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Projects 2 door vs 4 door

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Paulhunt2014jd, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Paulhunt2014jd
    Joined: Oct 6, 2019
    Posts: 1


    Hey folks,

    New to this community, and this is my first post. Looking to dive into my first build here soon, and I have always been interested in 49 - 55 Chevys. I have noticed that the vast majority of cars posted on here are two doors. Is there a particular reason other than style? I’ve also noticed that a four door can be purchased for a little cheaper than a two door, which makes it an intriguing option. Has anyone posted any interesting four door builds that I should take a look at.

    I’m sure this is a newbie question, but I appreciate any input.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    chevy57dude likes this.
  2. The short answer is a rough 2 door is a viable project. A clean 4door is a parts car for the viable two door project.
    brjnelson, bchctybob, clem and 9 others like this.
  3. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,364

    oldiron 440

    The above is true but there are more clean 4 doors being built. For me personally it's nice just not to work on a junk and build a cool more door.
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,828

    from Berry, AL

    Most all two doors have better body lines and are better looking cars. The exception to that would be 4 door hardtops, they generally are better styled than 4 door sedans. 4 door sedans are typically looked at as "Old man" cars, as in parents or grandparents cars.
    With a given choice, most folks pick the 2 doors, and prices reflect that. Some 2 doors go for big prices, while their 4 door brethren can be had for pennies on the dollar.
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  5. When it comes time to sell, the 2 door will command significantly more money and will have a much larger market. It cost the same money to build each car, so you might as well invest/spend your money as smartly as possible. Starting with a bit more upfront money on the 2 door will usually pay on the backend.
  6. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,577

    from Oregon

    Your a young buck so if have a family or plan to you and your wife might appreciate buckling the kiddies in the back seat with a four door plus groceries. A cool old wagon is a possible option as well. Welcome and good luck.
  7. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,036

    from Michigan

    Traditionally, most hot rodders always wanted a car that is as far away from a family car as possible.
    Originally, it was just open cars... mostly roadsters. Then coupes. Later, sedans and hard tops.
    But for the longest time, there was hardly anybody that wanted to hot rod or customize a four-door. And even now, they are very few.
    Having said all that...
    The cars are getting older. It's more difficult now to find a good solid 2 door. The four doors are beginning to look more attractive.
    Depends on what you want. Go ahead and hot rod a four-door if you want to. But you might find the cost of renovation eclipses the purchase price. Finding a buyer later might be difficult.
    If you want to build an original looking car, four-door can be good for that. I think having the original looking cars among the hot rods adds that natural contrast of yesteryear.
    Still, if you look long and hard enough, you can find a decently straight and solid two-door.
    Good luck.
    And welcome to the hamb.

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    TagMan and Paulhunt2014jd like this.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,635


    I recently owned a 51 Hudson Hornet 4 door sedan, so I was curious as to the value of 2dr vs 4dr on that car. It's very little, only about 1% in the price guide, for a very good condition car.

    Times they are a changing....used to be a hot rodder or custom guy wouldn't be caught dead in a 4 door. Now they're fine, among those who are new to the old car thing.
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,218


    I have to agree with what most said. The 2 door will alway have more resale value for the same $$ total investment.
    It also goes back to the 50's and 60's for us older guys when driving a 4 door meant that you were driving your mom's car. You usually couldn't get the attention of the gals when you were cruising the AVE in a 4 door that you did with a 2 door. 4 door meaning you were probably driving your folks car or you were driving the hand me down from your mom after she got a new car when you came to driving age. Or maybe worse yet your dad picked the car out for you without asking you.
    For younger guys it may not be the issue as they grew up with 4 door performance cars and transitioning to a more door Hamb friendly ride just seems natural for them while for Old Wolf and my self a 4 door post car is still viewed as a parts car for a two door quite often.

    On the other hand I really like the 55/57 GM 4 door hardtops. I had a 55 Buick Special 4 door hardtop when I was 19 and loved the look. A lot of my friends didn't even notice that it was a 4 door until they went to get in the back seat but the girls we ran around with loved that car as it was like sitting on a couch when they got in it an the heater under the front seat kept the back seat passengers warm. I got stupid and thought I was going to give it a "gasser" look by removing the front bumper though.

    I'd say if you were building a 4 door 55/57 Chevy sedan just don't invest a huge sum of money tricking it out and keep it on the lines of a simpler build. Milder street engine, nice but not over the top paint with a nice but not over the top interior and decent wheel and tire selection but not looking like you "settled for" as that is the usually fopax of guys doing somewhat low buck builds in that they settle for the wheels and tires that the tire store has that fit on the day they go looking for wheels and tires rather than figuring out what looks just right. me with 55 Buick.jpg
    sunbeam, Old wolf, Dave Mc and 3 others like this.
  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,077

    anthony myrick

    The older crowd calls 4 doors parts cars.
    Young folks call them cars.
    I’m in the middle and like both.
    My students see an old 4 door and see a cool old car. They don’t have the concept of them being less editable.
    I have seen plenty of cool more door rides.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    patmanta and Paulhunt2014jd like this.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,218


    Trust me Anthony, there would be a lot more 55/57 Chevy 4 doors around if there hadn't been so many bought and stripped of their noses and a few other parts in the 70's to put two doors back together or used as dirt track cars because they were cheaper than 2 doors.
    Old wolf likes this.
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,077

    anthony myrick

    Funny how things change
  13. Really sorry the new young crowd only has our scraps and cast off's to work with. A 4 door beats building a Honda Car but not by much. This coming from a real Old guy.
    bchctybob and Old wolf like this.
  14. I am a older guy and like most guy when we were young didn't want a 4 door car, I've had a couple of 4 doors and they have become much more desirable in recent years.

