Difficult Auto Restoration Decisions

When packing for a long trip, the best advice I’ve heard is to “lay out all the clothing and money you think you’ll need, and take half the clothing and twice the money.”  The same thing seems to be true for auto restoration, at least when it comes to allocating project funding.

I’m in the midst of re-budgeting the entire project based on some revised assumptions and to see if there’s any way to realistically make a $4,500 engine rebuild work within the confines of the budget.  I’ve already found better deals on the brakes, and I can get a rebuilt transmission instead of buying a new T-5, which saves close to $800, but there are several more items to budget before I push forward and give this project the full go-ahead.  However, given that the engine is my biggest possible splurge, it’ll have to come last and wait until I know whether I can afford it or not.

In any case, the plain fact is that this restoration isn’t worth it in pure dollar terms–I’m more concerned with the smiles-per-gallon analysis– but even that may not be worth it if a running/driving car that doesn’t need as much can be had for a lot less than the cost of this restoration.

Until I finish budgeting, all bets are off.  The last thing I want is for this car to drive me into the poor house…