Everybody loves a project car. It's true; at any large show or cruise, the half-finished or just-begun cars usually gather as much attention as the completed ones. It's like witnessing the birth of a new piece of art; everyone wants to know what the plans are, what parts are going to be used, and what it is going to be used for. For us, it's the bench racing. With completed cars the choices are set, the decisions are made, but with a project the options are wide open and the sky's the limit. Just let your imagination run wild.

We spend 11 issues a year digging up some of the most impressively constructed, aesthetically pleasing, and innovative muscle cars built across the country to show you what's possible. Sometimes that means we end up focusing on high-end builds performed by enthusiasts with mile-deep pockets. Sometimes it's guys with near godlike skills that result in automotive art, but it's all because we want to encourage you to get out and wrench on your projects, whatever condition they're in.

This issue, however, is for the everyman. This is the issue where we ask you to send in shots of your project, no matter how far along it is, and tell us your story. Why? Because all those project cars in garages, shops, and backyards around the nation are the heart and soul of hot rodding. They're the real reason we write this magazine.

Just like last year, we included every relevant entry that followed the submission guidelines. And just like last time, two readers were picked to have their cars not only open the feature, but also appear on the cover. So don't give up. See what you're fellow hot rodders are up to, get inspired, get out there, and wrench on your own iron-and get your car in PHR

1986 Monte Carlo SS
Scot McKittrick
Noblesville, IN
Ever since the first time he saw Dale Earnhardt Sr. lapping ovals in a mid-'80s Monte, Scot McKittrick was infatuated. In fact, he's owned one since the first day he could legally drive-going on 24 years now. Of course his first wasn't an SS, it was a 16-year-old budget-friendly baseline '78. Not soon after, he traded it for an '84 SS, then an '86 SS-though not the one he's currently wrenching on. This final '86 SS came via a tip from a friend about a stripped repo car at a local bank. The SS was in sad shape, sans drivetrain, and rolling on four spare tires, but Scot snatched it up since his master plan called for much more power than the wimpy 180hp L69 HO 305ci provided, and six gears to row.

By The Numbers
Engine: '95 F-body LT1, COMP cam, 58mm BBK throttle body, custom cold air intake
Trans: GM spec T-56 six-speed
Suspension: boxed stock LCAs, Pole Position adjustable UCAs, 36mm 1LE sway bar
Brakes: C5 Vette twin-piston calipers mounted on 13-inch rotors and S-10 spindles up front, 12-inch Vette rotors and PBR calipers in the rear.
Rearend: Buick GN 8.5-inch with 3.42 cogs
Wheels: 17x8 and 17x9.5 Centerline Stars
Tires: 245/45R17 and 275/40R17 BFG G-Force KDWs
Future Plans: Eventually Scot wants to make the Monte more open-track ready with more aggressive suspension.