Have you always dreamed of owning a custom roadster, like an AC Cobra with upgrade parts? It might seem like an impossibility to afford a pricey muscle car like a Cobra on its own, let alone with upgrade parts. However, many car enthusiasts find an affordable solution by building their own road and track car with a replica car kit.
A replica car kit is not only a fraction of the cost of purchasing the real McCoy, it also gives you unlimited opportunity to easily upgrade parts. It’s unlikely that you’ll find an original AC Cobra with a touch screen GPS in it, however such upgrade parts are as simple as installing an iPad into the dashboard when you build your replica car yourself.
A lot of people never get to own their dream car, because building it seems too intimidating. It’s true, problems arise in the replica car building process (as they do when you buy an original, for that matter). However, with a little know-how, you can avoid the greatest pitfalls and have an car-building experience as smooth as your future car is going to drive. To help get you behind the wheel of the car of your dreams, we’ve put together a list of common mistakes to make sure you avoid while building your replica car kit:
Four Common Mistakes People Make When Building a Replica Car Kit
- Mistake: Assuming the car kit includes everything you need to get it on the road.
Even the most comprehensive car kits require you to add fluids. Some car kits require you to source certain parts yourself. Since you’re building a car that was designed to be driven decades ago, sourcing parts that are no longer manufactured can be challenging. Some parts have to be custom fabricated, which you can imagine, is pricey. Nothing is more frustrating then getting on a roll, and then realizing you’ll have to put the project on hold for several months while you figure out how and where to get ahold of a certain part. While researching a replica car kit to buy, make sure you know what is included, and what you need to provide yourself.
- Mistake: Skimping on the work space you build in.
Yes, your replica car might be a hobby and you might not have access to a professional shop to put it together in, but it doesn’t mean you can work anywhere. If you subject yourself to working in the dark and dingy deepest dank of the dusty garage, you aren’t going to want to work on it. Give yourself a comfortable place to work, so that you enjoy the journey as much as you’ll enjoy the final result. It doesn’t have to be outrageous: just spring for good lighting so you can see what you’re doing, air conditioning or heating so that you’re comfortable, and a sick playlist so you can jam out while you work.
- Mistake: Doing it all by yourself.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Even if you find solace in working alone, getting involved in the community of other car enthusiasts will make your process so much smoother and and the end result so much better. Participate in online forums. Join social media groups for people who are as excited about building cars as you are. Not only will the comradery help you stay on track, when a question or issue arises, you’ll have a team of experienced people who can help you sort it out.
- Mistake: Forgetting to record your process as you go.
Sometimes, when things are fitting like they should, the issue is forehead-slapping simple. The best way to pinpoint what you need to go back and fix is to keep good record of the process.
Keep a sharpie in your pocket; each time you twerk a nut or bolt, draw a little black dot on it. That way it’s easy to recognize what still needs a twist. Keep your smart phone handy, and snap a picture of your work at each step. That way you can go back and look at your work without having to tear it open.
Do you have any tips to offer people who are building their own replica car? Speak up in the comment section!