TAKING ON A ‘PROJECT’  during Lockdown

April 21st, 2020

In a changing world where some people need access to ready cash and others have more spare time than they can use, automotive ‘projects’ have been appearing for sale literally everywhere and selling well.

Buying one of these sight unseen can be a risky endeavour, so do confine your choices if possible, to local vehicles or where someone trusted can physically inspect it.

If the car is in another State or a town far away, that person will need to also arrange retrieval and transport and that can be difficult. Non-running vehicles can’t be driven onto conventional car-carriers so a flat-bed truck or back-load on an empty semi-trailer with loading and unloading by crane may be the only way.

Co-operation from the family/partner/housemates/landlord is worth securing before even looking at a project. Also have somewhere out of sight to store it because a half-built wreck dumped on the front lawn will rarely be welcomed by anybody.

The hardest task when buying a project is to be sure that all the parts you need to put the vehicle back together are included. If everything that’s been taken off is neatly arranged in boxes, then you’ve got some hope, but a pile of parts haphazardly stacked inside is a massive risk so adjust the amount you pay accordingly.

Once your new purchase arrives comes the tedious but fascinating task of identifying what is missing. Think 1000-piece jigsaw with 20 missing bits.

Having laid out all the parts you do have, examining each one to see if it can be salvaged and identifying what’s not there, comes the time-consuming task of finding replacements. Even if you are suffering lack of funds at present, try to afford enough new parts to at least make a start.

Remember that anything you discard as worthless must be replaced from somewhere. If a body panel needs to be reproduced by a metal fabricator or a plastic part by someone with a 3D printer then having the beyond-repair piece as a pattern will save considerable time.

Ripping the paint and most of the panels off a vehicle before you are really ready to begin can create more problems.  Restorations that involve removing the suspension and sub-frames then slinging the body-shell onto a rotating frame will work only if you are assured your workspace is secure and remain that way for several years. Needing to move and moving a vehicle with no wheels is no fun and expensive.

Think too when restoring at home about dust, noise and neighbour complaints. You might be laid off with nothing else to do but the police officer who lives over the back fence and is trying to sleep during the day could have something to say about the noise of your air-compressor and angle grinder.

All vehicles, even those which are Laid Up and undergoing restoration, need to be insured. Cover taken out via Enthusiast Insurance applies when the vehicle is at your home or premises, when it is being transported and at a repairer’s workshop.

To organise Laid Up cover through Enthusiast, visit the website www.enthusiast.com.au for a Quick Quote. From there cover can usually be immediately commenced and arrangements made for convenient monthly payments. If you are adding it to your existing Enthusiast policy, use the 1800 numbers to contact a member of Enthusiast’s Customer Service staff.

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