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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess only being 16, and not having a job doesn't work when your destined to finish your GT. Ive had the car for about 1 1/2 years now, and was on a roll doing the body work and such, even got her painted..which that happened a good 6 months ago. Come to find out, after the stage of painting, alls that happens is more and more money go into it. Therefore, the GT with well over 3 Grand has sat in the driveway ever since it's came home from paint. Now, snow and ice covered, I wonder if it is going to get done, or just turn into the rust bucket I brought it home as. My parents are done putting money into it until I pay them back the 2000 I already owe them. There is so much I still have to buy and I doubt I'll ever be able too. New tires, carpet, headliner, all new lights and lenses, window seal and chrome trim, bumpers are all shot and need re-chroming, new exhaust system, still need mirrors, lots of Elbow grease to everything I didnt list.. no this isn't to get someone to buy one of the many items I'm trying to sell, just kind of my life right now. I have the ambition to get her done, and plenty of time, its just I didn't realize this isnt the project for someone that isnt even out of high school yet..
 

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don't give up....

Don't give up on it, it just takes time and alot of frustration. I've had my Gt about two years now, and still far away from completion. you probably won't get it done before high school, neither will I, but atleast you'll have something to do when your in college.
 

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Jon, Don't feel dismayed, or frustrated! That's part of the process, either from owning an Opel, just plain growing up, or both. Look at the work you've accomplished, granted more to do, folks to pay back, but when it's done, and with perseverance, it will be, you can look back and say, proudly, I did it. All of us, still, or have been there. Mine's 2 plus years in the works, Keith Wilford, has his GT hanging in his garage, and last time I checked with him, it has been over 10 years and counting. OpelDean, GreenSmurf20, Willy_g77, all the same. been there, done that, and many others on this list. Some just trying to get a set of wheels on the road, others going for total stock restoration, and some like me, modifying the living daylights out of a 30+ year old car to bring it back to life. It's never going to be an overnight project, not on our Opels or any car. It's just the thought or idea we can bring it back to life as good as or better than it was. Setbacks, problems, frustration, they are all there, but go away in a flash when something goes together right and looks good when you're done. Yes, it's gonna cost some bucks, probably a bunch, but not as much as a new car that was thrown together on an assembly line by folks that don't care. Yours will be put together with TLC and dedication, something that has no price tag. So hang in there and "Keep on Chooglin".
 

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FWIW, I started my first car project at the age of 12 and it wasn't road-worthy until I was 17. But, I saved my pennies and built and painted it all by myself. A true learning experience...(especially gas welding new rocker panels and floors made from scratch!). My total investment into that first car was $2100, the final components being the most costly...Revolution 4-spoke alloys at $140 a piece! (a lot of money for a 17 year old back in 1983). Needless to say, I was a heck of a lot prouder of my homebuilt car than the other kids with their mommy/daddy-sponsored cars!

This first car of mine was not an Opel, but I ended up buying my first Opel in January 1984. Had I let my initial frustrations get the best of me, I would have gotten completely out of Opels by June 1984.

Bob
 

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namba209 said:
... Keith Wilford, has his GT hanging in his garage, and last time I checked with him, it has been over 10 years and counting.
Well, more like 20 years and counting. Don't get discouraged. My first car was a '61 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, that I found sitting in a driveway on the way to high school. I was 16, and the car was "only" 13 years old at the time. I spent the next two years (grades 11 and 12) restoring in. Well, that might be using the word a bit loosely, as it was a fairly crude re-build. The only money I had came from a paper route, and then an office job with the newspaper. Amazing what you can do for not much dough, when you don't have any. Anyway, the Bugeye got another rebuild (this time with real steel panels instead of pop-riveted aluminum) right after high school, which then led to its sale and my first Opel GT. Since I was "flush" with cash, it happened faster (basically one year while I drove it). And as Ron has said, it was WAY neater than all those "daddy-bought" cars my friends drove.

Twenty five years later, I still have it, in the middle (I'd like to say "end") of a complete restoration. So far, you have gotten farther than I have on the body, which is the biggest job. Not necessarily the most expensive, as you are finding, but the biggest. Hopefully you can hang in there and not have to sell it or abandon it. In two years (or less), think how proud you will be to have that superb blue GT on your way to your Grad.

Good luck and keep the faith...
 

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My 69 GT was my first car when I was 14. It was 500 dollars. I had been given two very rough Vegas that I made into a drivable car and sold to have the money for it. The GT had impacted a bridge so it needed a bit of work. I got it on the road just before turning 16 and getting a liscense. I think working on older cars is a lesson in patience.

I'll take a look see for the bumpers I took off my car. They were good but I found a pristine set. when I find them you can have em.

Just keep the faith and it will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the courage and faith in me. I hope to own my own automotive buisness of some sort some day, and I figured restoring a car while I'm still young would help. I have noticed it takes a lot of frustration, time, and money...but I WILL stick to it! Once again, thanks all!

