Most of us have had a project car - or two - on the go at some point, and know that things don't always go to plan. Or budget. But, as these photos show from our Facebook readers, it is possible to snap up a bargain classic as a good start, and then with a lot of elbow grease and patience, begin the rewarding journey of building what could still be an affordable project car.
Check out these inspiring budget builds and rescue projects sent to us from the Street Machine Facebook page...
Mark Arnold $550 Gumtree special. 1966 Datsun 520 (1300), now with a highly modified chassis, 4-link rear end and bagged all round.
Paul Oloughlin Paid $900 for this old girl. Had to tidy up a good few things but she's a real head-turner now.
John Brandt $17,000 - and trust me, for a Charger, that's a "budget buy". I plan on spending maybe two or three grand to get it back on the road. I've already got a rebuilt Hemi and lots of new mechanical bits, so it's just fix the bodgy rust repairs (with my own, slightly better quality bodgy repairs, LOL) and repaint it. This is the progress so far...slowly working my way back to the front, one panel at a time. The colour is "Green Go", not many in that colour apparently. They repainted under the bonnet when the previous owner put the new motor in. It's BRIGHT green.
Brian Luckraft From this...to this
Jay Guitars Johnston This was rescued 22 years ago, it's still going. W2s/410/5600rpm stall, 4:10 Dana60, and a few other things.
Mark Standen 'Rescued' from a shed last year. Driving it as is for the foreseeable future, it's more fun than I expected. I did Coffee and Cars the weekend after we dragged it out of the shed. No-one wanted to park next to us.
Jon Gercama This is my 1972 Pontiac LeMans Wagon with T-41 Endura front end. I bought it 5 years ago out of Utah and shipped her to Perth. One of around 200 built that year, due to union strikes. She had quite a bit of rust but not in the floor or frames. The Engine was a 455. I replaced the rear guard lips and rusty bonnet, and rebuilt a 455 4-bolt to HO specs. This is as she is today (top).
Jamie Miles The $1800 charger. Well on its way, Rod Shop IFS and plenty of new parts in the shed but plenty to do still!
Enoch Bailey Bought for $1800 in high school, looks the same now but has a bit more going on under the bonnet.
Travis Walls Chrysler by Chrysler in 2014 (bottom) and 2017 (top)
Rob Easton Bought from Simon's Wreckers/Clontaft as a non-rolling shell for $200. Rebuilt with a written-off VE sedan I had.
Mark Julie Smith $4500 on ebay maybe six or seven years ago. It spent a year or so in my shed.
Martin Stanton $3k barn-find. Not many VC Dodge utes left but this is getting many mods. V8, R&P steering, big brakes, aircon, etc.
Ryan Banks About to resume the resto on this girl. It has been neglected for the last year due to work and family.
Simon Templar Started as a $499 rooted shell.
Jared Brindley Around $2k for this resto, all done in the garage over 3 months.
Jayson Mckay Paid $500 for a rolling body in '97. Painted 2001.
Mike Jebb From this (bottom), to this (top).
Clint Blackmore Pulled this out of a paddock for $700. Wish I had before photos.
Jack Beckman Datsun 1600 barn-find. It's gonna look great when done up.
Josh Kelly This was hanging from the rafters from the garage as a bare shell for 15 years before I bought it and it was a survivor of the Christchurch earthquakes. Not finished yet but it now has a 150hp supercharged 1275, full adjustable suspension and Cooper disc brakes.
Jim Beinke My XC wagon. It was the definition of rotted out when I bought it. I've done everything myself apart from the motor rebuild. Still not bad for $2k. I couldnt part with the crossflow. It's been well used over the 40-odd years, so I thought it would be a shame to replace it with a V8.
Peter Clark '79 CM. Painted bones and the roof, fixed rust around the front window and tailgate. It was quite tidy when I bought it so it was just mainly tidying the old girl up a bit and putting our own touches to her.
Chris Pearson Picked up this VK Dodge ute for $1500. A mate is doing the panel work for me and I'm doing the mechanical work. I'm hoping in a few years time I have enough coin to donk a blown big-block Hemi in her and keep the stock appearance.
Adrian Fogarty 2.5 years and still working on the trusty old $200 XF sedan. Just got headlights all rebuilt this weekend and this coming weekend I'm hoping to have all new seats in. It drives like a dream. Rusted out like she lived on the beach, I'm the third owner since new and I have full complete mechanical history and original sales receipt in the log books. She cost $14,999 back in 1987 with the optional Cheviot Quatro 14" mags pictured.
Colin Paynter Cost me $15,000 to get RogueRunner fixed after he was buggered by another mob. They left him sitting outside near the sea for 14 months and he rusted up badly.
Russell Hulm Paid $2k at the local wreckers in '02 for this , spent the best part of 10 years to get it to this stage.
Lee Hill Three-year backyard build that didn't leave the shed from the day it was pulled apart to the day it was finished.
Shane McCasker Four years and counting. Hopefully not long now to get this old girl back on the road.
Adrien Lskilr Just purchased a genuine '71 Mach 1 500hp 351 and right-hand-drive. Been in storage since 1997 and ready for a resto.
Richard Rattenbury My VF '69 2-door. It sat at Canberra wrecking yard for a good 20-odd years. I'll post up where its at after 6 months and about $500 spent.
Matt Stuart Before (bottom) and after (top).
Matt Poyzer Found last year, left for the panel beaters yesterday.
Danny Huther 1962 V8 Studebaker Lark. Saved from shed for $1800!
Chris Spiers Six years on and still going!
Brad Donaldson From this, to this for around $2500.
Lewis Rogan UK XA Fairmont wagon, under full restoration. Found here rusted out.
Craig Whitby 25 years in a barn. Wash and polish only.
Nigel Sutherland And built it for less than most want for a rusted out import project.
Jamie Swampy Marshall My '64 Bel Air. A long way to go yet.
Glenn Ponting Before & after.
Jarrod Henderson $500 Mini + 15 years + more money than I'd admit to spending.
John Smith 10 years in a paddock. Paid $700.
Scott Davis Paid $600 from Bendigo. Lots of rust cut out, not far to go for paint now.
Scott Schwerin Paid $200 for it in 2014.
Adam Kennedy $1800 back in 2002.
David Virtue From this (bottom) to this (top).
Clinton Blaess $2000 XP, before (bottom) and getting there (top).
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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