Assembling your own car is a possible, yet daunting, undertaking. Vern Hance began working on cars when he was young and had the training of a mechanical engineer, plus the other members of the club, to help him through the builds. Steve Graber, who started a kit car company himself based on his La Bala in 2007, often brings in help from outside experts when faced with a particularly knotty problem.
Here's some advice from those experts on getting through your own car build:
Hance: "You should start with a good self-assessment of your skills, and start a project that you think you can finish. Today, they have kits geared for most levels. This is not something to do lightly; you need real stick-to-it-ness."
Graber: "If you're willing to make the sacrifices you can build your own car, but most people have families, too, and that should be balanced out. Every problem can be solved with a little time and thought, but don't count the hours it takes."
And the reward for what amounts to literally years of effort? "Man, I just grin from ear to ear every time I drive this car," Graber said. "It's a great feeling." Hance said he has a similar feeling. "We have a 'coming out' event every year at the club," he said. "All the members who finished their cars come out and show them, and I know that feeling. You did it yourself and you just can't help smiling and showing off."
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