Old Car and Truck Projects

Article by Mark Trotta

Although I've restored many classic cars, I've never had the luxury of keeping more than one or two of them at a time. I'd buy them, restore them, drive them for a while, then sell them and move on to another project. Listed below are some of my old car projects, and a few of my friend's projects.

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Purchased in 1991, I knew this 1970 Chevelle had issues before I bought it. But the price was right, and it was the only way I could afford the year and model I wanted. This car was my second major restoration project. It was also one of my favorite daily drivers. I sold it in 2002.

1970 Chevelle project

Read: 1970 Chevelle Restoration

Read: 1970 Chevelle Bodywork And Paint

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This 1965 GTO convertible was my project car from 1993 to 2005. Because first and second year GTO models were only an option on the Pontiac Tempest model, they can be easily forged. If you're looking to buy one, check the VIN with PHS (Pontiac Historical Services) before buying!

old car projects

Read: 1965 GTO restoration

Read: 389 Tri-Power Engine Build

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Although not nearly as valuable or fast as the 1968-1974 LT-1 or big-block models, early eighties Corvettes are fun and affordable, and if you restore one to factory stock, its value will certainly increase. The 1982 Corvette was the last year of the curvy "coke bottle" style, and they still turn heads. I owned this car from 2004 to 2016.

best old car projects

Read: 1982 Corvette restoration

Read: Corvette Crossfire Maintenance and Diagnosis

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I regret that I didn't drive this beautiful XKE more than I did. But it was just too valuable. And my feet were too big to operate the pedals with any sort of grace.

1968 Jaguar XKE restoration

Read: 1968 Jaguar XKE restoration

Read: Zenith-Stromberg Carb Rebuild

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The Fiat Spider provided the most fun per dollar invested. I owned this car from 2010 to 2013.

Fiat Spider restoration by Mark Trotta

Read: 1979 Fiat Spider restoration

Read: Fiat Spider Brake Overhaul

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Every old car has a story to tell, and this 1966 Corvette Stingray was no exception.

Restore an old Corvette

Read: 1966 Corvette restoration

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This is my friend Ray's 1965 GTO, which he has owned for five decades. After all that time, it's almost done...

1965 GTO in bodyshop

Read: 1965 GTO Project

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If I were teaching "Automotive Restoration 101", our first project would be an air-cooled VW Beetle.

VW Beetle project

Read: Restore An Old VW Beetle

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Simply put, old trucks are more functional than old cars, as they were designed to be utility vehicles. If you'd like to restore an old truck, the following article outlines five popular choices for easy, driver-quality restoration.

restore an old truck

Read: Restore An Old Truck

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In 2020, I had the opportunity to help restore a 1948 Jeep CJ2A.

old Jeep project

Read: Restore An Old Jeep

Read: Willys Jeep Oil Filter Canister Installation

Read: CJ5 Engine Swap Choices

install canister filter on CJ Jeep

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Project Car Help

My E-book "Finish Your Project Car" offers practical tips to help you get on track - and keep you on track with your project car. Topics include planning, ordering parts, overcoming obstacles, and staying motivated.

finish your project car

"Finish Your Project Car" E-book