Project Grabbr is one of our in-house project cars. It’s a 2011 5.0 Mustang with a few goodies under the hood.
If you’re reading this particular article, we’ve probably peaked your curiosity. And if we have, then you’re probably familiar with the age old debate of whether it’s better (or less expensive) to build a car, than it is to buy an already built car. It’s a debate that’s as old as car modifying itself - and no matter who you ask, you’ll always get a different answer.
So which one really is better? To tell you the truth, we can’t answer that for you. No one really can because in the end, it’s your own personal preference. We can tell you however, that there is pros and cons to either one.
Building a car can be a very rewarding experience. There’s something to be said about putting your own sweat, blood, and tears into something you’re passionate about, and it shows in your work. The pros include gaining real world experience working on your own car is priceless. You’ll also have more control over what is changed and what is not, as it’s your own choice. And in the end when all is said and done, you won’t feel like you had to please anyone but yourself - no sponsors.
On the other end of the spectrum, the cons are that building a car takes a lot of time, patience, and effort to get it just right - especially if it’s your first build. It can be expensive, and there’s no peace of mind like having a warranty. If something breaks, you’ll need to learn how to fix it, or pay for it to get fixed. If on a budget, it may mean compromising on some things. It can also become expensive depending on your goals - and even more so if certain components aren’t available for your make and model.
Buying an already built car is a very popular (and sometimes cost efficient) alternative to building one. Companies like Shelby, Roush, and Saleen provide pre and post-title packages (and some OEM) which will take all the guess-work out of building a car.
One pro of buying an already built car is that they usually come standard with a factory warranty. Another pro is that these cars are usually either limited or collectible, which means they may retain or exceed their original purchase price. The cons of owning one of these vehicles, is that they sometimes demand a somewhat mechanically inclined or at least above average owner, due to the preventative maintenance required, or other special care the car could need. This rings especially true for aging high horsepower specialty cars. However, if you can’t perform the maintenance yourself, it’s recommended for it to be serviced at the dealer or a well known shop - which can be pricey. Another con is that replacement OEM parts aren’t always available - which leaves you with aftermarket as your only choice.
From our experience, we’ve always built project cars. However, we’ve also bought a previously built car, and never touched it. At the end of the day, it all boils down to preference.
We’d love to hear everyones feedback. Do you agree with our pros and cons, or did we miss an important point?