Most car people I know have been at this place one time or another – money or time limiting progress of a car build. My regular readers are probably wondering why Operation Stude wasn’t completed months ago, but truth is she’s still up on jack stands (the engine is finished, now it’s the brakes).  It’s easy to get frustrated as days roll into weeks, which roll into months and you don’t see progress happening as fast as you want. As much for my own sanity as in order to help someone else finding themselves in the same situation, here’s my…

5 Tips for Staying Motivated When Your Car Project Stalls

5. Plan, Plan, Plan

Remember when you were a kid and you went through catalogs circling everything you wanted (that wasn’t just me was it!)? You knew you’d never get all those toys or clothes or whatever it was, but that didn’t keep you from imagining it. So while you might not have the means or the talent to get your car exactly how you want it, that shouldn’t keep you from plotting it’s course from Point A to Point B. Search magazines, talk to people with similar cars, do your research to know what products you want to add, how much they cost, and where to get them.

4. Labor of Love

The work’s not going to happen magically, so consider all the labor it will take to get your car to it’s finished state. If you’re committed to doing all the work with your own hands, perhaps there’s a local auto class you can take or fellow car enthusiast that wouldn’t mind you hanging out and watching them work (which is an awesome way to learn!)

On the other hand, if you’re planning on seeking out a shop to do portions of the work, then start doing your research. The last thing you want is to have your project in the wrong hands – so ask around for recommendations, visit any shop you’re considering, and be ready to make a well-informed decision when the time comes.

3. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

If you’re just itching to keep your hands dirty, I bet there’s some detail cleaning work to be done on your project. Some ideas include: organizing the trunk, degreasing the engine, a good wash & wax, or spending time on the little things like polishing life back into small chrome parts or replacing that turn signal light bulb that’s been out forever. Sometimes when there’s a big project looming, we lose sight of all the minor, low-cost details that just take a little time and elbow grease.

2. Don’t Give In To the Pile Up

Laws of nature state that an “empty surface will be filled,” or at least that’s how it rolls at my house. The flat trunk area provides a perfect catch-all for whatever’s most recently entered the garage door. I’ve been in other garages where project cars are being eaten alive by surrounding boxes, making it a job to even get to the car. Life’s priorities seem to be fluid, and understandably sometimes our car project isn’t #1 – but if it’s your intention to progress on your project, do yourself a favor and make it easy to get to.

1. Keep Your Chin Up

Whether you believe in the power of positive thinking or not, if you strive for and believe that your project will one day get to dream car status you’re a zillion times more likely that it will – in comparison to a Negative Nelly who keeps telling herself it will never happen! No one ever said that the good things in life would be easy to come by – and a car is no exception. It’s a lot of work and demands sacrifices – but my experience has been that it’s well worth it. Consider a car you’ve worked on less as a commodity and more of a way of life, with friends and adventures along the way.

Where’s YOUR project at? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

One Response

  1. spannerbird

    I’m in a similar place. I have removal of the dash and instruments, painting of those column covers around the front glass. Installation of wiring, and loads more things. Brakes being the most important right now.


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