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Hot Rods How to Traditionally Hot Rod a Four Door Star Chief?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fadingfastsd, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. fadingfastsd
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 228

    fadingfastsd
    Member

    Ok I hope I don't get reamed on this thread, but I did some research, quite a bit of searching, and honestly didn't find a good answer for my question.

    I just recently picked up and got running my 55 Poncho Star Chief 4 door.
    Here she is right now:
    [​IMG]

    So I have a pretty solid but blank canvas to start with on this car.

    My question is what exactly would be considered traditionally modifying this car into a hot rod? Or were 4 doors (& Star Chiefs in general!) just not candidates for hopping up in the first place?

    Say you had this car your senior year in high school in 1959, what would you do to it?

    I'm mainly just looking for opinions and advice before I start changing things on the Chief, and wanted to get a good perspective from the guys that knew how it was back in the day.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,433

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Traditionally ?? Trade it for a 2 door :D

    honestly leave it alone looks wise and build a sleeper out of it
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  3. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,182

    Django
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No high school kid would WANT to drive that, but if it was that or walk, then go with a bad ass motor, detailed and FAST. Maybe some skirts too and some striping.
     
  4. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,771

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Chop the top, french the headlights, lower it, new paint with flake on the roof, wide whites with steelies. Thats my opinion.
     
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  5. off-beat
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 97

    off-beat
    Member

    Bag it and get some wide whites with black steelies and you're done.
     
  6. MedicCustoms
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,084

    MedicCustoms
    Member

    Shave the back door handles, put skirts on it,lakes ect..... Make it your own the hell with all others....... Put some hot rod flats on it drive it like you stold it.... Just my .02
     
  7. 66Newport
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,649

    66Newport
    Member

    I would give it a clean paint job, chrome reversed, skirts, sahve the handles, nose and deck it, and drop it. Nothing too crazy. It is a good looking car to start with.
     
  8. 4tl8ford
    Joined: Sep 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,054

    4tl8ford
    Member
    from Erie, Pa

    Are you kidding?
    Thats your Mom's car - she'll kick your ass for rodding it.
     
  9. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    Slam it, shave handles, wide whites, loud exhaust.
     
  10. fadingfastsd
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 228

    fadingfastsd
    Member

    Hell ya! Thanks guys, this is exactly what I wanted to hear.
    Keep the opinions coming!

    I understand it wouldn't be your choice in high school.
    I mean, say your parents handed it down to you your junior year. Its not your dream car, but you've gotta keep up with the guys in your class. So you do what you can with it and make it as badass as possible. Then your car ends up so sweet you score the homecoming queen after the big game, and burn out of the high school parking lot a local legend. All because your mom gave you her old Star Chief when she got a new wagon.

    This is the advice I need, keep it coming!
     
  11. betteroffalone
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 300

    betteroffalone
    Member

    Take a look at mine parked in the garage right next to yours to get a good idea.

    my brother is an idiot.

    hahahaha
     
  12. Engine-Ear
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 695

    Engine-Ear
    Alliance Vendor

    I'd leave the exterior alone, put a 389 and a 4-speed in it with some free-flowing duals, get an upholstery shop to redo the seatS for comfort and drive-ability and spend the next 10 years making memories wearing it out again.
     
  13. betteroffalone
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 300

    betteroffalone
    Member

    The best advice I've heard yet!
     
  14. gwhite
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 2,277

    gwhite
    SUPER MODERATOR
    1. Period-correct Hot Rods of the 30's & 40's
    from TEXAS!
    Staff Member

    I'm calling BS on all the folks that say a 4dr isn't cool. Go look thru the little books...tons of 4 door kustoms.

    I defy you to tell me this ain't cool
    [​IMG]


    Fadingfastsd, go to rik hoving's page on fotki and you'll find some period ideas...otherwise, buy a set of 'little books' on ebay or a swap meet and you might luck out to find that someone chopped up a 55 moredoor way back when
     
  15. cruzr
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 4,030

    cruzr
    Member

    nice car, but as already stated above........

    nothing traditional with a 4dr........

    no kid from my era wanted a 4dr.......period........

    unless they were driving the parents sedan......

    fix it up, sell it and get a 2dr
     
  16. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,759

    monsterflake
    Member


    that's it, and from a hard-core pontiac guy, too! don't get too involved in body and paint work on this, you should always be on the look out for a 2 door body, and anything you do to this one should be easily transferred to the 2 door.

    if it was mine, i'd dump it in the front, ditch the front bumper, get some cheater slicks on a set of freshly painted steelies, the biggest, nastiest pontiac motor i could afford and run the shit out of it...
     
