The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by nelsoncoupe, Jul 6, 2014.
Hey did you steal my future roadster? Haha that's an awesome car man. Radical.
It was on sf bay craigslist. My friend was trying to sell it but to many people
Flaked so he gave it to me!
I was in the same boat at about your age ( around 1969 ).... only the car was a 32 Ford 3 window that had been chopped. An old build at the time that had been sitting outside
I had the frame, dropped axel in pitted chrome, body with windshield frame....and that was it..... and I had a pink slip. I think I paid 300.00 for it. But with not enough money or place to do the project, I ended up selling it to somebody in the neighborhood. Dad didn't want it on the side of the house..... he could be a prick sometimes... "get that junk out of here". So I mowed lawns to store it in a local garage for awhile but the build never happened.
An old friend was over just the other day and gave me a good lead on where it might still be in the old neighborhood.
Keep the dream...
This. My buddy has a caprice with a brand new 350ci engine and new trans, wants $500 but would take less to get it gone. Stuff like this is everywhere. Ask service stations in your area for what they might have laying dormant but taking up valuable parking spaces. You'd be surprised what you can find.
We need lots more 17year olds to keep hot rodding alive, so good for you for your interest. Lots of good advice above, we're all here to help new hot rodders, so keep asking!
Best money spent initially is spent on good tools, you will need some body tools to get that body right, but it looks pretty good. Engine? If you want tradition, you still might start out with a stock flathead, notice in lots of early hot rod pictures that the stock heads and even single carb manifolds are on until the owner gets more cash. The fabrication will be the important part, motor mounts, transmission mounts, etc. Just make sure you have someone who really knows how to weld when you do fabrication, or learn yourself (I have some experience with bad welds!!). Most important, keep at it, like all of us who have built hot rods, there are those times when it just seems easier to quit, just stay at it and keep us posted on your progress.
You have tons of info in this thread.
You tons of enthusiasm.
Set your goal at trying to pick a time in Hot Rod history that you like the best.
Then decide that you are that 17 year old Kid that would be building that car at that time.
Then try to use only parts that were available at that time.
You will end up with a traditional roadster that you built.
And you will create your own tradition and history.
And you will learn more fun stuff than you can imagine!
It will take a little while but once you start the car will come together for you.
And you have more quick answers from the HAMB than you can ever imagine.
The main thing to remember here is that this is supposed to be fun. Don't get all twisted up in knots over trying to make this car into a Ridler contender. Just concentrate on turning that pile of parts into a driveable car that you can enjoy. There were an awful lot of hotrods built back in the day by 17 year olds, with no more tools, money or experience than you have right now. If they can do it, so can you. Nothing has changed between now and then that makes this an impossible dream.
Look around and see if you can get a running Model-A chassis. Lots available and cheap. People use the bodies for streetrods and sell the entire running gear. That way you save on buying all the parts one by one. You'll be driving that thing a lot sooner. Then just hop up the four banger. The closer to stock you keep it the cheaper it'll be. In the forties all the 17 year olds could afford to do was take off the fenders. That's all you can afford right now.
I'm with Ed,
Boom. Best advice right there. The more you can get some time behind the wheel, the more you will fall in love with it!
Get something out of the wrecking yard with a decent V8 of some kind for as cheap as you can and use that car and all its parts to build your A. You can get your car as low as you want for the price of a few pounds of welding rod by Z ing and modifying the frame rather than dropped axles and special suspension parts. Hot Rods are made from junk parts. Old men with retirement accounts bolstered by the stock market have changed it into an expensive endeaver. Run what ya brung and do with what ya got, thats what hot roddin is all about. You shouldn t be able to buy hot rods but you can.
From the photo it looks like you also have an old motorcycle frame leaned up against the car. Try and find out what it is and sell it and use the profit on you car.
Another great thing about projects like this, especially for a young man is it can keep you out of trouble... When I didn't have a project like the 32 mentioned above my life went downhill. They give you focus... and you learn excellent stuff along the way. Hit up older guys into Rods in your area and more than likely they will mentor and help you.... and if their cool they may even give you parts they probably forgot they even had if you show the sprit.
Break it down into smaller projects so the whole doesn't overwhelm you.
So much good advice already given - get an old parts car that you can grab as much of the running gear from. Don't get hung up on only having a four cyl for now, plus an overdrive trans will help keep the fuel bill low. A smaller pickup like a Ranger or S-10 will provide a good base. You can change to that blown Hemi when you get rich or they get really cheap.
Make sure you have lots of fun (and I'm sure your dad will give you a hand which will be great for you both) and build it safe.
Frame leaning on car is a triumph. Most likely a 63-70 frame that's been hard tailed. If that's part of your dream too, your screwed. Sell it...pick one or the other. One project at a time
Still waiting for that to happen..
I found a running driving chassis like stated above and put it under my 30 coupe. after the body work is done the body will go on a different lower hotrod chassis with a flathead. you can find them if you are patient and look everywhere and don't be afraid to ask questions.
one of the hardest things about being young is the desire to have your hand in too many projects. focus and finish ( I wish I took this advise my self more often, but you buy an old home and start to fix things up, find a cool bike, soon you have a way too much to do and the time you could be using to finish the roadster is used up.
