Looking to pick up a fun project car? Carsforsale.com is bringing you a different list of great project cars for sale every month!

Great Picks for Your Next Project Car

Man standing next to his project car

Are you looking to pick up a project car? Carsforsale.com has plenty of great project cars for sale whether it’s your first one or another addition to your collection. We’ve got everything from modern tuners all the way back to some hard-hitting classics listed for sale on our site, so we’ve got a ride waiting for you whatever your car taste may be.

Now, not all of these cars are going to driving straight from the lot, it is a project after all. However, most of these choices are here because we found that they’re great starting points for a project car, are a bargain, have a lot of potential, have some form of notoriety, or all of the above. Be sure to check back monthly as we continually update our Project Cars for Sale list with additional great finds!

1991 Toyota MR2

1991 Toyota MR2 - carsforsale.com

Somebody save this Toyota MR2. This Japanese, mid-engined sports car looks to have been left to sit somewhere after having gone 160,038 miles, but it’s still running with a clean vehicle history report and comes with some aftermarket goodies. The MR2 is in need of a deep clean, some maintenance, and a little body work on the right rear quarter panel, but it’s otherwise looking like a nice little car. The previous owner added a set of wide exhaust tips, black aftermarket wheels, what looks to be an NRG steering wheel, and a red Bride Low Max seat from what we can see. Judging from those additions, we’d wager there are some other aftermarket bits bolted on to that 2.2L inline-4 engine. Whoever picks up this MR2 for $8,500 has a decent starting point for a fun project car.

1991 Dodge RAM 250

1991 Dodge RAM 250 - carsforsale.com

Enjoy classic Dodge trucks? This 1991 Dodge RAM 250 may be just the pick for you for only $7,000. It’s a regular cab with four-wheel-drive being powered by a 5.9L V8 gas engine. For being over 30 years old, this old truck doesn’t show much (if any) rust on the exterior, so less of a worry in that department. The interior looks pretty decent too and features a clean cloth upholstery for the bench seat. If you’re looking at this truck wondering how this could be considered a project with it being in such good condition, the answer is maintaining or modifications. You can keep this old beauty running with consistent upkeep and maintenance so that it looks this nice for years to come, but you can also customize it to your heart’s content. Slap some big wheels on there, upgrade the suspension, and throw on any other fun additions you may like to craft your very own retro rock crawler or mudder.

1989 Isuzu Trooper II

1989 Isuzu Trooper II - carsforsale.com

We haven’t received new Isuzu vehicles in the States for a long while, so grabbing a vintage example is the next best thing. This 1989 Isuzu Trooper II is looking for a new home after having traveled for over 300,000 miles. For having driven that far after such a long time, it’s surprising how immaculate the exterior looks on this SUV. The outwards appearance is rounded out by those giant, knobby tires it has installed. Couple those things with the 4WD and you’ve got yourself a fun little excursion vehicle. Inside, the seating, dashboard, and door cards all look fine, but it looks to be missing its carpet. Should be an easy enough fix to complete the interior, then the only really worry is the 2.5L inline-4 powering this thing. Isuzu engines can go for a while with a good about of maintenance, but 300,000 miles is pushing it. This Tropper II is ripe for an engine swap and then it’ll be a fun little obscurity out on the trails, especially with it coming in at a price of only $5,995.

1984 Volkswagen Doka Pickup

1984 Volkswagen Doka Pickup - carsforsale.com

Volkswagen Vanagons are pretty trendy with those outdoor “vanlife” influencers. Seperate yourself from the pack by picking up this 1984 Volkswagen Doka Pickup. The Doka (short for DoppelKabine which is German for double cab) is built from the same platform as the Vanagon but forgos the van design in favor of a convertible bed design. The bedsides can be latched up to keep stuff in place or flipped down to change into a flatbed. The Doka also benefits from a passthrough cargo opening below the bed. The other half of the vehicle features seating for four laid out in a similar fashion to your typical Vanagon. As for work on this Doka project pickup, the dealer states that it has a running diesel engine is from Volkswagen, but will need a new bell housing. There is also going to be a lot of restoration on the patinaed exterior, a bit of work on the interior, and it’ll need some new tires to get rolling on the roads. Once everything is said and done though, this VW Doka will be an eyecatcher and the envy of all those influencers.

