Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (
-   Hotrodding Basics (
-   -   Kit Car (

Nightfire 07-04-2004 05:02 PM

Kit Car
Alright, after talking to my uncle he told me I was better off by saving my money and buying a kit-car that I can build in one summer and enjoy, rather than buyin a rust-bucket and just shoving my money into it for 5 years only to give up because it's too hard. I've never built a rod before or rebuilt an engine but I really wanna get into it, and now that I have a job and incomes I got my hopes up again of buying a project car or a kit.

Now, here's my plan, I wanna buy an engine at the end of this summer, rebuild it over the winter, and next summer drop it in a project car. Like I said above this would be my first engine buildup and since I'm on a budget I would just clean the whole engine, hot tank it, maybe add headers and better intake manifold/carb and dress it up a bit. No real big performance mods. If I keep my job and work through winter I hope to be able to buy a kit or project car next summer. I do have a welder, grinder and most of the tools needed except specialty tools.

Here's the kit I'm taking a look at

Has anyone used this kit before? How hard do you think would it be to complete it? Maybe I'm way over my head here but I can only spend little$$$ and this kit is the cheapest I found so far.

I plan on getting all the parts (rear-end, tranny, front axels, etc) from local junkyards. In total I only wanna spend 2.5k so it's gonna be a rat rod, as long as it drives.

Let me know what you guys think and what other alternatives I have. I'm hoping to find an old unfinished bucket somewhere and not having to use the kit, but this kit sounds like a good bang for the buck.

Thanks for all the input,


HotRodMan 07-04-2004 10:26 PM

I looked into this myself years ago and if you bought everything you need from the company it cost nearly $30,000 to build the car, which is a lot of money. Thats counting all the parts, the shipping everything. I would make sure you can get the other parts you need and determine the cost BEFORE you order the kit. In many instances you can buy a car already built for a lot less money than buying the kit and rounding up all the parts. I know a lot of people want to say I built it myself but sometimes it is just not economically feasible. I have seen beautiful T buckets for sale at NSRA (National Street rod Association) meets for 10 and 12 thousand dollars that the owner admitted having $25,000 invested. If you have never been to a NSRA meet, join the organization, get the magazine, and go to some of the meets. You will learn more about building a car, the costs, parts everything, than any other way I can think of.

tresi 07-04-2004 10:39 PM

If you do go with a kit car you need to visit the manufacture and have them show you a finished kit. A friend of my once bought a kit willys. When He could not figure out how mount the door windows as the gap for the 1/8 thick window was about 5/8 of an inch. The company's reply was we don't know. Turns out that the company had never completely finished one of their own cars. As quoted by them, "We don't build them, we just sell the kits." I wish I could remember the name of the company.

cboy 07-04-2004 11:11 PM

Amen to what HotRodMan says about being able to buy a finished rod, or nearly finished project car, for a lot less than you'll pay for everything you need in a kit. You may not get exactly what you want or exactly when you want it, but if you have the dough in your pocket, a fair amount of self control, and a little patience, you will be able to find some awfully fine rides for well under the price tag on a kit. Don't get me wrong, kits are fine. They just don't usually turn out to be the lease expensive avenue.

Nightfire 07-05-2004 12:02 PM

Look, the kit I'm taking a look at is 1k. That includes body and frame. The engine I'm taking a look at is $300. I can get tranny and rear-end at my junkyard for farily cheap. I'd just primer it and drive it with any tires and wheels I find. No fancy rod, no real sunday cruise night car, just a little cheap RATTY rod. I'm not planning on using any of the other components TPerformance offers. If I buy a project car, sure I might get it for cheap, but in the long run I'll just shove sooooooo much money into it.
I looked at this guy's page and I'm sure he didnt invest too much money in it.
I'm planning to get rack and pinion steering out of a hyudai (I heard they 'em and they're very easy to install).


cboy 07-05-2004 08:06 PM


Hope we didn't sound like we were raining on your parade. My hat is off to anyone who can succeed at building a rod with a minimum of money and a maximum of ingenuity. Clearly it CAN be done.

But a lot of us on this forum must sadly admit that at one time or another we started a new project only to realize half way into it that we had drastically underestimated the total cost of all the parts and pieces we would need. Our notes of caution are not intended to diminish your enthusiasm or to try to tell you how you ought to build your project. We're just trying to pass along bits and pieces of what we have learned from our own mistakes.

Keep us posted on your progress...or better yet, start a project journal right from the git-go with lots of pics.


