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Young enthuist looking for London - Brighton Project-can anyone help?

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Hi there

I am 29 years old and have a Ford Model T but am now looking for a long term project and would like a L - B eligable project...but of course my budget is not $250,000 - can anyone help? Does anyone know of a project car for sale? Not to worried about make but would prefer either semi complete or a make that parts are still obtianable for.

Thanks in advance


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  • 1 month later...

I think the first thing is to determine what your budget is.

Then you need to determine how much work you can do yourself. Can you rebuild an engine? Do wood work? Do paint, upholstery? etc.

Then to realize that buying a fully restored car is usually cheaper than buying a project car. The one advantage of a project is for a guy like you, or anyone who is young enough to be entering a period of increasing income over the next so-many years --- you can't afford a fully restored car now but you will be able to pick away at a project as you accumulate more disposable income. Old cars are a great way to dispose of income.

Then deciding on what is a good car for the period you are interested. I cannot speak with authority on Brighton-eligible cars but in general if you pick up a copy of the HCCA roster of members and cars, look to see which cars appear today in the highest number. That's usually an indication that there were alot produced, and hence good parts availability, plus these cars were statistically durable enough to still exist 100 years later. Cadillac is probably one of the best early cars due to the remarkable talents of Henry Leland. Oldsmobiles seem to be plentiful but they weren't considered a high quailty car relative to other makes. I know a bit about Franklins, and although they were somewhat odd, they seem to be good quality. I can't speak about early Fords. Henry was continually experimenting until he "got it right" with the Model T. The early models might be questionable. But then again you aren't going to drive it from San Francisco to New York on dirt roads.

I think if it were me, I'd look for a Cadillac. Good support networks and a high quality car. But I'm certain others would have their votes, too. (I'm just a big fan of Henry Leland. )

But the biggest problem is that these early cars are very expensive. I wonder if $50,000 would even get you a running, driving car anymore? That and the fact that you are 29 and like real antique cars is a subject for an entirely new thread.

I'm sure we all would be interested to hear the play-by-play of your search --- what you are looking at, what you finally get. I am thrilled that a guy of your age is into early cars. I teach at a small college and not many of my students have any interest in old cars anymore.

If nothing else, shopping is fun and free, but finally bringing one home is one of life's greatest excitements. Don't be a perfectionist always waiting for the "perfect" car to come along. Just buy something and start playing with it. Remember that these things always have some residual value, so you aren't out your entire investment if you need to sell someday. And you might even make a profit toward your next car.

Good luck. Oh, and how about posting a photo of your Model T? ---- Scott

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Hi there Scott

Will have to see if I can dig out a pic of the T

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply... Interesting you say Cadillac as that is my second preference I really like the L - B My first but most likely unachievable choice would be a Model A though to C ford. Model A Ford and Cadillac are very similar in many ways.

Budget-Id rather not go into the but definitely not $50,000-a long way less than that. ut yes you are right old cars take alot of money but so long as one isn't silly with their money they hold what you put into them-well I hope so!

Just seems early cars are SO hard to come by now at a everyday persons budget

I could do woodwork, paint, basic upholstery only and would be able to work through the engine with technical guides and my father and uncles help.

Anyways thanks for replying and we will see where this journey goes. If anywhere

Kind regards

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The Brighton event has such cache that pre-1905 cars of any make have a "Brighton Premium" tacked on to their value, even if the buyer never goes there. It's simply supply and demand. The good news is these oldies are being preserved; the bad news is neither of us may ever find one... but you never know!


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You seem the perfect candidate for a 1 or 2 cylinder REO. Take a look at the 1 & 2 cylinder REO group at EarlyREO@yahoogroups.com. They are affiliated with the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA).

This is a wonderful support group for early REOs. The people I have met there are actually nice and willing to share their knowledge, something you just don't see amongst the pre-WWI crowd.

Another recommendation. You absolutely must go to the Chickasha, OK swap meet May 6-8, 2010. Best brass meet in the world. Be there early the first day or don't bother going at all.

Take money and be prepared to listen to the most information (and BS) about brass cars you'll ever get.

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