Hard to build a car without a shop, so I had to build one first. I guess this put me about $10,000 over the 250 Pound budget, even before I cut my first piece of steel!
This is a 16' x 24' (exterior dimension) garage. As I write this nearly a year later, I'd comfortably call this the smallest reasonable size you'd want to build a car in. If you had some good other storage, you could maybe go down to 20' in length, and if you had another room to do bench work on maybe you could go a bit narrower...but I'd try real hard to shoot for 16x24 as a minimum. I think I'd be in heaven if I had a proper 24x24 2-car garage...except then my lovely wife would probably want to actually park in the thing or something, so maybe this isn't so bad. It fits my needs just perfectly, and "inspires" me to clean it up every month or so as the junk piles up.
The walls are 2x6 construction, 24" on center. I don't know why all buildings aren't built this way. Same cost, easy construction, R-19 insulation. Metal roof, huge overhangs, and no gutters. 100A 220V service, and air conditioning. So far, heat is not required...a few 500W halogen work lamps keep the place toasty. This is going to be a low-maintenance, high-utility, comfortable building.
The upstairs is open, currently serving as the woodshop, but will be the pickin' parlor once the car is done and there are proper stairs to decks at either end.
I broke ground on 6/11/2006. This photo was taken 11/27/2006, when you could reasonably call it "finished." I worked on it nearly every day during that time. I had help with the footer, foundation, floor, and trusses, and did about 90% of the work alone. Like the Locost, this was an adventure in education.
This might not seem relevant to a builder's log, but your shop is probably your most important tool, right after your brain and your hands. I would have a hard time encouraging anyone to start a project like this without a good shop situation. I'm sure it could be done under tarps in the driveway, but I have a hard time seeing a finished project come of it.
Okay, enough about the shop...back to the car.
ps. Don't forget to update your homeowner's insurance.