10 Great Projects to Keep You Busy This Winter

The crisp fall air means different things to different people. To some, it’s a sign that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has made its return to your local Starbucks, to others it’s time to start sourcing your winter project. While the actual process of chasing down your project is part of the fun, we went over to our friends at Bring a Trailer and picked out some jumping off points for your winter vacation in the garage.

Bring a Trailer is also owned by Autoweek’s parent company, Hearst Autos.

The third-generation Nissan Sentra SE-R is a relatively low priced entry point into the growing boom of ‘90s sport compacts. It might not be as interesting as Nissan’s Skyline GT-R or 300 ZX Twin Turbo coupes, but it also doesn’t command the same lofty price tags as Nissan’s flagship sports cars either. Powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 that’s controlled by a five-speed manual transaxle, there’s a lot of room to enjoy pushing a relatively slow car to its limits. Adding to the mix is the parts availability of this generation of Nissan Sentra is easy. Nissan effectively made this generation of Sentra for 25 years for different markets around the world and it finally ended production in 2017

This low-milage example of an MR2 is almost a worst-case scenario for a true collector. While it’s a sound, unmolested example of a late 1980s MR2, it’s penalized for its automatic transmission. It’s also one of the less desirable, naturally aspirated versions of Toyota’s mid-engine sports car. Of course, that is good news for someone looking for an easy winter project that will turn into a fun spring cruiser.

Do you like luxury? Well, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than a vintage Rolls-Royce. Fortunately for you, there are a ton of affordable vintage examples from Rolls-Royce that won’t send your financial advisor into a laughing fit. This 1967 Silver Shadow could be an excellent place to start your journey down the Rolls-Royce ownership path. This looks to be a fairly well maintained vintage Rolls. However, it could use some TLC over the winter to freshen it up. Of course, don’t be shocked when you have to pay the Rolls-Royce tax for replacement parts.

Not feeling like paying the premium for Rolls-Royce Restoration parts? Well, here’s the polar opposite: a Volkswagen Beetle. This is also a reasonable entry point into the collector car hobby and you won’t have to cringe every time you need to buy some replacement parts. Sure, these 1970s Super Beetles aren’t as desirable as earlier models, but that only means you’re getting a fair deal on a nice car. This Beetle seems like it’s been loved for a lot of its life and doesn’t show any major damage. However, it does show some problem areas that could be remedied by twisting wrenches during a long winter in the garage.

Okay, this is just different enough to thoroughly enjoy. This 1988 Lincoln Town car obviously doesn’t look like a normal Town Car. It doesn’t even look like you standard, stretched limousine. It’s actually an open-air limo, and it could be the ultimate party car. It might never be worth a ton of money, but it could be a fun way to shuttle you and your friends around next summer. Oh yeah, it will also bring some good bonding time with your friends this winter when you tackle some of its problem areas. Finding another one of these open-air limos might be challenge, but you didn’t know that you wanted one until you saw this.

Say it with me: “Yee-Haw!” This 1985 Chevrolet K5 Blazer is a prime example of a fun, lifted off-roader. It might be too much for most, which makes a K5 Blazer like this a perfect candidate to tackle over the winter. Maybe returning it stock, or lowering it to a more drive-thru or highway-overpass friendly stance would make for a more user-friendly rig. Of course, you can always take this truck to the next level by continuing its path down Monster Truck boulevard.

This might not be the best example of Autozam’s wacky sports car, but that only makes it a better project. This car has been modified slightly, and also refinished, which dings its collector value. Again, that makes it much more buyer friendly and a better candidate to enjoy regularly. Also, the modifications look like they are simple enough to return to stock, if that’s the path you want to take.

The Mazda RX-7 is one of the most beloved Japanese cars of the 1990s. The FD and FC series of shining crowns in tuner culture and are among two of the coolest sports cars to ever leave any factory. Now, the earlier RX-7 models don’t get this same love. That makes these rotary-powered sports coupes a general bargain and a great way to learn to trials and tribulations of a Wankel engine. This particular example seems like a genuinely sound car and the only real winter maintenance it would need is a good once over, which every new car owner should do regardless.

Okay, this might be an aspirational project, but it could use some love. This 1973 BMW 3.0CS is a single owner car and shows years of loving use and could make for an interesting winter project. This BMW would be great for someone who wants to venture into the world of sympathetic restoration or preservation. It might not be the best candidate for someone wanting a nut and bolt accurate restoration, but anything is possible if you have enough money!

Finally a listing with “project” in the title! This 1966 Mercedes-Benz might not be the most loved ‘60s ‘Benz, but this could be a good starting point for someone that wants to venture into a more serious restoration project. It seems like this is a relatively sound example of a ‘60s Benz and doesn’t show any serious points of body rot. Like the Rolls-Royce earlier in this list, this is not a project for the light of pocketbook.


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