This article is a guest post by Jeff Allison, Owner of Allison Customs, and builder of my personal ’64 Chevelle! This piece is the fourth in Jeff’s series on how to plan and execute a project vehicle build. His first three articles can be found here. Enjoy! -Rob K

Building Your Project Vehicle – Part 1 – The Plan

Building Your Project Vehicle – Part 2 – Tear It Down

Building Your Project Vehicle – Part 3 – Tools


The car is apart and you’re ready to dig in. It can be so overwhelming…..that it’s funny!

In previous articles, we’ve covered the preliminary steps. By now you’ve got your project, you have a place to work on it, you’ve taken it apart and have pictures to guide you in putting it all back together, and you have tools to do the job.

Finally, it’s time to build something! So – go to work! What’s that? Where do you start? Good question! Sometimes, the most overwhelming task in your build can be figuring out what aspect to work on first. You may be standing there, looking at a car that is just a skeleton of its former self, with stacks of catalogs and websites at your fingertips with every car part you could ever dream of available, but you can’t get motivated because you can’t figure out what to do first.

After the tear down it get a little hard to know where to start. A top builders tip: pick the first area that’s easiest to do and give yourself a win! The motivation will help you to keep making forward progress.

I would also like to remind you to take your time and enjoy the process. This is your hobby; it’s not a job, not life or death. It is certainly not supposed to be stressful!

Should you have goals, or some sort of time line to work toward?  Of course – but if things get off the track, just step back and adjust.

Don’t go off and blow your budget hiring out stuff that you had planned to do yourself because you didn’t make the first show or race of the season.

Make the LAST one, and enjoy a few weekends helping friends get their projects polished or tuned for a weekend at the track. Remember – it’s not all about the destination. Enjoy the journey!

I’ve attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas the last two years, and one thing I’ve heard over and over is “we thrashed for the last two weeks just to get this thing done! I am so glad that’s over!”

When you build cars for a living, being ready for that big show or special event is supremely important, but when the event is over, almost without exception all the guys and gals who gave up their evenings, weekends, time with family and sleep to meet their deadline would be glad to never see that car again. As a hobbyist, keep it all in perspective. If you’re doing this for fun, make sure it stays fun!

That’s all I have to say on this subject. In future articles, I will talk about more of the technical aspects of building and preparing your car, so stay tuned!

See you on the road.


Allison Customs

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