Jim’s Blog: What’s Your Winter Project?

It’s easy to imagine a car person sitting wistfully by the window, watching rain or snow falling from the sky and dreaming of sunny two-lane roads. But we all know that’s not exactly how it goes.


No, car people in the colder parts of the U.S. use winter to their advantage. This is when we can finally take care of that bodywork without missing out on sunny weekends. This is when we can get our hands dirty with a motor rebuild, or a long-term polish and clean-up of our car’s paint. Part of the fun of old cars is getting involved in the tasks they require, and there’s no better time to take on a little longer project than when you don’t really want to be out driving in the first place. And hey, it’s better than putting a car cover over your classic and pining for spring by the window.


My winter project is a new small-block Chevy engine, which I’ll eventually put in my truck. Now I’m getting into what parts I’m going to hang on it. Vortec heads? Flat-top pistons? 400 crank and rods? The possibilities are endless — at least until my wife (and the keeper of my budget) stops me. 


I might also take some time and re-do the weatherstripping in my ’66 Caprice. Last month I drove it on the highway to World of Speed for a how-to photoshoot, and things were pretty drafty. I’m also thinking hard about some different wheels and tires for it, and maybe a little lower stance up front. And when I’m not doing all that in my own garage, I’ll probably be over at my dad’s house, helping him prep his ’68 Camaro for paint, and firing the 427 we built for it back in 2006 for the first time.


What’s on your old car to-do list while the weather is awful? Share it with us in the comments below.