As a bonus, you get the satisfaction of building a car of your dreams with your two hands.

Buying and rebuilding a project car is like embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. The possibilities are limitless, so much so it’s really more about what you can afford, and not always what you want. To avoid expensive mistakes you need a plan.

In this post, we’ll explore the things you need to consider before buying a project car and share our insight on how to transport your newly bought project. But before we get into details, let’s define a project car.

What is a project car?

There is no official definition, 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’s 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.

So if you are on a hunt for your new project, you can start by checking Craigslist, eBay, or Bring A Trailer. Visit car shows, auctions, 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.

What to consider when buying a project car?

how many cars

Is the car original?

Some people would modify a vehicle just to make it look like a desirable model. To make sure you’re buying an original, request the vehicle’s Body Tag Code, VIN Number, and any other paperwork that proves its identity.

If the seller has made modifications to the engine, get the written history of changes. It will give you a clear idea about the car’s state and platform to build on.

Are replacement parts readily available?

The availability of replacement parts can be a deal-breaker. Sometimes, the market demand is not big enough for companies to make spare parts. It means you may not be able to continue working on your car. To avoid this, make sure you can find all the necessary components for your project.

If the seller includes spare parts in the price of the car, consider taking advantage of the offer. You may just save time and hundreds of dollars in the future or sell the extra parts and use the money to buy auto parts or accessories you need.

How to evaluate the interior and exterior of the car?

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 fairly easy to replace carpets and seats, for example.

Is your budget ready for this project?

Any project car requires its fair share of repairs. Depending on the type of vehicle, the repair costs will vary. If the car is not operable, you will need to invest a considerable amount of time and money to get it up and running.

Budget is not the only thing you’ll be planning around. The time you’re willing to invest in your project is another thing to consider. You don’t have to put your whole life on hold for the sake of the car. But dedicating 1-2 hours per day to work on your project will keep you on track. It may even help you finish it sooner.

How do I ship a project car?

buying and shipping a project car Volvo P1800

Shipping a project car is not like shipping any other vehicle – most project cars are non-operable and require special skills and equipment for transport.

Also, fewer trucks are equipped to ship such vehicles. Therefore, expect the cost of auto transport to be more expensive.

To find an auto transport company to ship your inoperable car follow these three simple steps:

  1. Research well, look beyond the first pages of Google search results, and read shipping companies’ reviews.
  2. Pick 2-3 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.

Corsia Logistics has shipped a good share of non-running vehicles. Don’t miss our post about one such car – Volvo P1800.

We would be happy to be a part of your project and arrange transport for your car anywhere in the US! We are well-known for our professionalism and transparency. See it for yourself – 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!

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About the Author:

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