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Hey there! I've been tinkering for about forty years - I don't have the budget or the space for big projects nowadays but I learned by working with my dad back when cars were easy and cheap to rebuild but didn't last like they do now. We mostly had Olds and Chevy growing up - odd because in their younger years my parents were all Fords - dad had a '51 Custom he rebuilt as a teen, a '56, and a new '61 Falcon Tudor, while mom had her dad's custom ordered '54 Victoria Sunliner - plexi roof, black with emerald and emerald interior, police interceptor, automatic overdrive, ac, ps, pb. But I grew up on 98's and whatever dad bought cheap and rebuilt.

My first rebuild I helped with was at 14, we redid my brother's 70 Chevelle from a straight six, three on the tree in grey to Sapphire Blue Metallic, white stripe, reverse scoop, 454 dual quads and 4 on the floor while he was at bootcamp. My first car was a '67 Galaxie 500, 289, all the bells and whistles including under dash AC. Low miles, $35. Girl didn't know what she had and it just needed valve seals. Worked my way up from there rebuilding cars - but it was cheap and relatively easy back then.

I do most all my own wrenching still but I'm limited in facilities and budget nowadays. Wife gets the new car - 2017 Impala - and I get beaters. Not terrible - I get a variety of cars this way :). Mostly GM but I've also had a blast of an Escort 5 speed wagon (wrecked), an extremely rusty and battered Tempo, and this will be my fourth bull.

My favorite was my '03 - champagne colored, leather, sunroof,spoiler, auto mirrors and such, Vulcan - reliable, but on my son's first day driving to school he was tboned - safe, but totaled. My daughter's $600 '04 light blue SES duratec had issues but was basically reliable - till she slammed into the curb on ice - I tried to fix it but it turned out the subframe was hosed :(. No AC that one. Had an '05 Sable, white, hail damage but fairly loaded, duratec, had mystery obd codes. I bought it thinking my Blazer's tranny was going but was something else, neither kid wanted it, so I sold it to keep the fleet size down.

Now I bought a '99 that has more issues than I realized when I bought it in the rain, so I'll be doing a lot of reading and a little posting :)

Btw - we liked the 2018 Taurus too but we couldn't get one - or a Flex - for under $24k while the Impala was $17k and in our budget.
 
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