Anyone who is looking for an off season project should start digging around for an old vehicle project. Some of the easier vehicles to restore come from the fine folks at Volkswagen. The thing is that the older cars were pretty simple. You can find plenty of old parts for the cars.
One interesting project would be the old military jeeps from Volkswagen called the iltis which was produced in Germany and in Canada.
The design is pretty simple except for some tricks in the four wheel drive department. Old parts are easy to find on the internet. The iltis vehicle would not be great for really cold climates not matter what people would tell you. The design was mostly for military use so comfort was not the first concern. If you switch out some basic iltis parts you can make some improvements but at the end of the day you still end up with a military vehicle.