Jon Samuel
 

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i'm probably gonna end up in the same situation as you soon, i need to pay for the rest of my body work, gonna be about $200 or $300, buy new exhaust system and a whole brake system, redo all the wiring, and some other random parts, i have $500 now and i work now and then, my goal is to have it done before the snow starts to fall next year, so in just under a year, its doubtable but i think i can get it done as long as i can come up with enough money for it that i won't have to work full time in the summer. but if i can do it then i'm sure you can, what i would say is don't get things that you don't need to get it drivable yet, wait til the money shows up for it, at least thats what i'm gonna do, just don't give up on it and if your not going to work on it for the winter, at least do the poor thing a favour and throw a tarp on it
 

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well jon, you dont have to have the car absolutely completely finished to drive it, as a real car enthusiast is NEVER finished. you drove the car home, so you have the parts to make it driveable again. just clean and paint everything back up, tune it up, and just drive the thing. as more money comes along, get new door seals, get rear lenses, get some more lenses when more money rolls around. just drive while you restore, nothing wrong with that. my headliner has 2 holes in it, cheap carpet, holes in the back of the headrests, but i just drive it, keep it going well and mechanically sound, and cross off the cosmetics as soon as money permits. granted putting the car in paint is a good idea, a good rust free body is the base of all projects, dont knwo where i heard it, but even if you polish a turd, its still a turd.
 

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well i started my gt project my freshmen year of high school i purchased two gts, one jus around the corner the other i towed all the way down from sacremento in a weekend and i live in los angeles, i started taking apart my one gt that had a toast body learned how everything came apart and all then started on making the other one drivable, i started with a lill under 1500 and got my car running for that much by now it was my sophmore year i started doing all the mechanical like brakes clutch exhaust carpet ect, then by this time its already my junior year and im doing body work tons of it to make it perfect, i finish up making sure everythings right at the end of my junior year it finally gets sent to the paint shop, and by this time ive spent probally 5000 to 6000 thouasnd dollars, get it back from the paint shop slap all the stuff back on get my windows put in drive it the first day of summer school, u couldnt believe my friends looks they were like u finally got it done its only been three years, know into my senior year my car my not be one of the most expensive in the parking lot but it shure as hell is talked about more then any other car in the parking lot and every one knows the car, it may have taking me three years of working about 16 hours or more a week on it and put almost every cent into it that i made but i finally got it there its still not done like they say theres always something else u can do. my word to u is stick with it and ull be glad u did when all the chicks want to ride in it. :)
 

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Important Message for Sparky73

Sparky73,
With this project, you are about to learn a very important life lesson. Unfortunately, you cannot learn it until after the car is complete.

Right now you have entered the doldrums portion of the project life cycle and while you will understand what I'm going to tell you, you will not experience or feel it yet. Just keep it in mind. And hopefully the older more experienced forum members here will validate and reinforce what I say here.

There's a big difference between Fun and Happiness. Fun is momentary. Happiness is lasting. Fun will be when you're pushing the car through some tight turns, running it up and down through the gears.

But Happiness is achieved through what you accomplish. When you have persevered through all the obstacles and frustrations, when you have overcome all of the problems (and tears) and have sitting in the garage a beautiful GT that cost you three stinkin' years of your life, and every damn dollar you've earned, you will experience happiness.

The sheer satisfaction you feel when you look at it and understand your non-monetary cost, will make you happy. And that happiness stays with you for a long time. It adds to your appreciation of life. It adds to your contentment with yourself, and with your life environment.

The harder the task; the more difficult the task; the tougher the task; the more satisfied you will be, and hence, the more happiness you will derive from overcoming it and accomplishing something profound. And the task you have tackled is one tough muther, especially for a young guy in high school without a job. As you've surmised by now, fun can be cheap, but happiness costs you an arm and a leg.

But don't think there isn't a place for fun. It's a celebration of life; something vital to us and our sanity. We need it.

Just remember, all difficult tasks/projects have a life cycle, and the doldrums are a part of that cycle. When you enter the next cycle, things will flow and come together. It always happens, but there are no shortcuts.

The beauty of working on our Opels comes from the process, and the effect it has on us. And, of course, there's that whole thing about meeting really great people too, which is why we chose Opels and not BMWs.

This explains why your classmate's folks giving them a new car is so much different than you building your own. The new car given to them provides only fun. It has less value.

Make yourself happy,
Keith
 

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ya, don't feel discouraged or alone Sparky. I got my 1st GT, JUST after I graduated HS in 88'. I've been working on it ever since.

Don't rush to get it done all at once. Do it in small steps. Enjoy it as you go. With no money, I would suggest you focus your attention on the ENGINE. At least then, you can drive it. Then on the weekends, put a little money into it here and there and work on the body or interior. But at least you'll be able to drive it. No point in taking the car down to where it's not drivable crossed with the fact that you have little or no money. You'll just torture yourself. I learned that much too late.

I'm older, wiser, patient and most important: have more money. I don't mind throwing a little more money at it and getting it done right.

Unfortuantly, very few of us were young AND rich.

Keep the projects small on your Opel, Don't expect to get it done in a year.

www.opelgtmotorsport.com My car (project one, under PROJECTS) on this website started in January of 2000. And it's STILL no completly painted, let alone done. The fun part is getting there.... ;)
 

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I'm going to keep my advice short because a lot of the other members have a lot more experience than I.

Take a seat in front of your computer, create a new spreadsheet in Excel (or an equivalent thereof), and enter each item that you need to complete your project. Be sure and enter each individual item on seperate rows. Really brainstorm anything that you can think of, wants, needs or otherwise, enter it in. Don't be afraid to include some things that are not in the current scope of your project, like 15 inch rims or roller rockers. If you have time, it is helpful to enter approximate costs in the adjacent field.

Now find the single most important item that you need, cut that row and insert it at the top. Then find the next most important item, cut and insert in the second row, and so on. When you are done, you will have an organized list of everything that you want and need, prioritized with some dollar amounts. I would place priority on items that you need to make the car safe, then driveable, then comfortable, then pretty. That way you can start to drive it while you save money for chrome stuff.
 
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