1979 Jeep CJ-5

1979 Jeep CJ-5 - carsforsale.com

Old Jeeps can make for great projects since there is such a large community backing it and an abundance of aftermarket parts available. This ‘79 Jeep CJ-5 was recently saved from a storage yard after having been sitting for some years. It comes with a manual transmission paired to an AMC 304 CID V8. The dealer has already replaced the clutch, water pump, spark plugs, wires, and carburetor to get the CJ-5 drivable. There is still a lot of work to be done to get this old Jeep road ready and looking good, so jump at this $6,500 opportunity soon.

1963 Ford Falcon Convertible

1963 Ford Falcon - carsforsale.com

The Ford Falcon fell off in popularity once the Mustang took over, but it’s a fine car that can make for a great restoration project. This 1963 Ford Falcon convertible for example can be a great project car. The dealer states that the Falcon received 11-inch drilled rotors, power front disc brakes, replaced lines, new bearings, replaced seals, and installed 2-inch drop spindles. The 170 CID inline-six engine “purrs like a kitten” and looks pretty clean. All you’d really need to do to finish up this Ford Falcon is some exterior refinements, new wheels, an interior update, and new soft top by the looks of it.

1950 GMC FC101 Panel Van

GMC FC101 Panel Van - carsforsale.com

You don’t see too many panel vans since they were predominantly used as work vehicles back in the day, but this one is still standing and ready to be restored. This unique 1950 GMC FC101 features a running GMC 228 CID inline-six engine mated to a manual transmission. There is already some visible work done to the exterior of this GMC, but there is clearly still a lot to be done. Then there’s the interior that looks pretty disheveled. The rear of the panel van actually looks pretty nice, the main area of concern is getting those front floor pans resolved and fixing the peeling upholstery. This GMC FC101 is far from show ready, but it’ll be worth the effort once this panel van is fully restored.

1950 DeSoto Custom 2 Door

1950 Desoto Custom - carsforsale.com

This old DeSoto Custom 2 door is for sale for $4,200 and could make for another fun restoration project car. It has some pretty good-looking body panels that’ll just need some life brought back through some sanding and paint. The chrome pieces that are there just need a polish, but you’ll have to go hunting for those missing accent parts including the hood ornament. The interior of this DeSoto really isn’t that bad given this is an over 70-year-old vehicle. Might need to wipe down the surfaces and patch some perforations in the leather, but it’s otherwise inside. Under the hood of this car is a Chrysler flathead six-cylinder engine that may turn over. Not the most comforting description, but this is a project car after all.

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR - carsforsale.com

The Lancer Evolution was, in my opinion, one of the best cars to ever come out of the Mitsubishi brand. It’s a fun car to drive that’s capable on the street or on the dirt thanks to its rallying roots. This 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is a GSR trimmed model with plenty of aftermarket additions to it already. Enkei wheels wrapped in Yokohama ADVAN rubber keep this all-wheel drive sports car planted while the Extreme Turbo System intercooler and Injen SP short ram cool air intake further push the already capable turbocharged 2.0L inline-four engine to another level. This may sound like a completed setup, but there is still plenty left to do to this Evo.

2005 Nissan 350Z Grand Touring

2005 Nissan 350Z Grand Touring - carsforsale.com

The Nissan 350Z is a great place to start for a first project car. It’s such a great platform to work with thanks to the abundance of aftermarket parts online. It’s so good in fact that Donut Media featured two examples of the 350Z in their HiLow series proving that you can craft a unique 350Z on virtually any budget (quality varies). This 2005 Nissan 350Z is a drop top roadster carrying only 37,214 miles on the 3.5L V6 engine. This isn’t a Track model with some added performance goodies, but the Grand Touring trim offers a wonderful interior so you can focus on the exterior and mechanical components during your build. I know that V6 is just waiting for a new turbocharger to be installed.

