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I'm curious how those who are in the midst of long restorations keep themselves energized for the long and tedious task of restoring their Chevelles. I've been working on mine for 1 1/2 years and it sometimes gets pretty crazy. I'm spending about 3 times the $'s and time that I thought it would take. At times it seems like I find more wrong, than right on the car. Please share who or what helps keep you on track and what you are restoring. Mine is a 70 SS LS6 with build sheet.
 

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Since I am now nearing the end of a 4 year frame off resto on my 70, I guess the reason I keep motivated is whenever I start to get frustrated I can go down to Sonic on Friday night to the cruise in and see about 100 nice cars. Usually thats all it take to get back the drive to go to work. Also just seeing one on the road and knowing that mine will be as nice if not nicer that most of the ones I see around here is a good motivation to keep plugging away. Mat

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I know what you are asking. After several months of working on the mechanical and strippping down to bear metal and doing bodywork all in my spare time, I got real low. I know what my 1970 El Camino will look like when I am finished, but this was not enough at this time. I had not planned on this purchase at this time, but I went and bought my SST Cragar Mags and tires and put them on my truck. One look, and back to work I went.
 

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Steve; I was about to ask the same question. I think it would help if you're working on a '70 LS6 SS. I know what you mean about 3 times the $$ and time, and finding more wrong than right. It really helps if you see a car that is similar to what yours will look like when it's finished. Attending a Super Chevy Show, ACES, OR NCOA event sure gets me going. In the middle of winter, looking at a bare shell with mucho body work to go and $1000's yet to be spent before it can be painted is a real downer, especially if you're doing the bodywork and having trouble scraping up the $$ like me. One thing that keeps me going, or at least restarting, is the thought of those ads you see for partially restored projects with some parts that someone quit on. Also if you've had a car at shows or a cruise, and had people looking, complimenting, etc., you can imagine doing that with the project car.It helps to have a realistic timetable and not put too much pressure on yourself, I think, and do a little bit at a time. I think it will start to be fun once it's painted and the reassembly process begins. I know what you're going through- I'm there now. Hang in there. Maybe we can start a support group. Damn, this garage is cold! von
 

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What keeps me going is the fact that it's an escape from work! The car wouldn't be as far along as it is (notice that I didn't say it's done) if I had to live up to a deadline! If there was a deadline, I'd have given it up as hopeless!

Going to cruise nights have always been a kick in the rear!!

Wes.
 

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Going to car shows and for some strange reason, swap meets. Going to the car shows helps you visualize your goals. I can't say why swap meets get me pumped though. They just do. Maybe its the distraction. Sometimes, you do need to step back and take a deep breath. Treat the wife to dinner or take the kids fishing. Even though I enjoy my hobby, I've got to have a break every now and then.
 

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After doing so many of em(11) I have found 1 thing that keeps me from lettin someone else do em, Before I start one I make a picture on the computer of what the car is gunna be when its done, I take it down and get it enlarged so that when Im in the shop working on it I cant help but see it, it seems to help me go back to it, some times I have to walk away for sometimes as long as a week before I get reenergized, dont give up!!! It will all b worth it in the long run, the first time u fire it up, and the first time u roll into your local cruzin spot, mannnn wat a feelin , nutin in this world like it keep pluggin and keep your VISA and MASTER CARD handy
Good Luck, L89SEDAN
 

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I'm near the end of my build (interior next) and I agree, shows helped me keep going. Once you get far enough along to actually drive the car, it will help. I did all my
mechanical 1st so at least I could take the car out and smoke the tires once in a while.
Anyone on this site who has finished a car will tell you that you will always spend at least 3x more money that you have anticipated.
Geez, I actually gave up tobacco to put more money into my car! So now I'm a little healthier, but still broke. Don't give up on your dream...remember why you bought a Chevelle in the first place.

Brian
 

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This site is a big boost! Just knowing there are a ton of others who feel as I do about our cars has often brought me back on track.
I spent 8 months detailing everything forward of the windshield, and for most of that time all I had to show for it was an orange coating all over me from wire brushing rust.
The body still needs work and I'm probably looking at another $4-5000.00 for that, but, I can drive it now, and when I pop the hood, I still can't believe how fantastic it looks!
Keep on pluggin' and keep a vivid mental picture of you driving your finished car!
Rich
 

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I enjoy the whole process of restoration. This isn't a race. The fun isn't in the destination as much as the journey. If you can't see that, then it will be a frustrating restoration with missed or half-assed work. You guys and gals help me answer the ?'s I have in order to do it right. Thanks and Merry Christmas. Rich (the other one)
 

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Steve, it can be frustrating. Mine is at a standstill and will be for a couple of more weeks. But as mentioned earlier, its not the destination but the journey. Me and my ten thumbs will be back to the effort just because I can't wait to see the final product. If you get discouraged, look at someone elses finished project. That should fire you up! Happy Holidays,
kevin d
 

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My project took me three years, two years longer than I anticipated(and told my wife it would take) At times it seemed like I was getting nowhere and at times I made tremendous progress. It was a great learning experience and the end product was well worth the effort. Don't give up. Sometimes you have to just walk away for a few days to clear your head and then when you are ready jump back in. I did this when I hit a snag and came back with a new plan and greater resolve. It also helps to keep a Chevelle publication handy to remind you of what your car WILL look like when done. GOOD LUCK...................
 

