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A New Year’s resolution can encourage personal growth. Every year, eager self-improvers buy guitars, running gear, and stacks of books to be a better them for the next year. However, an oft-overlooked option is that project car you’ve been dreaming about for years. This year, consider a classic car or tuner to wrench on instead of a generic resolution. 

A project car can be a meditative outlet you can drive

A father and son tackle their New Year's resolution: a project car.
A father and son wrench on a project car | Artem Peretiatko via iStock

Believe it or not, there’s a project car for just about any budget and experience level. For instance, an S197 Ford Mustang or Z33 Nissan 350Z is an affordable prospect for drivers who want a boulevard cruiser, autocross toy, or canyon-carving weekend ride. 

Furthermore, a modern performance car doesn’t require much to become a fun track toy. Bolt-on upgrades like stiff springs, big brakes, a cold air intake (CAI), and a tune can really awaken a modern, fuel-injected sports car. 

However, enthusiasts who really want to learn and express themselves can opt for a classic car like a Pontiac LeMans, a first-generation Mazda Miata, or the perennially popular first-gen Ford Mustang coupe. A classic project can require as little as some TLC or a complete restoration. With patience, a devoted enthusiast can tackle many of the tasks of caring for a classic. 

A classic project car doesn’t have to be a rotisserie restoration. For instance, many builders choose to turn a classic into a restomod. It’s a fair compromise between a newer project and an old-school ride. For instance, installing a fuel-injection kit can take the guesswork out of running a carbureted classic.  

Looking for something to do with your kids or a relative? A project car can be a shared experience. Working on a classic Mustang or BMW is a great way to bond, teach problem-solving skills, and foster patience in your children. 

Of course, one of the finest parts of choosing a project car instead of taking up watercolor painting is functionality. At the end of your efforts, it’s a car. You can drive it to events, enter it in racing events, or just go for a cruise. Just think about it: your New Year’s resolution could be your weekend toy when you’re done.

Happy New Year from MotorBiscuit. Get wrenching.


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