Certainly, every project should have a plan and a goal, I can’t supply a date that I will be finished, I am not sure you are ever totally finished but there are certain things I would like to see done before I take a break from this project.
One thing to remember this isn’t just another project, this is “the” project for me, I have other things I would like to do someday but this takes priority, it isn’t just one of many. The other thing when/if you follow this project along keep in mind, I have never done anything to this scope, I am going to make bonehead mistakes along the way but I am not going to let my lack of experience stop me from going out in the shed and trying it.
Also even though I have been collecting parts for years I never really had a concrete plan that never changed but certain things began to become the theme of this build, they are;
#1 Building on a budget, that doesn’t mean I go the cheapest route, I want something I enjoy, but through the years things like car magazines have become little more than big advertisements for a few very expensive companies, many websites, and media on the web have followed this model as well, I get tired of hearing “This is the best” because I have been paid to tell you that, I want to build it myself from old scrap stuff and be just as nice or nicer than the high dollar items out there, I am just a regular guy I can’t plunk down $10,000+ for a new crate motor, I can afford maybe $100 from the junkyard and then put a little effort in to make a nice motor.
#2 What I call “ANTI-TECHNOLOGY”, I want a car to drive not one that I ride around in with little driver input, don’t misunderstand me, modern cars are nice transportation but my car is not just about getting from point A to point B but having some fun getting there. While I am not a purist on this idea, I want as many mechanical items on the car as I can, I want to crank my window down and up, I want to shift the gears, I want to feel the road. Understand I am building a ’60s car, almost, I have added a few things like air ride because I wanted too, I liked the concept, but my air ride is totally manual with paddle valves, there are only two electric and automated components in the whole system, the compressor and what I call my lazy man tank drain (more on that later), I am not going overboard, I want electric windshield wipers and a starter, etc. But that is a general idea, except for a few things I want it to look like it could have been built in the early 70s (if you could get stuff like a T-5 etc.).
#3 Always an inline 6, I am not anti V8 (I like them fine) but this car is a six and always has been. I will tell you building a performance I6 is far from a budget item, a small block Ford would have been cheaper and easier to build, it would have fit under the hood better but it is not what I wanted and that is the real point of this build, doing it the way I want. On that same thought, the motor I chose was the 250, the largest of the small block I6 motors and probably the rarest, almost no specific parts are made for it and if they are they have a premium price, by far the most expensive part of the car is the motor, and isn’t that the way it should be?
#4 The car is meant to be driven not towed around on a trailer so the parts most venerable to failure would need to be “off the shelf” from any parts store, things like starters, alternators and ignition modules, etc. I did not follow this 100% but I tried as much as I could.
Phase 1, Phase 2 . . .
My goal is to build in at least two phases, I am currently working on phase 1 which has a goal of making the Comet mechanically roadworthy, basically a running driving car to give me an opportunity to work through the inevitable bugs, certain thing planned will not be installed until phase 2
Phase 2 will be mostly cosmetic, finishing the interior and painting the car. In addition I will be adding the one “luxury” feature of the car, air conditioning. The plan is to actually add the in-dash air like Classic-air or Vintage-air so until I add it the Comet won’t have a heater and all things associated with that so there can’t be too long of period between the end of phase 1 and the beginning of phase 2 at least as far as the AC install goes.
I may have more phases to follow but right now I don’t foresee that unless there is something I don’t like about how it drives or looks after the first two phases are complete.