Project Car Contest 2021

Sponsored by:  &  

A contest for all auto enthusiasts who have worked on, built or customized your vehicle


Project Cars are an important part of car culture, and the Twin Cities Auto Show is showcasing some amazing vehicles!

The below finalists will have their cars on display at the Twin Cities Auto Show, May 15-23, 2021 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the duration of the show.  These finalists need your vote at the Twin Cities Auto Show! Votes by attendees will determine which finalist will win, which will be announced during an awards ceremony at the show. 

One winner will receive a trip for 2 to a Barrett- Jackson Auto Auction!


About the Project Car contest:

Project Car was started at the 2019 Twin Cities Auto Show, with 3 special finalists on display as well as an honorable mention. In 2020, it was expanded to 4 finalists and was co-located in The Unique Room with other specialty vehicles.  The Unique Room and the Project Car finalists were a fan favorite! Even with the challenges of the year, votes came in from across the world.  As the 2020 Twin Cities Auto Show came to an unfortunate early end, we were pleased to still be able to award Noah Brush and his 1961 Ford Econoline with the win.

Now in it's third year, Project Car has continued to grow and expand! The new location and dates of the Twin Cities Auto Show has allowed for more Project Car finalists than ever before, all amazing in their own rights. See the cars in person and vote at the Twin Cities Auto Show to help determine the winner!


Check out the 2021 Finalists! 