    Times are changing and many of our younger members have always been around 4 doors, a lot of you have owned hondas & toyotas as your first car, the decision is pretty simple when it doesn't matter if it's got two or four door cars.

    The hamb has seen a lot of well built 4 doors, I say go for it if that's what you want. HRP
    JeffB2 and clem like this.
  15. There are a lot of very nice 4 doors running around and there are some butt ugly 2 doors as well! It's up to you. Build what YOU like not what someone else likes, it's your money spend it as you wish!
  16. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 647


    Took me a long time to accept the 4 door as a viable option. I crossed that bridge a few years ago. When two door cars started really getting out of reach.

    I wouldn’t pay much of a premium for a two door car now.

    All my current projects are two doors or trucks, though.

    Come to think about it and long bed trucks have the same stigma as four door cars.
    DIYGUY likes this.
  17. 47018C63-E808-4FFC-9179-3E310EEE81B7.jpeg And to confuse the issue a little more, some of us take advantage of the more favorable pricing of the four doors to buy a clean start for a project. Then acquire the parts to convert to a 2 door.
    I know the younger crowd grew up when most every car on the road was a 4 door so they seem more acceptable, but to the older guy's four doors just don’t feel right.
  18. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,246


    1957 Chevrolet Sport Sedan, in other words, a 4 door hard top (HT).
    This one is a 4 Door Sedan. Notice the different rooflines, as well as the frames around the windows.
    OP - I realize your year cutoff is '55.
    John Lee Williamson and Dave Mc like this.
  19. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 393

    from Sparks, NV

  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,635


    No matter what folks say, a 2 door anything still looks better than the 4 door version.

    maybe unless you have to haul your kids around all the time. No, two doors still look better.

    (we had a few 4 doors as well as several 2 door when we were raising kids, I still preferred the 2 doors at the time)
    VANDENPLAS, Pist-n-Broke and warbird1 like this.
  21. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,315

    from PNW

    bank robbers prefer 4 doors. 98 percent of all bank presidents drive one too.
  22. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,205

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    Four doors are your mom’s car
    bchctybob, nochop and Tri-power37 like this.
  23. Its all about what looks to be "sporty". Old coupes, convertibles and 2 doors were always more sporty looking than dad's 4 door family sedan. And young people always wanted to be seen as sporty, fast and cool.
  24. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 374


    Knew a guy with a 55 Chevy 4 dr, 283/dual quads & a 4 speed. Mild rake gave it a nice stance & it outran just about everything at the time. For a good looking 4 door, a 51 Merc would be my choice because of the suicide back doors. J M O. Do a little googling....have fun & welcome. mike
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  25. If you have a 4 door; you might as well build it the way you want, 'cause no one else will want it.

    This coming from someone building a 4 door...
    bchctybob and el Scotto like this.
  26. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,886


    Do we have to do the 4 door vs 2 door thing again?
  27. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 468

    from west ky

    Not a fan of any 4 dr. Growing up in the 70s, 2 drs. were plentiful. I think us older guys grew up in a time when that was the status quo. That has followed me to even now. Young guys have grown up in a world of 4 door everything. Cars , vans, pickup trucks, heck, even jeeps . That said GM is not even making a reg cab short bed. If you like the old tin in a 4 door, go for it. I do believe that , since they were hard to sell then, they may be about as hard to find as a good solid 2 door. People didnt save a ton of undesirable cars for resale. There are a lot of old timers around that you can talk to, and there is a wealth of knowlege in their past about the car scene in the 40s and 50s. Surprising to find that cars were mostly transportation, imagine that.
    walls likes this.
  28. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,793

    from Missouri

    I built a 4 door when my kids were young, and as being a dad with a wife and two boys, the 4 door made it affordable for me. Have had many memorable trips in that car. :)

    Thinking about putting it back on the road and see if I make the cut for Drag Week. :)
    0NE BAD 51 MERC and scotty t like this.
  29. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,081

    from oregon

    The HAMB has a large number of members "down under", Australia especially and New Zealand too, so you may get a much different answer from them, and, a reason for it which I have always wanted to hear.
    My first car was a 61 Impala 4 door hardtop (1969), and even then, if I hadn't realized it yet, you would be reminded that you were on the fringe of "cool".
    All my subsequent cars were two doors after that.........and then the tide changed when I
    bought a 96 Impala SS, which, as most people know are four doors, and all of a sudden all the people that poo pooed four doors wanted to know all about it, still have it too.

    Still looking for this one too.
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,060


    We have always liked 2 doors over 4 doors. But there is no doubt that 4 doors have more flexibility for the passengers or family. The ease of entry/exit into the back seat is simply easier. When the windows are all rolled down, the expanse of the open flow on the 4 door hardtop is tremendous. Again, it turns into personal choice.

    56 bel air two door Bel Air Hardtop green/white

    1956 4 door Bel Air Hardtop green/white

    We rode in both cars during our teenage years and the comfort is there. But, as far as the custom hot rod look, the two door hardtop is “hard” to overlook. I am sure that is why we had two door sedans this whole time. Even my hard core, Buick, fanatic dad eventually went to a 2 door from those big 4 door Mom & Pop sedans.

    57 two door Buick

    But, those great looking 4 door hardtops/station wagons are hard to get away from, as far as “cool looks” and styling. They would be fun to have and drive around, in these modern days. But, they are completely different and probably would not fit in our small, two car garage.

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