When I first started building the 1981 Dodge Mirada I scored for $650 in the fall of 2009, I decided to keep a running total of the money I spent on the car. I didn’t have any reason to…I wasn’t working for BangShift, I wasn’t going to keep the Mirada long-term (in fact, the goal was to kill the car as violently as possible and move on when I dragged it home) but the car persisted, mainly because I was having too much fun with it. And up until the original 318 packed up and started turning into an oil pan full of metal chunks, I had sunk over three thousand dollars into the car. Some heavy cost items like a set of tires and a front-suspension build that was desperately needed took a heavy toll on that cost, while other fixes, like new seats to replaced collapsed ones, stereo work, and exhaust were extras. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate…exhaust work on that pile was desperately needed.
And since that car, I’ve found it a good plan to keep track of money spent on a beater build. It reminds you that no car is ever going to be cheap, but it also forces you to prioritize what’s important versus what’s not. Case in point: look at the Rough Start Mustang. I would like new door mirrors and some carpeting, but for now those costs don’t make sense. The money needs to be spent on hard-point items that are keeping the Mustang from moving on it’s own, like brake work, engine parts and the like. Keep it simple, right?
So, do you keep track of the money spent? Or is that the kind of thing that just makes you want to start slamming whiskey shots while shedding tears?