2001 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

2001 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am - carsforsale.com

This 2001 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am may not be the same one that Bandit sped around in, but it’s a piece of automotive nostalgia that makes for a nice all-around choice for a project car. T-top roof, pop up headlights, dual racing stripes, and a LS1 5.7L V8 engine taken from a Corvette. It’s got all the potential to make for a fun sleeper. With just 82,300 miles on it and at a price of $19,999, you can’t go wrong choosing this Firebird as your project car.

1993 Mazda RX-7

1993 Mazda RX-7 - carsforsale.com

The FD3S RX-7 is one of the coolest looking ‘90s tuner cars ever. However, the RX-7 is plagued with reliability issues thanks to its unique rotary engine implementation. That’s why this 1993 Mazda RX-7 is such a great choice though, because the previous owner got rid of the headache for you by swapping in an LS1 5.7L V8 engine. Along with the new engine, the RX-7 has a BBK throttle body, aftermarket exhaust, new coilovers, and some aftermarket wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber.

1990 Toyota Celica

1990 Toyota Celica - carsforsale.com

This 1990 Toyota Celica may not be the GT-Four, but the GT-S is still a great little car. The front-wheel drive coupe features a stock 2.2L inline-four engine that’s driven for 51,200 miles and it’s paired to a five-speed manual transmission. The dealer also tosses in a couple spare parts and all of the original reading material you could ever want on this Celica. This car is in pristine condition, so the project here is really just keeping it that way. It’s of course your car to do with as you please once you’re handed the keys, but this is one of those opportunities where keeping it all original is the best choice in my opinion.

1979 Nissan 280ZX

1979 Nissan 280ZX - carsforsale.com

Now for a personal favorite of mine, a Nissan 280ZX project car. This 1979 Nissan 280ZX has 39,548 original miles on its 2.8L inline-six engine and appears to have been parked in a garage for a long while. The dealer mentions that a mechanic inspected the vehicle and replaced some key components that probably went faulty from sitting so long, but it’s clear this 280ZX still needs a little life brought back to it. Come get this 280ZX in Cadillac, Michigan before I do.

1972 Chevrolet Camaro

1979 Chevrolet Camaro - carsforsale.com

This isn’t your typical ‘72 Camaro. This 1972 Chevrolet Camaro is setup to go straight from the street to the dragstrip. There are all the mandatory exterior lighting and signals, but this Camaro also features a fiberglass frontend, fiberglass doors, a full roll cage, two Kirkey racing seats, a custom sheet metal dashboard, and custom-made switch panel. Outside the vehicle there are American Racing Pro Series wheels, disc brakes at all four corners, and a Ford 9-inch rear axle mounted to a 4-link suspension. This is a project car though, as it needs an engine, transmission, headers, exhaust, and a driveline before you can get this ‘72 Camaro spinning its tires. $13,000 is a pretty good deal for what’s here and the dealer even mentions they’ll accept some trade for it too!

1966 Dodge Coronet

1966 dodge Coronet - carsforsale.com

Dodge Coronets don’t always get the respect they deserve, but you can fix that by taking on this partially finished project car. This 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 hardtop coupe is already well on its way to being fully restored; it just needs the right person to finish it up. Almost the entirety of the vehicle has been sandblasted, primed, and painted already. The previous owner installed completely new brakes all around, new wheel bearings, new ball joints, new steering linkage, and reinstalled the original suspension with new bushings. All of the body panels are here along with an undisclosed engine (looks to be a 361 CID B V8 potentially, which fits the year), an automatic transmission, a radiator, and the original wheels. The interior has been gutted and painted, but they mention the original bucket seats and console in the listing. There’s clearly a lot left to do, but there’s also a ton a bunch of hurdles already accomplished here. Come get this Coronet project car!

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Jesse McGraw

Jesse McGraw brings his life-long car obsession into his writing. A fun childhood that involved growing up around race tracks, working on a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, and collecting Hot Wheels developed into a strong appreciation for automotive history. If there is an old, obscure, or rare car, he wants to know about it. With a bachelor's degree in Web Development & Design from Dakota State University, Jesse can talk shop about car or computer specs, focusing on classic cars, imports, and car culture.

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