Get off couch and into cruis­ing

It’s a plea­sur­able hobby whether you build or buy your ride

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - AUTOS - LARRY D’AR­GIS

SO you want to en­ter the col­lec­tor car hobby. For most, cruis­ing down the road in that spe­cial ma­chine re­mains a dream, but it doesn’t have to be.

As a car guy, my best rec­om­men­da­tion is you sim­ply find some­thing you like that has been re­cently re­stored. That way, you get to write the cheque, take the keys and cruise hap­pily down the road to the lo­cal cruise spot. No bruised knuck­les, no sleep­less nights and no ad­di­tional bills to pay for parts and labour.

On the other hand, if you like a chal­lenge and have some free time, there is an­other way. For ex­am­ple, if you’re savvy at tak­ing things apart and putting them back to­gether with­out hav­ing parts left over and the item still ac­tu­ally func­tions as in­tended, you may have the me­chan­i­cal in­cli­na­tion to ac­tu­ally pull it off.

An­other ben­e­fit is that it’s a project the whole fam­ily and friends can take part in. You’re go­ing to spend hun­dreds of hours dis­man­tling re­fur­bish­ing, re­build­ing and re­assem­bling that dream ma­chine. Qual­ity time with fam­ily do­ing some­thing pro­duc­tive and learn­ing as you go can only be viewed as a pos­i­tive life ex­pe­ri­ence.

The start­ing point is find­ing some­thing you want. Whether you buy it or build it, you’re go­ing to have to live with it, so re­ally do some search­ing here.

If the house­hold is down to two peo­ple, the two-seat sports car you dreamt about in high school may be per­fect, but it just doesn’t cut it as a Sun­day fam­ily cruiser. Full-size con­vert­ibles and hard­tops are about the most com­monly re­stored ve­hi­cles, and parts are geared to­wards meet­ing that mar­ket­ing need in the restora­tion field.

Re­stored sta­tion wag­ons are also a pos­si­bil­ity for a larger fam­ily and have been mak­ing a come­back as a niche ve­hi­cle. Face it, if you want to stand out at a car show a wagon or even a pickup truck is def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent.

Once you find out what you want, put to­gether a bud­get and start look­ing. My rule of thumb is

PHO­TOS BY LARRY D’AR­GIS / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

A ’71 Corvette drag­car/street ma­chine project. At right, parts for sale.

Com­plete run­ning small block Chevy V8.

At top, an Olds 442 project car.

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