Five Ideas for Your Salvage Car Custom Build

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Welcome to Part Two in our You Bought a Salvage Car! Now What? series. If you recently purchased a salvage vehicle, you might be wondering what to do with it. Sure, there’s the restoration option, but it’s often time-consuming to track down authentic parts.  
If you’re a bit more creative, you might have other ideas for your salvage project.  

Why not express yourself with a custom build? Custom builds allow you to exert your individuality and creativity to essentially design your own car. Unlike restorations, the end goal isn’t matching someone else’s concept of what your car should look like. Rather, your custom build is finished when you’re pleased with the results. We at Copart really like seeing custom builds during our Rebuild Challenge, so we wanted to give you some ideas to jumpstart your creativity.  

Here are five ideas for your next custom build!  

Build a Monster  

By “monster” we’re not talking about something terrifying. We’re talking about creating a monster truck. Here’s a starting point to what you’ll need:   

  • Leveling kit or suspension upgrades 
  • Bigger tires  
  • Upgraded engine for more power 
  • Step ladder (depending on how tall it is) 
  • Add in a custom frame if you’re feeling adventurous  

Since most monster trucks are not street legal, don’t plan on this being your main ride. You’ll have to keep it for recreation only. 

Live in It  

Ever heard of a tiny house? It’s not a dollhouse—it’s a house that’s designed to be very minimal (and sometimes portable). Apparently, there’s a community of school bus tiny houses. People take salvaged school buses and completely convert them into livable homes on wheels. If you’ve ever thought about being a minimalist, try it out. But make sure you do your research on tiny houses first. It can be a financially savvy living arrangement for some, but according to Business Insider, they’re pretty niche and you’ll have to make sure you have access to a properly-zoned location to park. 

Make It Iconic 

Who hasn’t wanted to drive the Batmobile or the Ecto-1 Ghostbuster car? Some cars are incredibly iconic but sadly not available to purchase. That’s why talented enthusiasts create their own custom versions of these iconic cars. Think of it as an opportunity to live in your own nostalgia or embrace a fandom. We’ve seen a bunch of cool iconic real-world reproductions from Tron to Star Wars. Just don’t try recreating Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. You’ll never find where you parked it.  

Make It Practical  

Depending on the condition of your salvage vehicle, it might not be worth the time or money to fix it into something powered by an engine. We’ve seen some amazing trailer conversions in our time. Instead of repairing the internal components, a salvage car is gutted and mounted to a trailer. After some frame work, you’ve got some extra storage to your everyday vehicle. You can even customize it to fit a unique shape or design.  

Make Something New 

So far, these suggestions have pointed you into something that’s been done before (except for the invisible jet). But some of the most unique car designs we’ve seen are completely new. That’s the best part of custom builds—you don’t have to imitate something that already exists. You can make something that hasn’t been done before.  

We’ve seen cars with cat ears, modern takes on vintage designs, cars that glow and even a motor-powered unicycle. But perhaps the most impressive thing we’ve seen hasn’t been created yet. Maybe we’re just waiting on you to build something remarkable.  

Inspired to start your own custom build? Check out what the latest Copart auction has to offer

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