  • From Owner Seth Mogler:
    Back in November 2007, a son and his father had a dream…to seek out the ultimate Project Car and work on it together. A quick EBAY search led them both to a listing for a 1961 Mini Morris Saloon. A mere rusted out shell of itself, it was the perfect father-son experience in the making. After months and months of hard work: Body work, Engine Work, and acquiring OEM parts from overseas, “the Mini”, as she is known to close friends and family, was born. This gem didn’t sit idle in the back of a garage. The Mini served as an integral and important part of our family’s journey as told by the photos submitted on the application. The first adventure she went on was to our wedding, serving as our “get-away vehicle.” Next, our poor dog Winnie learned she wasn’t going to be our “baby” anymore. The mini served as a wonderful prop for our pregnancy announcement pictures! Then she carried Lena, our firstborn who was only with us a short time, to her final resting place on earth. Most recently, you’ll hear screams of joy as our second born son, Sam, plays inside the mini grinning ear to ear. We are eager to introduce the mini to our second daughter, Brynn, this summer as she will be old enough to experience the same joy. On hot summer days, as we cruise around town in the shiny red Mini Cooper and the smiles and joy she brings to people is an experience like non-other. Kids jump and wave intensely, adults stare with smiles ear to ear, and an occasional trip to a dealership or two brings out the inquisitive and again, more smiles! So, it’s only fitting that a simple father-son- project that started back in November 2007, be put on display for the public to enjoy at the 2021 Twin Cities Auto Show!
    Work Done:
    1: Body Work from rusted shell to full restoration
    2: full interior restoration with as many original OEM parts as possible
    3: Full exterior restoration with as many OEM parts as possible
    4: Rebuilt original engine
  • From Owner Aaron Robinson
    The story of this project starts during the Great Depression when my Great Grandpa Harry bought a farm in Lamberton, MN. The farm was inherited by my Grandma Shirley and when she passed, it went to my dad. My dad sold the farm and in June of 2012, he took my brother and I to Mecum Auto Auctions right here at the MN State Fair Grounds. He let me pick any car I wanted at the auction and bought it for me with proceeds from the land sale. I chose a 1968 Mustang Fastback. The car had been restored as a Bullitt replica, famed from the 1969 movie Bullitt staring Steve McQueen. It even had Steve McQueen’s face airbrushed on the trunk. At the time, I knew nothing about the movie or this guy nicknamed “The King of Cool” , but ever since I was a kid listening to my Step Dad tell stories about the early 80’s and the cool muscle cars they drove, I wanted a muscle car. When I first saw the car, my initial thought was to restore it to a GT500 Eleanor clone (made famous from the movie 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds). A couple of years after we bought the Fastback, my dad and I went to a day long driving school at Brainerd International Raceway. My dad had recently purchased a 2013 Camaro ZL1 and we both drove his Camaro for the class. Just for fun, I brought my Mustang. I took it out on the track for the familiarization lap…that was a mistake! Halfway through the lap, I couldn’t wait to get off the track. The car had a mildly built 302 and a c4 automatic transmission. It was sluggish on the straightaways, I was sliding around in the corners in the flat fake-leather seats, and I couldn’t keep up with the others in my group. I knew right then and there that the car needed some SERIOUS upgrades. Unfortunately for the car, I was recently engaged and needed to save money for my wedding, so the car had to wait.
    About a year after the driving school experience, at my wedding reception, my aunt sold me 2 raffle tickets for a fundraiser to support the MN Barrel Racing Association and I won the Grand Prize!! It was a 2015 V6 Ford Mustang. I sold the car three weeks later and finally had money to jump start my project. Performance wise, I knew the direction I wanted to go with the project, so I started purchasing parts. I started with a complete overhaul of the stock suspension by going with an independent front suspension and a three link rear suspension setup all from Total Cost Involved (TCI). Within the same week, I purchased a motor out of a 2014 F150. Even though my performance goal for this project didn’t change from my original vision, the way I wanted it to look changed. By the time I was able to finally start my project, GT500 Clones were way too popular and the more popular they became, the less interested I was in turning mine into one.
    By this time, I knew who Steve McQueen was and I had watched the movie Bullitt at least a dozen times. Who doesn’t like watching a movie where their own car is featured! In my build I wanted to keep some of the character of the Bullitt Mustang, but put my own twist on it. I wanted to build something that “The King of Cool” would drive in the 21st century. After 8 ½ years, thousands of hours of research, countless late nights in the garage finishing “just one more thing”, and more than a few cuss words, I present to you a Bullitt resto mod that I think is named accordingly – Bullitt Reloaded.
    The most rewarding aspect of this car is the memories that my family and I have made with it and plan to make in the future. Everything from my wife spending hours helping me sand the engine bay to my kids standing on the drivers seat pretending to drive it when they are in the garage. Last summer, we were able to fit my pregnant wife, two kids in car seats, myself, a stroller, and three lawn chairs into the car. We spent almost every weekend going to car shows – sometimes two in one day. When we’re together, the car is always a topic of discussion between my dad, brother, and I. This car is much more than a car. It is a memory builder for my entire family. My Grandma Shirley’s most treasured words were “Loving Connections.” She believed in those words so much that she requested to have them put on her gravestone. This car and the journey of this build has strengthened those loving connections.
    For more videos and pictures of this car and the build, please visit my Youtube Channel Arobs Garage.
    Work Done:
    Engine and Transmission: 2014 F150 Engine, Boss 302 Cams, ARP journal bearing bolts, ARP Cam phaser bolts, MMR Billet oil pump, Ford Racing Control Pack, T56 6speed transmission, stock 2014 Mustang GT clutch, McCloud hydraulic throw out bearing, Willwood Complact Master Cylinder, Summit Racing Radiator w/ electrical fan, Custom Intake, Aeromotive FPR and Fuel filter, Walbro Fuel pump