I agree! I am 15 and I am already saving my money for a hot rod!
Find a beat up rear drive car in a local junkyard and start pullin parts. Youd be surprised what works when you think about it. I used most of the drivetrain from a 92 Chevy pickup in a 60 Studebaker Lark. The truck cost $500 because it needed exhaust work. Pretty much any rear drive GM before 95 can be easily used in an old rod.
The concept ^^^ is a good one, but there's a lot more to building a GOOD Model A hot rod than scrounging a few random cheap parts and glueing them onto your project. So many promising builds have bit the dust from bad planning and poor advice.
Careful research is the key, as is asking for AND TAKING good guidance from the greybeards who have gone before. The flip side of this is to IGNORE the claptrap offered by those with big ideas and no experience. Good luck!
Use the money to buy more parts for cheap(generally a group of parts.), sell them at a profit and reinvest. Do this consistently over the course of the next year and then you'll have the money you need to build it. If you hunt you can build this stuff real cheap. You could probably build the entire car for the cost of that Riley frame if you use old Ford parts and are willing to get your hands dirty....
I would personally just look for an entire A chassis and slap the body back together. Boom. Instant 1940's hot rod.
I cant really add anything, everyone else has pretty much covered everything. I cant stress enough to take your time. Make a list of what you want to do with your build, but dont be suprised if you change something. I have come across things that i liked and changed my mind. Lets just Say i have wasted time on my coupe build, because i got ahead of myself.
Lot of folks saying go for a cheap SBC. I don't agree, I don't think an SBC is a cheap option. And here's why:
Sure the SBC is cheap and the TH350 too. But it's too powerful for a small car. Everyone talks about how much power they have. Camaros with 400hp etc. Kids drive their mums 200hp small sedans and don't notice the power. Put a 200 hp SBC in a little Model-A and you're going to heaven kid before your time. 200hp is lethal. 100hp is a lot. What do you want do with twice that? To handle the power you'll need good brakes, good chassis design, good suspension, good rear axle control and quality parts. That all gets expensive real quick.. So what do the guys on a budget do? They try to squeeze an entire $300 Caprice or S10 into a Model-A with the inevitable results. It looks like dog shit.
I say start saving your money for a Model-A take out. Some rodders even want to keep the frame and flathead V8 the rest. They're sitting on all the parts you need to get that baby running and everyone knows it's worth nothing. More good running Model-A axles and engines out there than Model-As to put them in.
In the meantime get that body straight and paint it. Look up the threads here on painting a car with a roller. It works and it's cheap and looks plenty good enough.
For safety put the tank in the trunk behind your seat. Use a modern tank from a small import car from a junkyard. Hide an LED hi-level brake light in the back of your seat to help the soccer mums slow down a bit before they rear end you. The Model-A wire wheels aren't very desirable. Everyone wants the 16" wires from 1935 and they're getting expensive. The 17" Wires from 1933-34 look the same and are cheap cheap cheap.
Look up local shops who build traditional rods. They're probably removing that old Model-A stuff quicker than they can get rid of it. Also ask those guys at car shows who have mint Model-As with V8 running gear if they still have the Model-A stuff. Don't forget the Model-A restorers. A dying breed but they're still out there getting older and infirmer. I bet many have a barn full of parts they'll never get round to using now. Go to you local Model-A club chapter meeting and ask. Somewhere out there within 200 miles is a complete running gear with your name on it. You just got to find it. Then when it's finished you can learn to drive an automobile.
Don't go the V8 route - you can't afford it.
Ed's talking about the differences, between a driver-design, and a point-&-shoot overpowered platform.
Model A running gear for a daily driver? Not the way I'd go. How many days or weeks does one have to wait to get delivery of a replacement part for a model A engine? Compare that with parts for a SBC that are available at every parts store in every city. There are plenty of 305 v8's out there that can be had dirt cheap. 180hp or so in a roadster is very manageable.
Remember, he said this will be a daily driver, not a weekend toy. So it needs to be reliable, and readily repairable, right?
Another Model 'A: in progress, powered by a SBC 4.3L V6 - definitely not a daily driver!
Cool deal. I agree with what many have said. Start researching and keep the stock model a frame and make a lot of friends with other car guys. If you still desire a low hot rod then have someone help you step or Z the back of your frame and do the work your self. I grew up around hot rods and street rods and was at the street races as soon as I could sit on someones shoulders. I started building a 63' nova drag car at 15 in my garage and funded it by buying and selling cars, fixing other peoples crap and buying and selling crap. I Once traded a very ridiculous zebra stripped cowboy hat for a short bed f100 that I sold for $600. I found a 70 bronco 9" in some guys weeds this past weekend when buying model a parts from him and scored it for $75, you never know unless you ask!!!
A note to the Model A guys here: Yah know guys... we all have some extra parts on a shelf or in a box or hangin on the wall. I think I have a extra set of rear wheel well patches, I'll check tonight when I get home. I might have some other stuff too. For the price of shipping we could help this project along!
Good point. I've been helping a local 18 year old and doing rear quarters on his chevelle in my "free time" for the cost of materials.
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