Super Chevy 07-05-2004 08:20 PM

the parts that guy used in that link you posted are fairly expensive. u wont find a straight axle and spindles like that in a wrecking yard, nor the coil overs in the rear, u will need a t-bucket style radiator to be the correct shape for the look u are going for, and an after market one would be the only answer to be able to keep a v8 cool, a vega style steering box would be needed, underfloor master cylinder and power booster... and the list goes on. i think you can do it for well under $30,000 but you are definately gonna exceed your $2500 mark.

Nightfire 07-05-2004 09:11 PM

Thanks for all of you, your help and ideas are greatly appreciated. I don't know if I will get the kit, if I will it'll probably over winter anyways. So I still got 6 months to decide. I know I won't get the look of a t-bucket without the fancy radiator but I figured that can come later. A big square one should do for the beginning. With the coil-overs in the back, couldn't I just use the whole rear-end/suspension system of another car at the junkyard. Leaf springs, so be it:drunk:
Maybe I'm just better of gettin a beater muscle car and slowly fixing it up. Truth is I don't know yet. I'm still hoping to find a t-bucket project someone started and has neglected for a couple of years and is now selling it.
We'll see,
Thanks for all the input:D


Nightfire 07-06-2004 03:05 PM

Well, I just saw in "projects of the week" a 1926 t-bucket. If you read the newest update you'll see he built it for under 1k.


Spottty 07-10-2004 12:29 AM

I know this isnt really a hot rod but you could try a Lotus 7 replica or some call it a "locost 7"

All you need is a running donor, RWD. Then you just build a chassis and body work. They are pretty cheap too!

OneMoreTime 07-13-2004 09:35 PM

Any Thing You Build Yourself Is a Hot Rod
This is a real exercise in scrounging to build an inexpensive car..I recently saw a T-kit with the drive train from a Toyota pickup based On a Speedway frame and body kit..Looked nice and the guy did it all himself..

Finding a good donor car is the first step...saves a lot of money to have all your cores and a stock engine will still go like stink in a T-Bucket..

Just my thought on this..

Just be determined and persistent..:)

tm454 07-14-2004 08:25 AM

Mag called "Kit Car"
CK at the store aor on line and look for the magazine called "Kit Car" and look at the kits they advertise in it.


Rat Rods Rule!

mattoxcw 07-14-2004 09:54 PM

I seen a t-bucket that had been put on a chevy luv frame...looked good...all he did was mount the bucket straigh on the frame. You might think about something like that...LUV's around here are nearly given away...I guess any small truck like that would work. Just use your imagination. If it were me though, on my first project I'd pick something cheap and easy...5.0 thunderbird or cougar....any 70's model chevy... the list can go on forever.

Beenaway2long 07-15-2004 07:49 AM

I admire your ambition. Can I make a recommendation? Save your cash first, all while you watch the papers, etc. You will find a car that someone "ran out of steam" on. You'll be able to steal it. You'll get a whole bunch of new parts for 1/3 price. Someones wife or mom will want "the wreck" out of the yard. Thats your chance! I know what your thinking..... I want to do something NOW !! Well, how's this? Try hanging around a racecar shop, tranny shop, mechanic, body shop. Ask them if they mind if you watch and learn. Don't be a pain in the butt, pay attention, be helpful without interfering. It may turn into a job ! Ask if you can play with the throw aways. Straighten a twisted fender. Take an old tranny apart and put it back together, take a blown motor apart and put it back together. ALL, WHILE NOT SPENDING A DIME ! The shop owner will see the initiative, and guide you on the right way. Us old farts remember being a kid.
When the "One" comes along, you have the expertise or experience without crushing your wallet.


blndweasel 07-15-2004 04:35 PM

Yeah, you noticed on that T-bucket which was built for under $1k... it took him 6 years and he's not finished right?

I know exactly how you feel, man. Five years ago when I was shopping for a car I bought the very first car I looked at, the '69 vette in my avatar. I spent wayyyyy too much for it and got much less than I expected.

If I could do it again, I probably wouldn't change a thing, but in retrospect I should have talked the guy down... A LOT.

My best advice is never buy a car with some sort of deadline or expectation about when it will be ready to drive. Unless you know the car really really well, it's impossible to know what little thing is going to keep you grounded until it gets fixed.

It really pays to have knowledge more than anything else in the automotive world. The more you know, the better off you are.

I like that idea of "interning" at a speed shop somewhere. If only I were younger... DO IT WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG AND HAVE THE TIME.

Good luck and may the hotrodder spirit grow stronger within you!


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.