    Chassis: TCI IFS front suspension with Ridetech coilovers, TCI 3 link suspension with Ridetech coilovers, Moser rear end housing, Moser racing axes, Detroit Tru Trac differential with 3.73 final drive, DIY Stainless steel Drive shaft Wheels and Tires: American Racing VN510 17x8 fronts, 18x11 rear, Toyo Proxes R888R 235/17R40 front, 315/18R35 rear.
    Body: paint color is 2019 Mustang Dark Highland Green, Detroit Speed mini tubs, custom GT40 style hood, Ididit Steering column, Ford Racing Steering wheel, Subaru WRX front seats, custom transmission tunnel, lowered seat pans Exhaust: Doug’s Long Tube Headers, Summit Racing DIY 2 ½” exhaust kit, Borla Coyote Crate Mufflers
    Brakes: Willwood Disk Brakes, 4 piston rotors, Compact Master Cylinders, Willwood brake and clutch pedal
    Electrical: Painless chassis wiring harness, Dakota Digital gauges, LED halo headlights, sequential LED rear taillights, LED marker lights
  • From Owner Greg McWhorter
    We all know the movie 'BACK TO THE FUTURE' and the car from the movie. The Delorean that Marty and Doc used in the movie was designed and built by John Delorean. That very same person designed the 1973 CHEVELLE while working at Chevrolet from 1963 to 1973 as the head designer. Thanks to the internet, I found after buying this triple black Chevelle in 2014 that you are reading about and or seeing for the first time, is a very special car. As I dug further into the history of the 73 Chevelle, I found that it was a NASCAR's best race car including 'DALE EARNHARDT's' favorite from 1973 thru 1977. When you see it at the Twin Cities Auto Show, I trust you will find it as favorite. I am very proud of the 2000 plus hours spent having making this 1973 Chevelle a true champion for all automobile history.
    The 73 Chevelle is the greatest forgotten great muscle car. Mine is one of them. Nobody wanted them on the street for a cool car. In racing, everyone wanted the 1973 Chevelle. I got lucky and a friend of mine brought up a rust free 73 from Arizona, It was 1986 and we were both 18. Nobody liked these as the 1996 thru 1972 were the coolest ever built. So I bought it for 1500 bucks. Rust free in Minnesota was the best. Greatest car I ever had and I have had many. Car was sold 2 years later as it happens. Fast forward to 2015. While poking around I found as 73 Chevelle in NJ. Seems it was an old parish car. It was a 6 cylinder automatic with no frills. All black with original no radio, bench seat, 3 speed auto. I drove out an hauled it back.
    Work Done:
    Every part of car has my work on it. 89% of every bolt has be turned and replaced. My 1973 is a true modern performance car. Yet it retains all vintage muscle car looks and functions. The swivel bucket front seats are a blast from the past. They are cool in every way. As the chevelle is the first true mid car, it is way smaller than most have ever seen as a true fun car. In this car of mine the following has been done: Hand built motor, tranny, suspension, exhaust and every part. Yet it still retains all the original look with exception of the 1973 aluminum slot wheels. The same work that goes into building a military fighter jet is the equal to the work I have done creating this 1973 Chevelle. Thank you all for taking the time to see and or read about my Chevelle.
  • From Owner Chris Hirsch
    Was a project car that I wanted to start with not from the ground up but to make my own. I wanted to build this truck also because of my 4 yr old and I both fell in love with it and have dreams of it being one of his hot wheels cars.
    Work Done:
    Motor install 454 BigBlock headers, flow master exhaust, custom radiator 4 post, all interior from a donor gmc truck. Painted gloss black and installed lower kit front and rear.
  • From Owner Cristobal Ambriz
    The story I got was it belonged to a salesman or sales manager from Swanberg and Scheefe Buick on Lake Street(?) back in the day. He had it for a couple of years and then put it away for about 20-30 years. I bought it from a person who had bought it but then decided he wanted the money for other projects. I got it from him about 6 months after he bought it. I have had it since Summer of 2015.
    Work Done:
    Originally a 'malaise days' vehicle with high torque/low horsepower low compression 455 engine, I felt the need to "liberate" the engine by removing restrictive emissions items and improving on the engine itself, as well as lightening up the car itself.
    Mods are as follows:
    *Removed y-pipe assy along with the catalytic converter and 11/2" inch single exhaust and replaced with dual 2" exhaust pipes from manifold back on both sides. Added two Magnaflow turbo mufflers for better flow and nicer exhaust tones.
    *Original 455cid engine that was about 8.25:1 compression rebuilt with pistons, heads, and intake manifolds from 1970 Buick Skylark with SF engine...vehicle is now closer to 9.25:1 compression and still can run on 87 octane without pigging or detonation. I can now spin the rear wheels at half pedal vs the old motor which couldn't get out of its own way.
    *Added American Racing black rims 15x8 replacing the factory 15x7 rims, LED running lights, LED third brake light with "enhanced turn signal" system, MSD HEI Ignition System. Removed AC system and its components as well as replacing metal 3-row radiator with aluminum/composite radiator in order to shed about a 100-150lbs of unnecessary weight.
  • From Owner Jeremy Fohrenkamm
    I bought the car 15 years ago. It was partially restored and lightly modified. Turns out the prior owner just didnt do the job very well. Since then ive started competing in Autocross and have done increasingly well. Year by year I make improvements to handling, brakes, power, safety ...etc. its now used mostly for racing, but Ive done so in a way that keeps the car looking like a normal street car. I say it always drives under it own power to the track but occasionally heads home on a trailer.
    The car has won a large qty of races in either the Vintage Class or Super Street Modified with several points championships. Also have taken 1st or 2nd place overall in the past 5 years odf tbe Street Machines Nationals in St Paul. Currently holds the VTR (Vintage Triumph Register) Nationals fastest time of day. AND continues to hold the track record by over 10seconds for the Waumandee Hill Climb.
    Car can pull 1.3Gs laterally and achieves 0-60 in 4.2seconds.
    It has also won several car shows including multiple win at Wheels and Wings for best Triumph.
    Work Done:
    Engine swapped to a Honda F20c with 240HP and a 9300 rev limit. Stock was 1500cc and 56HP
    Transmission 6spd Honda AP1
    Front suspension lowered with locally made QA1 MOD Series shocks.
    Rear suspension converted from a camber link to a double wishbone also featuring QA1 MOD Series. Custom A arms with Mazda Miata knuckles.
