What Was Your Worst Project Car Roadblock?

Hard-to-find parts? No spark and way too much fuel? Let’s talk about it.

byCaleb Jacobs|
QOTD photo


Project cars are never straightforward. Parts break, sometimes far from home, and you can be left tracing the problem for months or even years in some sad, sad cases. Ask me how I know. Factor in that not every NAPA store carries the whatchamacallit for your 55-year-old ride and you're stuck sourcing it the old way, often dealing with folks who don't care to learn how the internet works. That's what I'd call a project car roadblock.

I've written pretty extensively about my own, and I want to know—what's the worst one you've ever faced?

My 1966 Ford F600 dump truck that is, sometimes, broken., Caleb Jacobs

Since I'm craftily plugging my misfortune with links throughout this blog, I asked a few of my coworkers about their own. My Lemons-loving friend and writer James Gilboy told me about his race team's Toyota MR2, which is in the shop as we speak and has been for "like five months already." They put their heads together on an engine rebuild and, for whatever reason, the thing just won't start. After six hours of trying to solve a supposed spark problem, they narrowed it down to the fuel but haven't had any luck yet. That's tough!

Meanwhile, my buddy Tony Markovich—who helps run The Drive's Guides and Gear operation—has a 1970 Opel GT to tinker with. He bought it off Craigslist (remember Craigslist?) for $1,200 and had a heck of a time removing the front suspension. Apparently, after-the-fact, he and his dad found out that they were supposed to decompress the leaf spring while it was still on the car. They were able to rig up a "device," as he put it, using long bolts, nuts, and some rails to press it down and take everything apart. That's ingenuity.

Tony's 1970 Opel GT, Tony Markovich

Finally, our Editorial Director and known BMW lover/hater Patrick George recalls his E23 7 Series. It was infamously unreliable and even got kicked out of the Battery Tunnel for being exactly what we're talking about here—a roadblock. There's no specific problem to highlight, but let me tell you—his initials may be "PG" but the words he used to describe that car were not.

Now that you know our struggles, why don't you go ahead and vent in the comments? I'll be there, some of my pals will be there. It'll be fun. We'll do it live.