My dad and I started building my CJ5 when I was 14. It was running when we got it, but barely enough to drive. We started with the major things, brakes, engine, driveline, then on to a new top, seats, and such. I'm glad it was running so we could drive it or I believe I woulda lost interest being 14 and itching to drive. Dad passed on the jeep bug to me along with jeep trips to his stomping grounds when he was young, now me and my buddies take at least 2 trips a year, one of which being to the same place my dad took me riding as a kid. Gotta love them grand ole memories. I vote get one that is running so it will keep his interest. Good luck!