    Brakes are large disk with 4 piston Wilwood calipers.
    Rear Diff is a Toyota Y38 LSD taken from an FRS. Driveshaft and CV axles are custom made.
    Interior is restored with the addition of a 5pt harness and a custom double hoop roll bar. Tried to keep as stock of look as possible. When the hood is closed, it looks very much like any other Spitfire that has been lowered.
  • From Owner George Suppes
    I purchased the car new in 1980 when I was 19 years old. After college and our first baby, the motor gave out in 1988 and we had no money to fix it. I ended up selling the car for $800 to a local mechanic. After over 30 years, I reviewed my records and started searching for the car. With a whole lot of luck, I located it out in Colorado in 2015 and came to an agreement with the owner to buy the car. We then spent the next two years doing a complete restoration and making upgrades to the car. Today, she is better than when it first rolled off the assembly line.
    Work Done:
    This car underwent a total body off, rotisserie restoration. Replaced complete floor pan, quarter panels, trunk drops, fenders, and hood. Restored the original front nose section. Purchased a 1976 Pontiac 400 motor that was completely rebuilt and installed. Replaced the aged wiring with harnesses from American Autowire. Installed a complete Pypes Race Pro exhaust system with Ram Air headers. Rear end gears and posi-unit replaced and upgraded to 3.08 gears. Full new suspension with a complete setup from QA1. Installed new electronic gauges and electronic cruise control from Dakota Digital. Brand new seat buns and new seat covers in the original Carmine Red were installed with a matching, custom leather wrapped steering wheel. We did a total paint of the car back to its original 1980 Platinum color and applied Trans Am graphics from Phoenix Graphix. Cooper Cobras to keep it on the road and chrome valve stems were provided by Neisen Tire. Finally, custom embroidered interior accents and protective covers were produced by Screaming Chicken Designs.
  • From Owner Brody Wick
    I started with a $1000 Mazda Miata and traded my way up to this. It was the lowest known mileage Toyota Celsior in the country with original 9,700 miles. It was imported through a company by the name of Tadashi motors, and there is only one other one in Minnesota. It took a while to get used to driving on the right side of a vehicle, but I had a 1400 mile road trip to get used to it haha. I have owned it for just under two years and I can’t wait to show what else I have planned for it. It’s been an expensive project but quite the fun one!
    Work Done:
    OEM touchscreen navigation
    OEM front lip
    OEM seat doilies
    Airlift 3P
    Riverside Trafficstar DTX 19x10 and 19x12
    Custom trunk setup done by Joe’s Garage
    Badgeless Billet front grill
    Extended lower control arms
    Shortened front spindles
    Extended tie rods
    SerialNine Front upper control arms
    SerialNine Rear upper control arms
    Megan Toe Arms
    Megan Camber Arms
    Megan Traction Arms
    Custom catback exhaust with blast pipes
    Cut/ Shaved/ Pulled/ Welded rear quarter panels
  • From Owner Max Mata
    I just wanted something that is easy to work holds the whole family and more. To me this is the last great American wagon with rear facing seats. Its really comfortable for roadtrips but also can take it to the track and fit 8 people comfortably.
    Work Done:
    BBK headers, 2500 stall converter its tuned to be a really fun wagon. Working on rebuilding another engine with aluminum heads and cam.
  • From Owner Chase Peterson
    Got the car for my 17th birthday, fell in love and have been working on it this winter. I'm currently building the motor and boosting it, with some visual mods. There's a bit of rust but I plan on fixing it within a year or two.
    Work Done:
    Skunk2 Rods
    Manly 11:1 compression pistons
    ARP Headstuds
    Yonaka headgasket
    Skunk2 Stage 2 Cams
    AEM adjustable cam gears
    Skunk2 intake manifold and 70mm throttle body
    RyWire Tucked harness
    Buddy Club coilovers
    JNC Wheels
    Toyo R888Rs
    EBC brake pads and rotors.
  • From Owner Joel Lange
    I bought it used from a local guy here in July. It has previously seen some track time but was reverted back to a more stock form. I have always dreaming of racing so I’m bringing it back to a more track focused set up with hopes of getting some autocephalous and time attack seat time.
    Work Done:
    Radium catch cans
    BC coilovers
    Billman timing chain tensioner
    AEM 330 fuel pump
    Greddy exhaust with cat delete
    TR Motorsports wheels with Firestone Indy Hawk tires (255/40/17)
    Puddy mod differential and mounts
    Apr GTC wing
    Racebred components splitter with wheel spats
    Full blown intake manifold
    K&N intake
    Custom vented hood
    Carbon side skirts and diffuser
    Fullblown radiator with slim fans
    Drilled and slotted rotors
    Buddy club ball joint
    Complete engine dressing kit
  • From Owner Doua Vue
    This is my beautiful Civic that has opened so many doors for me in the car culture world! I have autocrossed and ran some HPDE's with this type R, as its my on-going track car that i'm developing everyday! The beauty with this car, is that I've done everything to it myself. All the bolt-ons and all the suspension work, the installation of the parts, the alignment of the vehicle, all the minute and fine details, I have adjust/done to this car myself! I've kept this car street legal for the time being, but once I'm finished with school and have more time to plan the car, I vision to make this my full time track car. I've owned this car for about, a little more than 2 years now! I'm an admin for 2 groups, MNFK8 and MNXGEN, and I always love sharing my progress and tips and tricks to the community. This Type R has not only brought me joy within racing, which is a BIG passion of mines, but also has helped me gained so many friends that share my same vision. I love this Type R!
    Work Done:
    Engine: HKS carbon intake, HKS SQV4 Blow off valve, HKS downpipe (heat wrapped), HKS front pipe(heat wrapped), (incoming HKS intercooler), stock exhaust with deleted resonator and mufflers.
    Engine Management System: HONDATA FlashPro
    Suspension: HKS HiperMax SP Coilovers. Spoon Rigid Collars
    Wheels: Titan 7 SL5's; Specs: 18x9.5 +35; Hankook Ventus RS4's 265/35
    Interior: EVS 4 point Roll Cage, SEEKER Shifter bushings, SEEKER super shift extension pivot, SEEKER titanium shift knob, PRP harnesses, BRAUM seat-belt guides.
    Exterior: Varis Arising Version 2 Front Bumper, First Molding Hood (FRP), Aerocatch hood pins, Custom fender vents (Zero Factory), (incoming Varis GT type 5 wing)