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I agree with all the above. Anyone who has done this can sympathize with you. One thing that helped me was to plan small projects that you can complete along the way between the biggies. Like restore your dash or a console then put it away wrapped up.
Clean up your gas tank or repaint your front inner fender wells. Get a bumper chromed, etc. These little victories helped me along the way.
I agree with doing the mechanicals first, paint/body second then interior. Good luck on your project and don't give up. Just think how you would feel if you sold your project and then saw it at a cruise all finished.

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Wanting to drive it (legally) is what keeps me going.
Driving my Datsun around town and being "blown off" by a jap car - even if he is not trying - that's what does it !!! Back to work on the car.

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I too agree with all the above. When I had my '72 Camino, it didn't need near as much work as the '67 Chevelle I have now. But I got it done, did some local shows and stuff, and got hooked. The '67 came to me pretty much as a shell. Like everyone else, I started with the mechanical stuff, over a year ago. I take one step at a time. I'm just about to the point where I can fire it up, and I can't wait! I know that will renew my interest. Next comes the body...it's ugly, but at least I'll be able to drive it. And like someone else said, I picked out a set of wheels that are coming with Santa, then I'll get the tires. I know when I mount them after the holidays it'll look more like a real car...not just shelf space in the garage for everybody. Once I can start driving it, the local cruise nights and shows will keep me motivated. My wife heard it would probably only take a year too...looks more like three. But she looks forward to driving it too, so I have that support. I once went to a show where my Camino placed 2nd to a '68 Camino. The owner told me he bought the car and gave it, along with $20,000.00, to someone else to do. After learning that, I felt REALLY good about being able to say that I did it myself!!!
 

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I agree with rich above--for me, the hobby has to be about doing the work, not driving the car. I have a lot to learn about mechanical, body, interior, electical...you name it, so the 'learning' is a big reward for me. I wouln't learn squat if I had bought a restored Chevelle and started hotrodding around town. (Although I *am* looking forward to that.)

Also, I almost never think of my goal as "rebuilding my Chevelle;" my goal is always the thing I'm working on that week or month. That way, you "meet your goal" a bunch of times on the way to the big finish--and it's a great feeling every time you do it.

Finally, I agree with everyone who says car shows help motivate, but ironically, NEVER seeing any Chevelles around my town also reminds me of just what a bada** I'll be when I finally hit the road with my SS396.

Hang in there.

[This message has been edited by Tim_Mattson (edited 12-21-98).]

[This message has been edited by Tim_Mattson (edited 12-21-98).]
 

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I started the resto on my '69 chevelle in 1987 and have been working the hardest on it the last two years more than I did the rest of the years probably because the last two years that's all I hear my wife say is "YOU WILL NEVER FINISH THAT CAR BEFORE THE END OF THIS MILLENIUM!!!", so, I got to prove her wrong!. When I purchased my chevelle in 1985 it was in a head-on collision with another car, the trunk was rusted out above the body mounts behind the rear wheels making the frame crack on both sides, the interior was trashed, and the list goes on and on but after I finish each thing that was wrong, step back, drink a beer
and look at my chevelle, I know that I can finish this project that I started more than 11 years ago. You can see where I'm at now in my resto at my web site at www.p3media.com/69chevelle
Butt..., the last big job I finished was the frame back in April. It helps to take a long break once in awhile but not for too long.
Have a goal and stick to it.


[This message has been edited by David Host (edited 12-21-98).]

[This message has been edited by David Host (edited 12-21-98).]
 

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I think the thing is having support from your loved ones. My fiance didn't like my 72 when I brought it home. It was understandable. The car was four colors, rusted to bits and noisy as a 747. After much cleaning, new exhaust, a new motor and a shift kit, I managed to get her in the car for a ride. She loves those second gear scratches. I roped her into joining a local Chevelle club with me and the "bug" got her! Of course now the "discussions" are about what color to paint it, not when are we getting rid of it.

Good Luck!!

Later,
Rob
1BADS72
 

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I forgot to say this great site and the ACES club help keep me going. My wife ,friends, relatives, etc., all think I'm nuts. (I wonder too sometimes). I have to reasonbly keep up on my "Honey-do" projects to avoid the dirty looks and moods. von
 

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It's the heads that turn when you light off the LS7 in the supermarket parking lot. It's the strangers that approach you to talk about what you have done. It's the satisfaction having done something different. Mostly it's family support for what I like to do. When I say I can tone it down with different mufflers, the wife and daughter say no, I like it like it is. It's my daughter putting July 5, 1998 (the first time I started my LS7) as a significant day in a timeline of events in her life for a school assignment (She was chief starter). It's my wife saying I like to ride in Mr. Fahrenheit. It's knowing that when I get my other project, 72 SS Elky, completed everyone will be proud to ride with me and my wife and daughter will be proud to drive it. MikEC

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