Buying or leasing a car is an exciting prospect to many, but there’s a stylish, alternative way to become an auto owner: building a car from scratch.
This can be a lengthy endeavor, but the final reward may just be worth the time and effort devoted to it. According to popularmechanics.com, it can take up to 250 hours to construct a mid-engine supercar, a replica Shelby or a hot rod — assuming you’re planning to build all of the essential parts from scratch (the transmission, engine, wheels, etc.).
The worldwide car production industry has been gradually booming, and it will likely continue to do so. According to Statista, nearly 96 million motor vehicles were produced globally in 2018. China, Germany and Japan were the three largest car manufacturing nations that year.
Here is a guide to building your car from scratch.
The Cost Involved in a Scratch-build
In terms of explicit costs, a scratch-build can cost several thousands of dollars, as this involves investing in an entire kit that includes all the basic parts of a car. Popular Mechanics estimates that for Factory Five’s Mk4 Roadster kit, one can spend up to $19,990. A TIME magazine report from 2009 estimated that an individual with some experience with auto repairs could rebuild a 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis (or another similar model) for approximately $5,000. Roughly 10% of this ($500) would be spent on replacing the brakes, 16% ($800) would be needed to replace the air conditioning system, and 4% ($200) would be spent on a new exhaust system.
Obviously, all of these expenses vary depending on a vehicle’s age and model.
Choosing the Right Model for Your Wallet and Timeframe
This point can’t be stressed enough. A careful evaluation of your budget and timeframe can save you many headaches in the future.
Depending on your experience with auto repairs, a scratch-build can take anywhere between two months and a year (hundreds of hours). This is evidently a much larger time-frame than that allotted for professional car manufacturers, who typically spend between 17 and 30 hours building cars from start to finish.
Connecting with Quality Parts Specialists
Quality parts specialists can give you precise recommendations on what components are the best fit for your desired car. Whether you need help with bumper covers, headlights, shocks and struts or brake discs, it’s never a bad idea to seek out a second opinion and to spend according to your budget, as always.
Know When to Ask for Help
If you find yourself struggling to choose an aesthetically pleasing paint job, the most efficient type of engine or solid upholstery (e.g. a durable material for seats), don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from an experienced car builder. You can also enlist help using certain complex tools like air compressors, oil-filter wrenches and heat guns.
Show It Off with a Custom Paint Job!
A meticulously performed custom paint job can give a whole new level of vibrancy to a car, whether the chosen color is light or dark. Before a car is painted, of course, all debris and rust must be removed, and dents should be fixed as well. The painting process itself consists of utilizing different color paint sprayers and brushes and verifying that there are no sags or runs in the paint.
Speak to the Experienced Professionals at Rob’s Shop
Reach out to the experts at Rob’s Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia, for more information about the proper steps to take when building a car from scratch.
Robs has been dedicated to serving customers in Northern Virginia with premium quality auto repairs and restorations. Our professionals have extensive experience working with several different types of vehicles (antique, classic muscle cars, station-wagons, convertibles, etc.). They can help you with both frame repair and rust repair. The former process involves a panel alignment and adding a skim coat of filler to eliminate any imperfections in the metal. For the latter service, initial rust is cleared off with a wire brush and a grinding wheel. We also use sandpaper to smooth out the car’s surface and apply coats of primer and paint.
Our customized paint jobs will also help significantly reduce corrosion on your car while extending its life. Cars may not suffer from as many scratches and paint damage as motorcycles, but they can still accumulate this type of damage, which can become more difficult to fix if it is not addressed quickly. Call Rob’s shop today at (703) 552-5001 or contact us online to learn more about our top-quality services.