  17. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,759

    monsterflake
    Member

    ditch the license plate/bumper over rider, the gas cap gaurd, the stainless panels behind the wheels, etc. this was a cheap-ass sedan somebody gussied up, and selling those parts could get you a little working capital...

    (p.s. leave the door handles alone and don't start any body work. nothing fucks up an ORIGINAL old car more than primer spots, unless you're gonna paint it and i hope you don't.)
     
  18. thunderplex
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 723

    thunderplex
    Member

    ...and add a set of Pontiac 8-lug wheels, ...that, would be cool.
     
  19. gwhite
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 2,277

    gwhite
    SUPER MODERATOR
    1. Period-correct Hot Rods of the 30's & 40's
    from TEXAS!
    Staff Member

    Don't look at any of this...4 doors are for losers & geeks, AND they weren't "traditional".

    Somebody should have told these poor guys.

    geez...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,182

    Django
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like it. Any more pics?

     
  21. fadingfastsd
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 228

    fadingfastsd
    Member

    Wow this thread turned out awesome already. And its only been going for 30 minutes!
    I didn't mean to start a 2 door vs 4 door war. I'm not looking to get rid of the car for a 2 door. I personally like 4 doors just fine. I'm just trying to get ideas and figure out how I want to build this car. It's great having such a good base to start with.

    This car is F***ing awesome!
    [​IMG]

    I'm tempted to either go this route, or swap in the biggest pontiac engine I can find and make it a sleeper.
     
  22. A high school kid in '59 wouldn't have a big budget, so I'd stick to simple mods - shaved handles, some light dechroming of excess do-dads, but keep the side trim and the hood ornament. Lower it with whitewalls and some lancer or olds tri-bar caps. Maybe a taillight swap, with any other round taillight of similar size.

    But a '55 Pontiac was the car guys picked for parts for other custom cars usually - the side trim, front grille/bumper unit, sometimes the fender top scoops and the taillights -

    That '55 in the pic above looks good with the '57 Buick grille fitted into it. There's a lot of grilles from that era you could work in the same way - '58 Pontiac, '58-60 T-bird, '58 or '59 Buick, etc. -
     
  23. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 3,363

    el Scotto
    Member

    x2 ;)
     
  24. betteroffalone
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 300

    betteroffalone
    Member

    You know how hard 2 doors are to find? Not to mention the jacked up cost when you do find one. We don't all have the cash to fork over for a 2 door car even if we came across one. There's plenty of cool stuff you can do to a 4 door (i.e. the exact same stuff you do to a 2) and you have a lower initial investment. I'm just glad these things are on the road!

    I think we all understand that initially a 4 door anything would not have been worth making into a traditional hot rod. Great. Understood. That being said, we have what we have - so what would have been done to them to add a little spice? (IF NECESSARY: pretend it was a 2 door in question here so the fact that there are 4 doors won't confuse you to the point where you can't answer the question) :D
     
  25. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,759

    monsterflake
    Member

    not everything that ever showed up in print has stood the test of time. those aren't exactly the finest examples of custom grandma cars ever to be featured in a mag. having a 4 door is kinda like being Frank Sinatra Junior. similar, but not quite as good as the original... ;)
     
  26. betteroffalone
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 300

    betteroffalone
    Member

    Having a 4 door is like winning the Special Olympics. You won, but...

    No wonder all of our friends call us retarded. hahaha
     
  27. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,934

    Stevie Nash
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not possible...
     
  28. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,862

    Retro Jim
    Member

    I have a 55 Ford fordor and really prefer a fordor , mordor , 4 door or what ever you want to call it ! I have owned many 4 door cars and out of the 25+ cars I have owned only about 4 or 5 were 2 doors ! I guess it really depends on what YOU WANT ! I have had some very , very fast 4 door cars and wagons so you can't say a 4 door is slow .
    Now if it was mine , flat or semi-gloss black paint job , polish up the chrome the best you can , "X" bar hub caps , dual Smithys , hopped up mild cam nailhead and drive the HELL out of her !
    What ever you do with it just make it your's , enjoy it and drive it !
     
  29. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC


    best reply EVER!

    I have a little more love for 4 door hardtops, but 4 door posts are the ugly ducks. Have fun with it. Don't put to much into it. Just have fun. You'd be surprised how cheap you can find a good 2 door for when you have a 4 door for a parts car.
     
  30. screwball
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,766

    screwball
    Member

    build it the way YOU think is cool screw what every one else thinks. If you need approval you need to study the old books and educate yourself to please yourself.
     
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