Is there a muscle car that, in your wildest dreams, you hope to own one day? Maybe it would be a dream come true to have your hands on the steering wheel of a Shelby Cobra. Maybe pressing your foot on the accelerator of a Chevrolet Chevelle is your life’s goal. Maybe it’s a classic Comaro, or a Mustang, or a GTO. One thing is certain though. Those cars are hard to come by and cost an arm and a leg. Give up on your dreams, it will never happen.
We’re just kidding. We hope every wish you’ve ever wished upon a star comes to pass. In reality, one way to own the classic muscle car of your dreams is to build an authentic replication of it. Replica car kits include everything you need to create your own road and track car, but for the cost that is more in the ball field of buying an inexpensive low-end sedan. Plus the warm fuzzies that come with driving a car that you built from a replica car kit with your own two hands is unmatched.
If you are contemplating building your own dream car with a replica car kit, there’s a right way to do it and there’s a whole lot of wrong ways to do it. Check out of our list of tips that ensure your replica car kit experience goes as smoothly as the ride you hope to end up with:
- Make a detailed plan before you ever pick up a wrench.
You know what they say. “If you fail to plan, you plan to get three-quarters of the way done with your replica car kit and then get stuck and never finish.” (That’s the saying, right?)
Some replica car kits include everything and only need you to add fluids, but require you to source some parts yourself. Some of those parts aren’t available and have to be fabricated. This isn’t a show stopper, unless you don’t make a plan for it in advance. Make sure you understand exactly what you’ll need to get your replica car on the road, and have a plan for having the parts and tools available as you need them. You’ll seriously lose momentum in your car building project if you have to put the whole project on hold for weeks at a time to source parts.
- Document your process.
The more you document, the easier it is to identify the source of the problem if any issues come up. Take a picture of your work with a smart phone regularly. If you get done and the car won’t start, you can look back at your pictures and compare them to the wiring diagrams and instructions to easily identify the problem. Plus, when you get your beautiful car on the road, all the other car fanatics who see it will want to pour over your pictures to geek out over them.
We’ll add this tip in for free: Keep a sharpie handy, and put a mark on each bolt after it’s been twerked, so that you can easily tell which still need to be tightened. Easy peasy.
- Set up a sweet car building playlist.
Creating a shop environment that you want to be in important for enjoying the process and giving it the time and attention that building a muscle car requires. If you put your replica car kit in the damp and smelly corner of your filthy garage, you won’t enjoy it, and you’ll find yourself using more profanity than necessary.
Create a work environment that is well lit, clean (as a car shop can be), has internet access (the internet will be your best friend in the car building process), and — most importantly — is set up with a way to listen to your sweet jams as you work.
Building a replica car is not just about getting an inexpensive muscle car. By taking your time to plan it out, documenting the process while you build, and giving yourself an environment you want to be in, you set yourself up to have an awesome experience that you’ll remember fondly for years to come.