Journal: The 10 Commandments of Project Cars

The 10 Commandments of Project Cars

By Aaron Miller
December 2, 2015

There is no more noble effort for the lifelong petrolhead than committing to a project car. They need love and attention, blood, sweat, and tears. They need a keen eye for detail, an appreciation of history, and at least some technical knowledge. Not least, they need your paycheck. There are some things that you simply do not do when taking on a project car. 

These are the 10 Commandments of Project Cars.

1. Thou shalt place no other cars before thy project  

Your project car is to be driven. Unless it’s a full-on race car or a concours-level restoration, you simply do not disrespect it by throwing it on a trailer.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thy car any false livery

False idol worship is an inappropriate use of the classics. While a true homage to iconic liveries is always welcome (see: Gulf Oil on a Porsche, Martini on a Lancia), the Jagermeister livery on a Mustang, Momo on a BMW, or Marlborough on a Jaguar are crimes against motorsport heritage that can’t be unseen.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy car god in vain 

The car gods will become angered if they see Cobra, M3, and GT-R emblems on those nameplates over which they reign.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

Weekends are for driving. Tastefully, of course.

5. Honor thy mother and father

All aspects of your car’s heritage are precious, from classic liveries, to the layout of the engine, to the lines of the fenders. If you must modify for performance reasons, be sure to respect your elders.

6. Thou shalt not kill

Know your limits, and don’t hit the wall. If you won’t rein yourself in for your own safety’s sake, do it for the car.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery 

A Porsche with a Chevy motor is regarded by some as a crime against nature. Some will take grave issue with this statement and call a V8 swap a time-honored tradition predating even the Carroll Shelbys and Briggs Cunninghams of the world. They’re wrong: it’s a sin. As Las Vegas proves, though, a little sin is necessary from time to time.

8. Thou shalt not keep track of thy budget

For thy project is as worthy as it is colossal. Rare is the project that comes in on budget without sacrificing quality. The best cars, those most worthy of your blood and sweat equity, cannot be confined by accountants.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness 

There is an incalculable difference between a carefully constructed replica, made using components as good or better than those to which they are paying tribute, and an otherwise mediocre Fiero topped by a hastily crafted plastic shell. A special circle of hell exists for anyone who would attempt to pass one car off as another.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s garage 

If your neighbor’s is nicer than yours, by all means, befriend him and drink his beer, then go one better. Sometimes sacrifices must be made, but forging your own garage mahal is an endeavor worth working towards.

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Dez MonJim LevittNick BiangelPablo RodríguezTakudzwa Munyaradzi Maramba Recent comment authors
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Dez Mon

Too good not to share!

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

#8 was mine. This truck got WAY out of hand!

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Nick Biangel
Nick Biangel

A very enjoyable read.

Pablo Rodríguez
Pablo Rodríguez

But don Enzo is wiser !

Takudzwa Munyaradzi Maramba
Takudzwa Munyaradzi Maramba

Sacrilegous though it may be; I’m calling BS on number 7. Long live the engine swap!

Pablo Rodríguez
Pablo Rodríguez

Dear Takudzwa: I believe that if You change the engine by another of the same brand and same model, your sin is minor, perhaps there is a place for You in the paradise, yet…

Sinan Aladdin
Sinan Aladdin


Srood Saleem
Srood Saleem



Forgive me oh great car gods for I have sinned! Have mercy on my valve springs, even if it should mean stripping me of my ratchet spanners!

Sergio Gianni Pineda
Sergio Gianni Pineda

Very creative. I had a good time reading this