Do what I did. Get a job at a gas station where cars are repaired. Even if its newer stuff, the basic principles still apply. Then look for an old pickup, '50s and '60s trucks are still cheap and some have V-8s. They also probably have the Rat Rod look already. Concentrate on the SAFETY aspects. Good brakes, suspension, steering etc. The cool look can be covered by good tires pretty easily. As for cool sound, even a worn V-8 sounds good through glass packs. You can overhaul it as time, money and knowledge come to you. The important thing is, take it slow and don't take on too much too soon. Just have fun!