The Grand Prize- Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions:

For nearly 50 years, enthusiasts from all over the world have flocked to the Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions, named America’s No. 1 Attraction for Car Lovers in the 2019 USA Today Readers’ Choice Contest. Widely regarded as a barometer of the collector car industry, the auctions have evolved over the years into world-class automotive lifestyle events where thousands of the world’s most sought-after, unique and valuable automobiles cross the block in front of a global audience ? in person and on live national and international television. Barrett-Jackson produces The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® in Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to the millions watching the events via live worldwide television coverage on Discovery Channel and MotorTrend, over 500,000 people are in attendance at all four auctions, looking to witness auction action at its best, capture the car of their dreams, mingle with celebrities, experience adrenaline-pumping thrill rides in the latest vehicles from America’s top automakers – or shop in the vast Exhibitor Marketplace.



About the Project Car Sponsor, the Service, Parts & Collision Council:

The Service, Parts & Collision Council (SPCC), or, "The Council," is an organization created to support and promote Minnesota new car dealership fixed operations.

The organization is dedicated to providing:

    • A clear voice in the marketplace to advance dealership service, parts and collision centers
    • Government advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues
    • Specialized information and industry support specific to the new car and truck dealership repair industry
    • Expertise in new car dealership issues
    • Promotion of automotive careers to ensure future workforce demands can be met
    • Education and awareness to consumers on quality vehicle repair and Minnesota law in case of an accident.

In short, it’s the goal of this Council to promote the health and growth of dealership service work, dealership body work and to advance the automotive repair industry. 


Officail Rules and Questions:

Click here to view the official Project Car contest rules.

For any questions, click here.


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